Join us on a journey to a land where the cheeseboards are never boring. Indeed, the quality of cheeses produced in the following five European countries is considered to be a cut above the rest.
Bienvenue en France! Many gourmet travelers insist this beautiful country is the most delicious destination for cheese. With more than 400 different types of cheese, France certainly is home to the world’s biggest and broadest selection.
Among the many delectable places to visit for fromage fanatics are the Jura region in the east where nutty and rich Comte is made (the same way as it has been since the 1300s), and the Alps where the yums come in the form of Reblochon, Beaufort, Tomme de Savoie, and more. If you melt at the thought of a creamy Camembert, then Normandy in northwest France is the place to go for a piece of the edible action.
And if you’re planning to spread out across Europe in search of more cheese, France makes a smart base. It shares a border with other super cheesy countries, including Switzerland, Italy, and Spain. Plus, it’s just a short train ride, flight, or ferry crossing from England too.
For travelers with a fondue attitude who don’t mind a cheese with a few holes in it, Switzerland is an ideal destination. After you’ve worked up an appetite with a daring ski on the slopes, head off-piste to the dairies of Gruyere and Emmental to discover two of Europe’s most flavorsome cheeses.
Similar to France, Italy produces a vast range of cheeses with every region and nearly every town or village offering the world its own artisanal take on how formaggio ought to taste.
For a generously grated portion of what’s possibly the most preferred cheese on the planet, partake in a tour of Parma. When you do, be sure to try the city’s famed prosciutto and to make time to visit neighboring cities Bologna and Modena – both for their amazing food (Bologna for its renowned ragu, pasta, and cured meats; Modena mostly for its balsamico). Feeling blue? Make for the metro area of Milan to visit the town of Gorgonzola, where the namesake blue cheese is produced. Go south to Campania in the countryside around Naples and the Amalfi Coast for fresh mozzarella di bufala.
Savvy travelers know there’s more to Spanish cheese than Manchego (from the region of La Mancha). For instance, Cabralas is an especially pungent sheep and goat milk blue cheese that’s aged in caves in the rural northern region of Asturias. It’s been known to drive turophiles (that’s a fancy word for “cheese lovers”) wild with its distinctive flavor. The Basque Country in the northeast near the border with France is another region exalted for its excellent cheeses made in traditional methods – not to mention the area’s disproportionate number of Michelin-starred restaurants and exceptional tapas bars.
There’s probably nowhere better than the village of Cheddar for a bite of Britain’s best-beloved cheese! Yep, Cheddar (the cheese) comes from Cheddar (the village), which is located in the county of Somerset in the southwest of England. Cheddar is by far the United Kingdom’s most recognized cheese, but hardly the only one.
Beyond southwestern England, scrumptious cheeses are produced across the whole of the UK. There’s Stilton in the northern counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Nottinghamshire, plus Caerphilly from southern Wales, and many others.
Did we forget Feta? Leave out Limburger? Get going without our Gouda? Sorry! If we failed to mention your favorite cheese or cheese-producing corner of Europe, please share a slice of your foodie knowledge with us in the comments section below.