Top 10 Iconic Cheeses

Script Written by George Cimurt. Say cheese! Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 cheeses.For this list, we’re looking at the top cheeses in the world based on popularity, versatility, quality, and, of course, taste. Special thanks to our users Lucy DeHaan, Henners250, ZennorTale and radon548 for submitting the idea on our Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Iconic Cheeses


Say cheese! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 cheeses.

For this list, we’re looking at the top cheeses in the world based on popularity, versatility, quality, and, of course, taste.

#10: Roquefort

One of the world’s most popular forms of blue cheese, this sharp cheese is aged in the caves of Roquefort, France—and in case you’re wondering, the veins of blue and green you see are in fact mold. The process of making this unique cheese is highly regulated, with only the finest sheep’s milk used within the Roquefort region of France. With a moist and crumbly texture, it is claimed that thischeese was discovered back in the first century, and it’s only gotten more widespread since.

#9: Chèvre [aka Goat cheese]

You can probably guess where the milk used to make this cheese comes from, as the name comes from the French word for goat. Generally served fresh and known for its tart, lemony flavor and chalky aftertaste, this cheese can commonly be found flavored with herbs, spices, and garlic in your local supermarket. Made all over the world in countries from Norway to China to Venezuela, it is thought to be one of the earliest-made dairy products by human civilization, the best known coming from none other than France.

#8: Gruyère

Named after a small town in Switzerland, this hard yellow cheese is a mixture of sweet and salty and is extremely versatile, good for anything from sandwiches to fondues and known as one of the best for cooking and baking. Although the taste can shift rapidly from creamy and nutty to grainy and strong depending on the age, Gruyère is assertive but not overpoweringly so. It has also won the international title of best cheese at the World Cheese Awards a record four times.

#7: Emmental

Grouped under the generic name of Swiss cheese, this cheese originated in (you guessed it) Switzerland and is made from the milk of cows that are allowed to graze up the Swiss Alps. With distinctive holes that are created by bubbles of carbon dioxide gas, which were, until recently considered imperfections, it is an award-winner and has earned a place in the Historic Museum in Bern. More savory than sharp, it is created with three kinds of bacteria and goes great with pizza, pasta, and prosciutto.

#6: Feta

It’s all Greek to us! This crumbly, brined cheese is popular in Greece but has spread to the rest of the world with its creamy combination of sweet and salty, tangy and sour. Generally made from sheep’s milk, or a combination of sheep and goat, it can be served raw or used in cooking and grilling. Although areas around the Mediterranean and Black Sea have similar types of cheese, only thecheese produced traditionally in designated areas of Greece with specific ingredients may legally bear the name “feta.”

#5: Gouda

You won’t believe how gouda this cheese is until you’ve tried some! Named after a city in the Netherlands, this semi-hard yellow cheese can vary in taste quite a bit by age, mild when young and assertive when older. As it ages, the cheese loses moisture and develops crystals, which gives it a crunchy texture and tangy flavor. Also depending on the age, this cheese can go well with beer, fruity white wines, and even deeply flavored red wines.

#4: Mozzarella

Traditionally, this mild cheese originates from Italy and is made from the milk of water buffalo. Prized for its flavor, semi-soft texture, and adaptable nature, the fresher this cheese is, the better, although it can also be packed in brine to add a stronger zest. With a high moisture content, it’s conventionally made by heating curds in warm water and then stretching them by hand before rolling them into moist balls. Also thanks to this delicious cheese, we now have awesome cheeses like burrata, a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream.

#3: Parmesan / Parmigiano-Reggiano

Although most might not be aware of it, there is a significant difference between the two; both hard and grated cheeses sold under the name parmesan are imitations of the true product, which can legally only be produced in Parma, Reggio Emilia, Bologna, Modena and Mantova regions of Italy. Aged between one to three years, it has a hard and crumbly texture that is known for its strong, nutty flavor. Commonly used as a condiment or garnish to other foods, like pasta, vegans can enjoy the same taste with soy-based alternatives.

#2: Brie

Rich, buttery, and spreadable, it has been nicknamed the “Queen of Cheeses.” Compared by some to Camembert, this soft cheese originated in France and is produced in big wheels. With a pale coloring and a rind of mold, it may not look like much, but it contains protein and vitamins B2 and B12 aplenty. Whether it’s smoked, salted, or baked, or dipped in French coffee, served with cranberry sauce, or topped with fruit and nuts, you can’t go wrong—the taste is heavenly.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions:
- Halloumi
- Mascarpone
- Provolone
- Havarti
- Ricotta

#1: Cheddar

Called the world’s most popular cheese, this cheese owes its existence to Somerset, England and 19th century dairyman Joseph Harding, who has been called “the father of cheddar cheese.” Made all over the world and loved for its typically pungent and earthy flavor, it has been served by presidents, featured in pop culture, and even produced in record-breaking amounts; in 1989, members of the Federation of American Cheese-makers created a block of it weighing almost 57 thousand pounds! Truly, there is nothing quite like cheddar!

Do you agree with our list? Which cheeses do you love the most? For more informative top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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