50 World Cheeses

Fifty of the best from the cheese-loving world

 

 

In a village that’s known for its cheese,
Lived a taster who aimed to please.
He nibbled on Brie,
Declared, “This is key!”
And sighed with the utmost ease.


  1. Brie (France)

    • Taste: Creamy, buttery, mild
    • Origin/History: Originates from the Île-de-France region
    • Popularity/Availability: Very popular; widely available internationally
  2. Cheddar (England)

    • Taste: Ranges from mild to sharp; creamy to dry
    • Origin/History: Originated in the 12th century in Cheddar, Somerset
    • Popularity/Availability: Extremely popular; available globally
  3. Gorgonzola (Italy)

    • Taste: Strong, pungent, salty
    • Origin/History: One of the world’s oldest blue cheeses, dating back to around AD 879
    • Popularity/Availability: Very popular; widely available
  4. Roquefort (France)

    • Taste: Tangy, rich, sharp from blue mold
    • Origin/History: Known as the “King of Cheeses” in France; has a protected designation
    • Popularity/Availability: Highly popular; widely available
  5. Parmigiano-Reggiano (Italy)

    • Taste: Nutty, savory, slightly granular
    • Origin/History: Produced since at least the 13th century
    • Popularity/Availability: Extremely popular; widely available
  6. Manchego (Spain)

    • Taste: Buttery, slightly piquant
    • Origin/History: Made in the La Mancha region from the milk of Manchega sheep
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular; widely available
  7. Feta (Greece)

    • Taste: Salty, tangy, crumbly
    • Origin/History: An ancient cheese traditionally made with sheep’s milk or a mix of sheep and goat’s milk
    • Popularity/Availability: Very popular; widely available
  8. Camembert (France)

    • Taste: Rich, buttery, earthy
    • Origin/History: Created in the late 18th century in Normandy
    • Popularity/Availability: Very popular; widely available
  9. Mozzarella (Italy)

    • Taste: Mild, milky, slightly elastic
    • Origin/History: Originally from Southern Italy; traditionally made from water buffalo milk
    • Popularity/Availability: Extremely popular; widely available
  10. Gouda (Netherlands)

    • Taste: Sweet, creamy, buttery
    • Origin/History: Named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands
    • Popularity/Availability: Very popular; widely available
  11. Havarti (Denmark)

    • Taste: Buttery, slightly acidic
    • Origin/History: Created in the mid-19th century
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular; widely available
  12. Monterey Jack (USA)

    • Taste: Mild, buttery, slightly tangy
    • Origin/History: Originated in Monterey, California in the 19th century
    • Popularity/Availability: Very popular in North America; available internationally
  13. Raclette (Switzerland)

    • Taste: Nutty, milky, slightly earthy
    • Origin/History: Dates back to medieval times in the Alps
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular; widely available
  14. Stilton (England)

    • Taste: Rich, tangy, blue-veined
    • Origin/History: Protected designation; only cheese from Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Nottinghamshire can be called Stilton
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular; widely available
  15. Pecorino Romano (Italy)

    • Taste: Sharp, salty
    • Origin/History: Ancient Roman cheese made from sheep’s milk
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular; widely available
  16. Asiago (Italy)

    • Taste: Nutty, creamy when young; crumbly and sharper when aged
    • Origin/History: From the Veneto and Trentino regions
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular; widely available
  17. Cotija (Mexico)

    • Taste: Salty, crumbly
    • Origin/History: Named after the town of Cotija in Michoacán
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular in Latin America; available in specialty stores globally
  18. Halloumi (Cyprus)

    • Taste: Briny, slightly rubbery
    • Origin/History: Traditional Cypriot cheese, enjoyed grilled or fried
    • Popularity/Availability: Increasingly popular; widely available
  19. Burrata (Italy)

    • Taste: Creamy, rich, fresh
    • Origin/History: A relatively modern cheese, originating in the 20th century in Puglia
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular in upscale markets; widely available
  20. Comté (France)

    • Taste: Nutty, sweet, complex
    • Origin/History: A French Gruyère, made in the Jura region
    • Popularity/Availability: Very popular in Europe; available internationally
  21. Mascarpone (Italy)

    • Taste: Sweet, creamy, rich
    • Origin/History: An Italian cream cheese from the Lombardy region
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular, especially as a dessert cheese; widely available
  22. Queso Fresco (Mexico)

    • Taste: Mild, fresh, slightly tangy
    • Origin/History: A staple in Mexican cuisine
    • Popularity/Availability: Very popular in Mexico and the U.S.; available in many grocery stores
  23. Blue Stilton (England)

    • Taste: Strong, sharp, blue-veined
    • Origin/History: One of the few British cheeses granted the status of a “protected designation of origin” (PDO)
    • Popularity/Availability: Widely regarded and available internationally
  24. Emmental (Switzerland)

    • Taste: Nutty, sweet with characteristic large holes
    • Origin/History: Originated in the Emme Valley; a classic Swiss cheese
    • Popularity/Availability: Very popular; widely available
  25. Burrata (Italy)

    • Taste: Buttery, milky, with a creamy core
    • Origin/History: Originates from Murgia in the south of Italy; a more recent creation, developed in the 1950s
    • Popularity/Availability: Gaining popularity; widely available in gourmet cheese shops
  26. Limburger (Belgium/Germany)

    • Taste: Strong, pungent
    • Origin/History: Originally created in the Duchy of Limburg, now divided among three countries
    • Popularity/Availability: Notoriously smelly but beloved by some; available mainly in Europe and North American specialty stores
  27. Taleggio (Italy)

    • Taste: Fruity, mild, slightly tangy
    • Origin/History: A washed rind cheese from Val Taleggio
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular in Italy and among cheese aficionados worldwide; widely available
  28. Saint Agur (France)

    • Taste: Creamy, buttery, blue-veined
    • Origin/History: A relatively new cheese, developed in 1988 in the Auvergne region
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular in France and internationally; available in many supermarkets and cheese shops
  29. Edam (Netherlands)

    • Taste: Mild, nutty, slightly salty
    • Origin/History: Named after the town of Edam in the Netherlands
    • Popularity/Availability: Well-known globally; widely available
  30. Cambozola (Germany)

    • Taste: Mild blue flavor, creamy brie-like texture
    • Origin/History: A relatively new cheese that combines Camembert and Gorgonzola traits, created to appeal to a wider audience
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular in Europe and the U.S.; widely available
  31. Fontina (Italy)

    • Taste: Mild, creamy, nutty
    • Origin/History: Made in the Aosta Valley since the 12th century
    • Popularity/Availability: Essential for traditional Italian dishes like fonduta; widely available
  32. Reblochon (France)

    • Taste: Nutty, fruity, creamy
    • Origin/History: From Haute-Savoie, France; developed around the 13th century
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular in France and in gourmet cheese circles; available mainly in Europe
  33. Vacherin Mont d’Or (France/Switzerland)

    • Taste: Rich, creamy, woodsy
    • Origin/History: Seasonal cheese available only from September to March
    • Popularity/Availability: Highly sought after during its season; available in select cheese shops
  34. Serra da Estrela (Portugal)

    • Taste: Rich, creamy, slightly tangy
    • Origin/History: Made from sheep’s milk in the Serra da Estrela mountains; one of Portugal’s oldest cheeses
    • Popularity/Availability: National treasure in Portugal; available in specialty shops worldwide
  35. Caerphilly (Wales)

    • Taste: Mild, crumbly, buttery
    • Origin/History: Originally developed as a sustenance food for coal miners in the early 19th century
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular in the UK; available in specialty stores internationally
  36. Wensleydale (England)

    • Taste: Mild, slightly sweet, crumbly
    • Origin/History: Originates from the town of Wensleydale, Yorkshire
    • Popularity/Availability: Enjoyed particularly at Christmas; available internationally
  37. Cabrales (Spain)

    • Taste: Strong, pungent, intense blue flavor
    • Origin/History: Made in the Asturias region; a natural mold-ripened cheese
    • Popularity/Availability: Acquired taste but cherished by blue cheese lovers; available in specialty stores
  38. Danablu (Denmark)

    • Taste: Sharp, salty, blue-veined
    • Origin/History: Danish blue cheese, created as an alternative to more expensive imported blue cheeses
    • Popularity/Availability: Widely available in Europe and the U.S.
  39. Mahon (Spain)

    • Taste: Buttery, slightly salty
    • Origin/History: Named after the port of Mahon on the island of Menorca
    • Popularity/Availability: Gaining international presence; available in specialty cheese shops
  40. Scamorza (Italy)

    • Taste: Mild, slightly smokey if smoked variety is chosen
    • Origin/History: A Southern Italian cow’s milk cheese, similar to mozzarella but drier
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular in Italian cuisine; widely available in Europe and North America
  41. Provolone (Italy)

    • Taste: Ranges from mild to sharp, depending on aging
    • Origin/History: Originates from Southern Italy, similar in production style to Mozzarella but aged
    • Popularity/Availability: Widely used in sandwiches and cooking; globally available
  42. Cotija (Mexico)

    • Taste: Salty, crumbly
    • Origin/History: Named after the town of Cotija, Michoacán
    • Popularity/Availability: Essential in Mexican cuisine; available in the Americas and specialty stores elsewhere
  43. Dolcelatte (Italy)

    • Taste: Sweet, creamy, mild blue
    • Origin/History: Created by the Galbani Company as a milder alternative to Gorgonzola
    • Popularity/Availability: Favored by those who prefer less intense blue cheeses; widely available
  44. Leicester (England)

    • Taste: Mild, crumbly, slightly sweet
    • Origin/History: Known for its vibrant orange color, which comes from the addition of annatto
    • Popularity/Availability: Common in the UK; available internationally in specialty shops
  45. Idiazabal (Spain)

    • Taste: Nutty, smoky, firm
    • Origin/History: Traditionally made by Basque shepherds from the milk of the Latxa sheep
    • Popularity/Availability: Gaining popularity for its distinctive flavor; available in gourmet cheese outlets
  46. Colby (USA)

    • Taste: Mild, creamy
    • Origin/History: Developed in Colby, Wisconsin, in the late 19th century as a variant of Cheddar
    • Popularity/Availability: Popular in the United States; available in many supermarkets
  47. Gloucester (England)

    • Taste: Mild, rich, buttery
    • Origin/History: There are two types, Single and Double Gloucester, the latter being richer
    • Popularity/Availability: Traditional English cheese; available in the UK and specialty stores internationally
  48. Gruyère (Switzerland)

    • Taste: Sweet but slightly salty, creamy yet firm
    • Origin/History: Named after the town of Gruyères in Switzerland
    • Popularity/Availability: Essential in fondue; available worldwide
  49. Montasio (Italy)

    • Taste: Mild to sharp, depending on age
    • Origin/History: From the Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto regions; has a PDO status
    • Popularity/Availability: Used in traditional Italian dishes; available in specialty cheese shops
  50. Brin d’Amour (France)

    • Taste: Herbaceous, tangy, covered in a crust of herbs
    • Origin/History: From Corsica, also known as Fleur du Maquis
    • Popularity/Availability: Specialty cheese; available in select cheese shops internationally