Around the World in 50 Types of Cheese

Cheese is a popular comfort food and an essential ingredient in many dishes around the world. From hard cheeses like asiago to softer cheeses like brie, there are so many different cheeses that nearly everyone can find one that they enjoy. Which of these cheeses around the world is your favorite?

How To Cook Recipes researched popular international cheeses to compile the following graphic full of delicious cheeses from around the world.

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Around the World in 50 Types of Cheese

Popular Cheeses Around the World

Cheeses serve many purposes in the culinary world. Some are eaten with crackers or a baguette as a snack, while others work well in cooked dishes like macaroni and cheese. Certain types of cheese, like ayibe and paneer, are traditionally eaten with spicy dishes.

One of the most popular cheeses in the world is cheddar cheese. It’s a relatively hard cheese that can be off-white or orange in color. It originated in the village of Cheddar in the U.K. county of Somerset. It has been produced since at least the 12th century.

Mozzarella, an Italian cheese, is another incredibly popular cheese. It’s a semi-soft cheese traditionally made from the milk of Italian Mediterranean buffalo. It has a high moisture content and is typically served fresh within a day of making it, though it can be kept longer in a brine. Low-moisture mozzarella can generally be refrigerated for a month or more.

Brie is also a very common cheese from around the world. It’s named after Brie, which is a region of France where the cheese was first produced. It’s made from cow’s milk and has a white mold rind.

Unusual Cheeses From Around the World

One of the most interesting cheeses is casu marzu. This cheese, which originated in the island of Sardinia in Italy, contains live fly larvae. The flies’ digestive system breaks down the cheese to make it very soft. Because the cheese contains live maggots, it has been deemed the world’s most dangerous cheese by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Milbenkäse, known as “mite cheese” in German, is another unique cheese. This soft cheese is typically seasoned with salt and caraway, then left to ripen in a box with rye flour and cheese mites for several months. The cheese has a zesty aftertaste, and the mites are typically consumed with the cheese.

Cheeses of the World

The following are some of the most popular, unique, and versatile cheeses around the world:

Cheese Name Country Description
Asiago Italy An Alpine cow’s milk cheese that can be smooth or crumbly depending on its age
Ayibe Ethiopia A mild, crumbly fresh cheese that is often served with spicy dishes
Berner Alpkäse Switzerland A hard, spicy, raw milk Alpine cheese that can only be produced from approved farms using milk from cows that are fed on pastures that have not been fertilized artificially
Brie France A soft, surface-ripened cheese made from cow’s milk that has a white mold rind
Camembert France A creamy, surface-ripened cheese with a potent aroma
Casu Marzu Italy This Sardinian sheep’s milk cheese contains live cheese fly larvae. The acid from the larvae’s digestive systems breaks down the cheese.
Cheddar England This popular cheese, which can be either mild or sharp depending on the bitter peptides in the cheese, originated in the village of Cheddar in Somerset.
Chèvre France A goat’s milk cheese that is soft when fresh and hard when aged
Cotija Mexico A firm, salty, non-melting cheese that can be mild or flavorful depending on how long it is aged
Edam Netherlands A semi-hard cheese that gets sharper and firmer as it ages. It was the most popular cheese in the world between the 14th and 18th centuries.
Emmental Switzerland A medium-hard cheese that is aged two to 13 months and dates back to 1293
Feta Greece A brined cheese made of sheep’s milk or a mix of sheep’s and goat’s milk that has a salty, tangy flavor
Gorgonzola Italy A salty blue cheese made from unskimmed cow’s milk that has a soft, crumbly consistency
Gouda Netherlands This sweet and creamy cheese is one of the most popular in the world
Gruyère Switzerland A hard Alpine cheese with a sweet, nutty flavor that is commonly used for baking and melting
Halloumi Cyprus An unripened cheese that is described as “squeaky” with a high melting point, allowing it to be grilled or fried
Harzer Germany A low-fat sour milk cheese that is typically flavored with caraway seeds and has a distinctive smell and flavor
Havarti Denmark A buttery semi-soft cheese that is typically aged for three months
Jarlsberg Norway A mild, semi-soft cow’s milk cheese with a history dating back to the 1850s
Kesong Puti Philippines An unaged, soft cheese with a mild, salty flavor that can be made from the milk of goats, cows, or carabao (water buffalo)
Lighvan Iran A sour sheep’s milk cheese that ripens in brine for three to four months
Limburger Belgium This pungent cheese, known as herve in Belgium, originated in the historical Duchy of Limburg and has been produced since the 15th century.
Manchego Spain This cheese is made from the milk of the Manchega breed of sheep and must be produced in specific regions of the Mancha region of Spain.
Milbenkäse Germany A type of soft cheese that is left to ripen in a box containing rye flour and cheese mites for about three months. The mites are typically consumed with the cheese.
Monterey Jack United States A mild, semi-hard cheese that is commonly marbled with cheddar cheese (cheddar jack), Colby (Colby jack), or chili peppers (pepper jack) to create different variations
Mozzarella Italy This semi-soft cheese is traditionally served fresh, though low-moisture mozzarella can be refrigerated between one and six months
Muenster United States A semi-soft cheese with an orange rind that is thought to be an imitation of washed-rind Munster cheese introduced by German immigrants
Nabulsi Palestine This brined, semi-soft cheese is typically made with either goat’s or sheep’s milk
Neufchâtel France A soft and crumbly cheese that is mold-ripened and has likely been made since the 6th century
Oaxaca Mexico A semi-hard cow’s milk cheese with a consistency similar to mozzarella cheese
Oka Canada A semi-soft washed rind cheese that was originally produced by Trappist monks
Paneer India A non-melting, non-aged soft cheese made by curdling milk with an acid like lemon juice
Panquehue Chile One of the most popular cheeses in Chile, this semi-soft cheese often has chili flakes or chives mixed in with it.
Parmigiano Reggiano Italy A hard, tangy cheese made from cow’s milk that is aged at least 12 months
Paški Sir Croatia Also known as Pag cheese, this hard cheese is made from sheep’s milk and is known for its distinct flavor.
Pecorino Romano Italy A salty, hard cheese made with sheep’s milk that is typically used for grating
Provoleta Argentina This semi-hard cheese is a variant of provolone cheese created by Italian immigrants and is typically served hot.
Provolone Italy A stretched-curd, semi-hard cheese that typically has a sharp flavor
Queijo Minas Brazil A cow’s milk cheese that comes in three varieties: queijos de minas frescal (fresh), meia cura (half-aged), and curado (aged)
Queso Blanco Latin America This popular type of cheese literally means “white cheese” in Spanish and can refer to a number of types of cheeses depending on the region
Queso Paraguay Paraguay A soft and creamy cheese made from whole cow’s milk
Roquefort France A tangy and crumbly blue cheese traditionally made from sheep’s milk in the south of France
Rumi Egypt This is the main hard cheese in Egypt and is known for its pungent smell.
Rushan China This cheese is made by stretching cow’s milk curds into sheets and is then wrapped around bamboo sticks and hung up to dry.
Shanklish Syria and Lebanon This cheese can be made from cow’s or sheep’s milk and is traditionally formed into a ball, which is then covered with za’atar and Aleppo pepper.
Sirene Balkans This brined cheese is popular in southeastern Europe and is commonly used in baking, as a table cheese, and in salads.
Stilton England A crumbly blue cheese that can only be produced in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and Leicestershire
Sulguni Georgia A brined cheese with a sour, salty flavor that has earned it the nickname of “pickle cheese”
Tulum Turkey A traditional goat’s milk cheese that is ripened in a goatskin casing
Wagasi Benin A soft, mild cheese that is traditionally cooked and served in a sauce along with a starch


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This page was last updated by Megan Miller