If it ain’t broke, leave the cheese alone! Gouda is still made according to an 800-year-old recipe. First mentioned in 1184 in the Netherlands, this just might be the oldest cheese recipe still in production.
With its mild cow’s milk notes and hints of butterscotch, Gouda is so popular
it accounts for half of the 800 million kilos of cheese made annually in Holland.
So stellar is Parmigiano Reggiano’s reputation, it was blasted into outer space! Both the U.S. and Russian space programs treated their astronauts to the hard-cured, intensely umami cheese. Closer to home, Parmigiano Reggiano holds a zealously protected designation much like a fine wine.
Savour the intense butter and hay notes and give this Parm your seal of approval!
Sometimes it takes a scientist to get to delicious! Not all elite cheeses were made serendipitously by forgetful milkmaids.
The origin of Jarlsberg doesn’t sound romantic, but the results are sublime. Norwegian Professor Ole Martin Ystgaard laboured 10 years at the Agricultural University of Norway to perfect the creamy, slightly sweet, nutty cheese in 1956. Today, Jarlsberg cheese remains one of Norway’s most closely guarded secrets. Its popularity drove native firms to expand beyond borders, making Jarlsberg from Ireland a direct offshoot of the legacy.
Beating 3,667 contenders, Gruyère is dubbed the Big Cheese! Don’t let it sway the way you vote here, but at the 2020 World Championship Cheese Contest in Wisconsin, a Swiss Gruyère triumphed over cheeses from 26 nations to take the title of World Champion.
No small feat. It took months of ripening in a mountain cave to produce its pleasingly nutty-sweet character and sophisticated flavour.
If one cheese is good, two is even better? Master cheese-makers at a German company invented Cambozola in the 1970s. Yes, its birth only dates from the disco era. But may the mirror ball ever sparkle!
This magnificent soft cheese is a heavenly marriage of triple-cream French Camembert and bold blue Italian Gorgonzola.
Old Welsh traditions get a reboot! Dairy farmers in North Wales surveyed their lush pastures and thought Welsh cheeses must take their rightful place with the best in the world. In 2001, Snowdonia unveiled its luxury cheddars, now counting avid fans in more than 13 countries.
The cheesery prides itself on beautiful flavours like Green Thunder, a mature cheddar with savoury roasted garlic with aromatic garden herbs. Tradition with a twist!
Riddle me this! What’s round, “sharp” and soft, but also crunchy? Cheese balls! Their mad textures sound like a funny mystery. But spot a roly-poly orb of soft cheese and sharp cheddar with a crunchy nut coating and you know the party’s started!
Early tavern keepers blended cheeses and cream as flavourful snacks to pump beer sales, seeding the idea for modern cheese balls. Their tasty charms first hit big in 1950s entertaining and they’ve rolled out the fun onto cheese boards ever since.
Cheese so good that it staved off poverty. Fading funds threatened to close Quebec’s Oka Abbey in 1893. The Trappist order in France sends a superhero of sorts: Brother Alphonse Juin comes to Canada with, yes, a cheese recipe to save the day! He tweaks an old French fromage into a new wonder, Oka.
This cheese champion touts a creamy, nutty flavour with a subtle taste of butter. The rest is history!
Danish blue is a sassy new kid on the block! In a world full of old cheeses, this bright young thing was invented in the 1920s. The flapper-era creation is salty and piquant with a milder “bite” than full-strength blues.
The creamy, soft newbie has become a modern classic. Denmark now exports about $180 million of it every year to points over the globe.
Stilton is the aristocrat of British cheeses. Its upper-crust rep arises from lore that a pound cost double a farm worker’s daily wage in the 1700s. It’s only fitting that its refined yet earthy allure, pungent blue veins and salty finish go so well with fancy tipples like port.
One of only a dozen British cheeses with protected status on where and how it’s made, creamy-crumbly Stilton is in a class by itself.
Could you eat 10 kilos, or 22 pounds, of one cheese in a year? That’s how much feta the average Greek tucks into annually. The salty cheese made from sheep’s or goat’s milk is hands down their best loved. Exports to Canada are also rising rapidly. It’s no wonder. What would Greek salad be without it?
This ancient food dates back some 3,000 years, right to when the OG Olympics began. Perhaps some early-day athletes were fuelled by this briny delicacy?
Is halloumi the Houdini of cheeses? It’s surely magic that stops this salty, chewy cheese from dripping through a flaming grill or puddling into a hot mess in a pan. Nope. Ingenious villagers in Cyprus long ago unlocked the secret to twice-cooking curds to guard against melting.
Hey, don’t argue with 1,500 years of cheese smarts, just enjoy how it browns and crisps on the outside while staying in a luscious warm slab.