Food historians confirm the practice of giving/sharing food with loved ones on special occasions is as old as human-kind. Food means life. Giving food symbolizes the sharing of life. Ancient cultures typically shared cakes, meat, sweets, bread, and wine during feast times. Some of these foods also became symbolic in religious ceremonies. Hard cheeses have long been valued and shared. In pre-industrial times, any food able to withstand the tests of temperature and time was indeed precious. Softer cheeses did not stand this test, and were therefore valued even more (especially when encrusted with expensive nuts) for their cost and care.
According to legend, the first cheese ball was made by Elisha Brown Jr. at his farm in 1801. It weighed 1,235 pounds and he presented it as a gift to President Thomas Jefferson at the White House.
The first published recipe for Cheese balls was in 1899, in the New York Times.