"He then curdled half the white milk, collected the whey, and stored it in wicker cheese-baskets"

Milk left to sour, or forced to curdle using an acidic substance such as vinegar or lemon-juice, will produce curds and a liquid called whey. Both curds and whey can be used to make cheese. Cheese made in this way would have been a common part of a Greek’s diet, especially in islands like Ithaca where the rocky terrain supports the rearing of sheep and goats more easily than farming.