Cheese Travel Around the World

Cheese varieties across the world are as diversified as the places you can travel to. If your idea of cheese is a mass produced thin orange-yellow slice, perhaps it’s time to open your eyes to the wonderful world of cheese.

Travel lover can take their passion for discovering the unknown and a dislike for the mundane and apply it to experiencing cheese. Cheese varies by where the milk comes from, how it’s made, how it’s eaten, texture, flavor, and so much more. It can take a day to make or several years. And people take cheese seriously. Many cheeses, especially throughout Europe, are under a protection by designation or origin, like champagne.

Cheese was actually invented because of travel. It’s believed that cheese production may have started in Egypt more than 4.000 years ago when Egyptians carried milk with them during journeys. The gentle agitation rocked the bags carrying milk and created cheese. Here are some places around the world producing cheese:

United States

The United States is the leading country of cheese production with making more than 30% of the world’s cheese. Cheese is made throughout the entire country, but the prominent cheese regions include Wisconsin, California especially in Sonoma and Marin County, Vermont, and the Pacific Northwest. The country’s most produced cheeses are American, Cheddar, Mozzarella, and Cream cheese. But just like the craft beer revolution taking place in America, people are becoming more interested in unique, artisan cheeses.

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies by famfriendsfood, on Flickr

Australia

Australia’s cheese making industry has boomed more rapidly than anywhere else. In the 1960’s the were producing 20 variations, by the 1970’s it had doubles, and today, they are producing more than 100 different kinds of cheeses. The country is most known for its delicious cheddars.

England

It’s estimated that England produces more than 700 different types of cheeses. Cheddar is named after the Cheddar Gorge caves in Somerset. Some popular cheeses produced in England include Stilton, Blue, Cheddar, Gloucester, and Lancashire.

France

France is the biggest exporter of cheese by monetary value. Known for creamy and often robust cheeses, Bleu, Brie, Camembert, Mimolette, Roquefort, and Chevre are just a few of the most common cheeses produced.

French Cheese in Candlelight

French Cheese in Candlelight by NycoHerzog, on Flickr 

Brazil

Most cheese produced in Brazil is pasteurized for food safety reasons, but Queijo Minas is made with raw cow’s milk. The soft cheese is made in Minas Gerai and has strict regulations to remain its safety.

Italy

Asiago, Fontina, Mozzarella, Pecorino, Talaggio, and Provolone are just a handful of delicious cheeses made throughout Italy. Many Italian cheeses have a nuttiness that works well in pastas. Perhaps the most well-known, Parmesan, is produced in the Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, and Mantura regions of the country. Parmesan is made from cow’s milk and takes 12 months to properly age before it makes its way to your table.

pecorino

pecorino by talkoftomatoes, on Flickr

 

Germany

Germany makes more than 600 different types of cheeses with 75% of them being produced in Bavaria. Allgauer Emmentaler, also known as Swiss, is one of the most popular cheeses made. Other cheeses produced inclue Tilsiter, Wilstermarschkase, Gouda, and Munster.

Egypt

Egypt’s most famous cheese is Domiati, a soft, white cheese. The cheese is usually made with buffalo’s milk and has a salty taste. It can also be throughout the Middle East.

Greece

Feta is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Greek cheese. It’s a crumbly cheese often made from goat or sheep’s milk. Some other cheeses produced in Greece include Anthotiros, Parnassos, Galotiri, Graviera, Kasseri.

Turkey

Besides cow milk, cheeses in Turkey are also made with lamb’s milk. A fresh white cheese is popular which is similar to feta. They make about 20 different cheeses including some with other authentic ingredients you may associate with Turkish culture like cumin, bay leaves, dill, lavender, and mint.

Netherlands

Gouda and Edam may be the most popular cheeses produced in the Netherlands, but it’s the way it’s sold that is interesting. Dutch cheese makers bring their cheese to outside markets throughout the country to sell their cheese.

Gouda Farmhouse Extra Aged Cheese

Gouda Farmhouse Extra Aged Cheese by artizone, on Flickr

Switzerland

Of the more than 450 varieties of cheeses made in Switzerland, almost all of it is produced from cows. Besides Swiss, they produce Gruyere, Raclette, and Gala.

Asia

Asian cuisine is usually not what comes to mind when thinking of cheese. It’s not a common ingredient produced. But in China, they make Rushan cheese from cow’s milk that has been in production since the Ming Dynasty. In Nepal, they produce cheese from the milk of a yak.

 

20 Comments

  1. Claudia on April 9, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Mmm.. I’m reading this in Asia and it makes me really hungry :-). One of the few things I miss from Holland is.. cheese. We have a great variety of cheeses in NL, and I love all the Dutch cheeses (from young to old) and you can buy every cheese you can image (from Italian, French, Spanish.. etc..). The only cheese I loved in Asia was the cheese from the yaks in Tibet and Nepal. 🙂

    • Michael on April 18, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      I was dying for cheese when I lived in China for a year. We had a group of expats order cheese from abroad or whenever we knew someone that was coming back to China, we’d tell them to make sure to bring some cheese with them.

  2. Claudia on April 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Mmm.. I’m reading this in Asia and it makes me really hungry :-). One of the few things I miss from Holland is.. cheese. We have a great variety of cheeses in NL, and I love all the Dutch cheeses (from young to old) and you can buy every cheese you can image (from Italian, French, Spanish.. etc..). The only cheese I loved in Asia was the cheese from the yaks in Tibet and Nepal. 🙂

    • Michael on April 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      I was dying for cheese when I lived in China for a year. We had a group of expats order cheese from abroad or whenever we knew someone that was coming back to China, we’d tell them to make sure to bring some cheese with them.

  3. Ashlee D. on April 9, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    A friend RT’d this, love the article! One of my favorite cheese countries is Spain; Manchego, San Simón, Mahón, Cabrales, and Roncal are just a few of the extremely diverse cheese offerings in Spain!

    • Michael on April 18, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      Spain sounds like heaven for cheese.

  4. Ashlee D. on April 9, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    A friend RT’d this, love the article! One of my favorite cheese countries is Spain; Manchego, San Simón, Mahón, Cabrales, and Roncal are just a few of the extremely diverse cheese offerings in Spain!

    • Michael on April 18, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      Spain sounds like heaven for cheese.

  5. Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad on April 10, 2012 at 3:55 am

    I love cheese, just went to the French Alps for skiing few weeks ago, that always includes eating huge quantities of cheese (fondues, raclettes, tartifletts etc.), but I suppose on that the emphasis is on quantity not on quality 😉

  6. Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad on April 10, 2012 at 4:55 am

    I love cheese, just went to the French Alps for skiing few weeks ago, that always includes eating huge quantities of cheese (fondues, raclettes, tartifletts etc.), but I suppose on that the emphasis is on quantity not on quality 😉

  7. Viagens Baratas on April 10, 2012 at 5:49 am

    Very interesting post about travel and cheese. An excellent combination.

  8. Viagens Baratas on April 10, 2012 at 6:49 am

    Very interesting post about travel and cheese. An excellent combination.

  9. thetravelchica on April 10, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Mmm… cheese!  One of my favorite foods.  I found the best goat cheese ever in Cafayate, Argentina.

  10. thetravelchica on April 10, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Mmm… cheese!  One of my favorite foods.  I found the best goat cheese ever in Cafayate, Argentina.

  11. TheYoungOne on April 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Mmmmmm…. 
    Camembert

  12. TheYoungOne on April 10, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Mmmmmm…. 
    Camembert

  13. Mscathy Ly on April 23, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Word, TheYoungOne…Camembert!!! And, Compte are two are of my faves in France!!! France wins for me!!

  14. Mscathy Ly on April 23, 2012 at 3:08 am

    Word, TheYoungOne…Camembert!!! And, Compte are two are of my faves in France!!! France wins for me!!

  15. yepi on June 6, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Cheese, a food so common to us all.

  16. yepi on June 6, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Cheese, a food so common to us all.

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