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"The most sophisticated of the galactic elite crave the most exotic delicacies and few come more exotic or delicious than diamond cheese. This cheese made only on a small agrarian world on the outer rim contains naturally occurring crystals and is so rare the top 1% wish they could afford it."

I want a cheese which has diamonds or some other crystals that form in it as part of the maturing process, in total it would be about 5-10 percent crystal by volume. These crystals must be like hard stones, harder than salt crystals. Hard enough to break your teeth.

The crystals can't be put in and the cheese can only be made using the kind of technology that was traditionally used to make cheese on earth. As a result putting the cheese under incredible pressure is out of the question, but using copper like for blue cheese is OK.

The cheese is made by milk from a regular cow. However as the cows are from another planet there is for them to have more of a particular chemical from food if it can act as a catalyst or something like that.

Some cheeses have crystalline structures such as Parmesan cheese crystals, but obviously these don't turn into actual stones.

It is possible that some sort of basic electrical generator could be used as part of the making process and this affects the structure of some sort of naturally occurring graphene molecules, but it seems unlikely these would turn into diamonds/Swarovski crystals etc.

It might be possible for cheese to be left for a very long time but then I don't know how to prevent the cheese from just rotting.

How do I get these diamonds in the cheese?

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    $\begingroup$ Do you consider the crystal must be macroscopic? Must the crystal be hard, or fragile crystal-like composition is okay? (I thought this would be a better option for a very rare and exquisite delicacy) $\endgroup$ – Vylix Aug 5 '17 at 20:49
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    $\begingroup$ Define "crystal". Would Sodium Chloride crystals work? if not, why not? You mention Swarovski crystals, but these are glass (and therefore not crystaline) By crystal do you mean what a chemist means? Or do you mean what a "crystal healer" means? $\endgroup$ – James K Aug 5 '17 at 21:02
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    $\begingroup$ Can they be cheese crystals? If you let Reggiano di Parma sit out too long, crunchy little granules begin to form inside. $\endgroup$ – Spencer Aug 5 '17 at 23:42
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    $\begingroup$ Wouldn't a cheese that contains teeth breaking mineral deposits be generally unpleasant to consume? $\endgroup$ – apaul Aug 6 '17 at 2:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 Perhaps I should have said "precious stones"? $\endgroup$ – Jonno Bourne Aug 9 '17 at 17:00
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The short answer:

There is no way for diamonds to form naturally in cheese.

The longer answer:

Diamonds, in particular, are right out because of the processes required to form them. Carbon needs to be under incredible pressure and temperatures (usually in conjunction with time) to become diamond - even vapor deposition methods require high temperature and pressures.

Organic crystallization - particularly that of something like honey or salt - is potentially doable, but wouldn't result in anything that looked particularly precious - and crystallization doesn't match well with the process of cheesemaking. The presence or absence of a catalyst is immaterial - the pressing and aging process doesn't generally allow enough solvent to allow for deposition.

The best mechanism I can think of for having crystal-studded cheese is to have some sort of microscopic organism native only to this planet that likes to eat cheese and excretes carbon (or your substrate of choice) in a crystalline structure. Then the aging process could be in caves where these organisms live, and they chew their way partially through the cheese and leave diamonds in their wake. I can't think of a solid biological justification for these creatures to behave in this manner, but it's a big universe.

Edit:

I should add that these microscopic organisms would still have to, internally, create the pressures and temperatures required to create diamond, as there is no chemical way around this necessity of the diamond formation process. This would be incredibly energy-intensive (obviously) and is therefore difficult to justify, but could be handwaved as something natural but unexplainable, a la The Force.

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  • $\begingroup$ I like this idea it is like the Cheese mites that are used in the making process of mimolette. I think hand waving would be reasonable for the mites. $\endgroup$ – Jonno Bourne Aug 8 '17 at 9:13
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Amethyst can grow at standard temp and pressure (you can buy kits online). Now, it requires some substances that are toxic (to eat), to humans. Maybe those can be neutralized/filtered out?

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    $\begingroup$ Sorry, but just because an online ad says "amethyst" does not remotely mean you'll get amethysts. What you get instead is alum. Real amethyst is silicon dioxide - essentially, quartz. You can no more grow silicon dioxide at room temperature than you can diamond. $\endgroup$ – WhatRoughBeast Aug 6 '17 at 0:02

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