You can grill it, grate it, melt it or bake it, but whatever you do to cheese it will always be amazing. There aren’t many foods that almost everyone agrees on. Displaying every conceivable taste and texture under the sun, cheese is definitely one of them.
Given how special cheese can be, it’s only right that fans show some proper respect. This means taking some time, packing up your crackers and heading out on a cheesy pilgrimage. To help you to decide where is best to pay homage, we’ve come up with a list of seven spectacular cheese destinations, all with their own distinct history and culture. For the cheesy trip of a lifetime, look no further than this list.
Cheese may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Brazil, but the nation has been making it for centuries. Between beach volleyball and football matches, the farmers of Belo Horizonte have dedicated themselves to creating dozens of different varieties, including the delicious quiejo Minas. A thriving market culture gives travellers a great opportunity to discover unique and unusual varieties, making this a great, if surprising, cheesy destination.
With one of our cheeses recently being named as the best in the world, Britain is right at the pinnacle of dairy excellence. The country is defined by different regional specialties, such as Cornish yarg and Somerset cheddar, and offers a varied patchwork of cheesy deliciousness.
Perhaps taking after their French forebears, Canadian dairy farmers have long been experts in cheese production. The region of Quebec, in particular offers a spectacular array of unique varieties, including the monk-made oka. Canada is also famous for its poutine, which has pungent cheese curds right at its heart.
No cheese list would be complete without mentioning the French. The country is full of distinct varieties that have gone on to become world famous. Normandy camembert, Brie de Meaux and Roquefort-sur-Soulzon are all spectacular examples of cheesy finery. Any trip to a local fromagerie is sure to leave any cheese lover with a smile on their face.
Boasting almost as storied a cheesy history as its neighbour, Italy is a haven for cheese fanatics. With distinctive and wondrous techniques, Italian cheesemongers have perfected the art of Parmigiano, mozzarella and pecorino, leaving any visitor under no illusions that this is a country that loves their dairy.
6. The Netherlands
Cheese artisans have had a home in Holland since the early sixteenth century, so it’s small wonder that the country is today responsible for some of the tastiest varieties on earth. Gouda, edam and the lesser known leyden are all superstars in their own right. Getting the chance to taste them in their homeland is a must for any true cheese connoisseur.
The mountain slopes that define the Swiss countryside have forced farmers to become dairy experts. The result is over 400 varieties of cheese, each with their own distinctive character. From nutty gruyere to mellow emmental, Swiss cheese can be served in several ways, including in a world famous fondue, making this country a great place to see cheese in a completely different way.
The sheer number of types to try makes the prospect of a proper cheese tour unbelievably exciting. Though there’s no chance of making your way through everything a country has to offer, you’d be a fool not to try.