In these times of hardship and uncertainty, we could all use some stress relief. And what better way to ease the burden of a pandemic than with arguably the best animal bi-product on the planet—cheese. Sorry eggs, but this is no contest. Cheese's origins predate recorded history and there's evidence of it being made throughout ancient cultures in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. Cheesemaking began by pressing and salting curdled milk, then preserving it. In Greek mythology, the Greeks credit Artistaeus with discovering cheese, he's also credited with discovering bee-keeping and olive oil.

Today, according to the International Dairy Federation, there are approximately 500 different varieties of cheese. These cheeses are then classified according to a variety of criteria, including ageing, texture, process of making, fat content, animal milk, country and region of origin. Some of the most popular cheeses consumed around the world are brie, mozzarella, parmigiano, blue, Swiss and of course, cheddar. Many European cultures have embraced cheese in their cuisines, most notably French and Italian. And in recent years, as more people have adopted plant-based lifestyles, nut-based cheeses have become increasingly popular—with the most popular type being cashew.

In honor of the rich and wonderful world of cheese, we're honoring National Cheese Day with some of our favorite cheese tattoos. These tattoos from talented tattooers around the globe highlight the spirit, spunk and savory goodness of cheese. Take a peek at these sensational cheese tattoos in the gallery below, then let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section on social media.