European Cheese

30 European Cheeses to Try (Or not)

Do as the Europeans do and eat cheese. Have you tried any of these European cheeses?


1) Afuega’l Pitu, Spain

Its name is derived from the local  dialect and means “choking cake”, because its unusual texture can make it stick to the palate.

2) Almnäs Tegel, Sweden

Its distinctive “slab” shape is an homage to the bricks used to build the manor house on the farm where it was first made. As the bricks were left to dry in the sun, local children played on them, starting an association which saw the shape become a symbol for the farm.

3) Beemster, Netherlands

Its specific taste is a consequence of the mineral-rich farmland of the Beemster polder, drained by dyke and windmill in the early 1600s.

4) Caciocavallo Podolico, Italy

Produced from a rare breed of cow which supplies milk only during May and June. Caciocavallo literally means ‘horse cheese’.

6) Cabrales, Spain

A blue cheese made from the milk of cows from the Asturias region. It is left to age in natural caves in the area’s limestone mountains.

7) Camembert, France

A common addition to French troops’ ration packs during the First World War, securing the cheese’s place in the country’s culture.

8) Casu marzu, Italy

Translates as “rotten cheese”. A traditional cheese from Sardinia notable for containing live maggots.

9) Edam, Netherlands

Known for its hard wax coating, this made it a useful food for German soldiers in the trenches in the First World War, and it is mentioned in the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, where the main character considers the red covering to be a sign of death.

10) Emmental, Switzerland

Its characteristic holes are caused not by mice, but by the presence of tiny bits of hay present in the milk, scientists believe.

11) Epoisses de Bourgogne, France

A cheese so smelly it is said to have once been banned from public transport.

12) Feta, Greece

The word comes from the word for “slice”.

13) Fynbo, Denmark

Named after the island of Fyn, it gets a mention in Monty Python’s cheese shop sketch.

14) Geitost, Norway

A brown cheese, with sweet caramel-like flavour which, when sliced open, looks like a bar of chocolate.

15) Gorgonzola, Italy

Named for the Italian town (now effectively part of Milan) where it has been produced for centuries.

16) Gubbeen, Ireland

Its name is an Anglicization of “Gobín” which means a small mouthful.

17) Halloumi, Cyprus

Its high melting point means it can easily be fried or grilled.

18) Lüneberg, Austria

Made in the mountains of western Austria. In taste, it is said to be half way between Emmental and Limburger.

19) Maroilles, France

First made by monks in northern France more than a thousand years ago, it became a favourite of several kings.

20) Milbenkäse, Germany

Made from allowing quark to sit among thousands of dust mites. These excrete an enzyme which ripens the cheese.

21) Moose cheese, Sweden

Made from moose milk. A farm in the Bjurholm region – where moose are common – is thought to be the world’s only producer.

22) Morbier, France

Visually distinguishable from other cheeses thanks to the fine black layer running horizontally through it. Traditionally, the cheese consists of a layer of morning milk and then a layer of evening milk, and the line was originally ash, spread over the lower layer to protect it. It now tends to be made from a single milking and the ash line has been replaced by vegetable dye.

23) Mozzarella, Italy

Traditionally made from Italian buffalo milk. Fresh mozzarella is usually served the day after it is made, though can be kept in brine for longer. A pizza topping favorite.

24) Pag, Croatia

Made on the island of Pag, in the Adriatic. Until the early 20th century, islanders milked their sheep and made the cheese in characteristic dry stone huts, built on rocky hills above the pastures

25) Parenica, Slovakia

Takes its name from the word for “steaming”, the process used in its production. It is made into strips, which are then woven into snail-like spirals

26) Parmigiano Reggiano, Italy

Strict rules stipulate a minimum of 12 months’ aging, although the cheese can improve for up to 3 years

27) Pont l’Eveque, France

Possibly the oldest Norman cheese still in production and an absolute stinker. Its smell has been described as “fecal”.

28) Pule, Serbia

Made from the milk of donkeys in a Serbian nature reserve, it has been described as the world’s most expensive cheese, at up to 1,000 euros per kilogram.

29) Requeijão, Portugal

A loose cheese, used to make spreads. Its consistency varies from creamy solid, to liquid.

30) Cheddar, UK

Is a hard, off-white, sometimes sharp-tasting natural cheese, originating in the British village of Cheddar in Somerset.

Have I missed your favorite from the list?


Katie Joy
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