Top 5 Must-Try Cheese Varieties from Europe

RRegina September 18, 2023 10:16 PM

Cheese is as integral to Europe as its rich history and stunning landscapes. With each region boasting its unique variety, the sheer diversity of European cheeses is awe-inspiring. In this guide, let's explore the top 5 must-try cheese varieties from Europe that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Europe's finest cheeses

The tradition of cheese-making has been honed over centuries in Europe. The result is a mind-boggling array of cheeses, each with its own unique flavor, texture, and aroma. Here are five unmissable cheeses you must try.

  1. Roquefort (France): One of the world's oldest known cheeses, Roquefort, hails from southern France. Made from sheep's milk, this blue cheese is rich, creamy, and has a sharp, tangy flavor. Its distinctive blue veins are a result of the Penicillium roqueforti fungus.

  2. Manchego (Spain): Manchego is a delicious Spanish cheese made from the milk of Manchega sheep. It has a firm and compact consistency, with a buttery texture. Its flavor is well developed, but not too strong, slightly salty but not too much.

  3. Gorgonzola (Italy): Another superb blue cheese on our list, Gorgonzola, is creamy, with a distinct 'bite' from its blue veins. It's traditionally made from unskimmed cow’s milk and has a rich, earthy flavor.

  4. Cheddar (England): Originating from the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England, Cheddar cheese is now produced worldwide. However, the original European style has a flavor and quality all its own. Matured for up to 15 months, it has a rich, nutty flavor and a slightly crumbly texture.

  5. Gouda (Netherlands): Gouda is one of the most popular cheeses worldwide. The Dutch cheese is known for its rich, unique flavor and smooth texture. It comes in varieties ranging from young and mild to old and tangy.

A cheese tasting tour through Europe

If you're planning on exploring Europe's cheese heritage, here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • Explore local markets: The best way to discover age-old European cheeses is by visiting the local markets. You can sample and choose from a wide variety.

  • Pair with wine: Cheese and wine are a match made in culinary heaven. Do try out local wine and cheese pairings.

  • Take a cheese tour: Many regions in Europe offer cheese tours that take you to local dairies and cheese-making facilities. You can learn about the process first-hand and of course, sample some delicious cheeses.

So, the next time you're in Europe, make sure to indulge in its rich cheese culture. The flavors, textures, and varieties are truly a gourmet's paradise.

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