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Cheese vs. Milk: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on December 22, 2023
Cheese is a dairy product made by coagulating milk; milk is a nutrient-rich liquid produced by mammals.

Key Differences

Cheese is derived from milk. It is the result of coagulating milk to separate the curds from the whey. Milk, on the other hand, is a natural liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals, serving as the primary source of nutrition for infant mammals.
Cheese is made by adding enzymes or bacterial cultures to milk, causing it to coagulate. The solid curds are then separated and aged to develop flavor and texture. Milk does not undergo such a process; it is often pasteurized for safety and consumed in its liquid form.
Cheese, being a concentrated form of milk, has a higher content of fats, proteins, and minerals like calcium and phosphorus. Milk, in contrast, contains a balanced mix of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates.
Cheese comes in various forms, textures, and flavors, ranging from soft and creamy to hard and pungent. It is used in cooking, as a spread, or eaten on its own. Milk is usually consumed as a beverage, used in cooking, or as a base for other dairy products like yogurt and ice cream.
Cheese has a vast cultural significance with hundreds of varieties across the globe, each with a unique history. Milk, universally consumed, has been a staple in human diets for thousands of years, revered for its nutritional value.

Comparison Chart


Solid or semi-solid


Made by coagulating milk
Natural secretion from mammals

Nutrient Concentration

Higher in fats and proteins
Balanced nutrients, including carbohydrates


Numerous types, flavors, textures
Primarily differs by fat content and source animal


Eaten on its own, cooking, spreads
Beverage, cooking, dairy product base

Cheese and Milk Definitions


A dairy product made from curdled milk.
The pizza was topped with mozzarella cheese.


A white liquid produced by mammals as food for their young.
I poured milk into my cereal.


To smile broadly, especially for a photograph.
Everyone cheese for the camera!


To draw milk from an animal, especially cows.
She milks the cows every morning.


Money or profit.
He's all about making that cheese.


To water down or dilute something.
Don't milk down the story; tell it as it is.


Something easy or requiring minimal effort.
The game was total cheese, we won effortlessly.


To exploit or extract the most out of something.
He's milking his fifteen minutes of fame.


To stop or prevent something.
Let's cheese this argument and go home.


To draw out or prolong something unnecessarily.
The speaker milked his speech for over an hour.


A solid food prepared from the pressed curd of milk, often seasoned and aged.


A whitish liquid containing proteins, fats, lactose, and various vitamins and minerals that is produced by the mammary glands of all mature female mammals after they have given birth and serves as nourishment for their young.


The milk of cows, goats, or other animals, used as food by humans.


Is milk good for health?

Yes, milk is nutritious, providing essential vitamins and minerals.

Is milk a raw material for cheese?

Yes, milk is the primary ingredient in cheese production.

Can cheese be vegan?

Yes, there are vegan cheeses made from plant-based ingredients.

Are all cheeses aged?

No, some cheeses, like fresh mozzarella, are not aged.

Is milk a complete protein?

Yes, milk provides all essential amino acids.

What is cheese made of?

Cheese is made from coagulated milk.

What is the main difference between cow's milk and goat's milk?

Goat's milk has smaller fat globules and a different protein composition than cow's milk.

Why is cheese often used in cooking?

Cheese adds flavor, texture, and richness to dishes.

Can people who are lactose intolerant consume cheese?

Some aged cheeses have lower lactose levels and may be tolerable for those with lactose intolerance.

How many types of cheese are there?

There are hundreds of cheese varieties worldwide.

How long can cheese be stored?

Storage times vary; hard cheeses last longer than soft cheeses.

Is milk used in making ice cream?

Yes, milk is a key ingredient in most ice creams.

What makes blue cheese blue?

Blue veins in blue cheese are caused by the addition of Penicillium mold.

Is chocolate milk as nutritious as regular milk?

Chocolate milk has the same nutrients as regular milk, but with added sugar and flavor.

Can milk be used in savory dishes?

Yes, milk is often used in sauces, soups, and other savory dishes.

Does boiling milk change its nutritional value?

Boiling milk can reduce some vitamins but retains most nutrients.

Does milk contain sugar?

Yes, milk naturally contains lactose, a type of sugar.

Why do some cheeses have holes?

Holes in cheese, like in Swiss cheese, are caused by gas released by bacteria during the aging process.

Can milk be lactose-free?

Yes, lactose-free milk is available for those with lactose intolerance.

Is cheese a good source of calcium?

Yes, cheese is an excellent source of calcium.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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