Why do we love cheese so much? With different techniques,
milks, and types, here’s what cheese looks
like around the world. Mozzarella originated in southern Italy, and legend says it was created by mistake when cheese curds accidentally
fell into hot water. Mozzarella is commonly
used on pizza or in salads, or, as you may know, mozzarella sticks. Although it can be made from any milk, in Italy, it is traditionally produced from the milk of the
Italian water buffalo. It’s spongy, soft, and moist. Caseificio La Fattoria in Battipaglia, in the Campania region of southern Italy, makes over 9 tons of
fresh mozzarella per day. Their staple creation is Zizzona, which is a huge mozzarella ball that can weigh up to 88 pounds. Another great cheese from Italy is the white and blue marbled gorgonzola. There are only 29 dairies in the world certified to produce this cheese. Close to 5 million wheels
are produced each year, and the production takes
place in the Italian regions of Piedmont and Lombardy. When young, it is soft and creamy, but the texture is much
stronger when it’s matured. Gorgonzola is one of the world’s
oldest blue-veined cheeses and is made exclusively with cow’s milk. It can be paired with grapes,
honey, and pistachios. Paneer is the common cheese used throughout the Indian subcontinent. Like cottage cheese, paneer is not aged and is made with milk curds. It is prepared by adding food
acids such as lemon juice, yogurt, or vinegar to hot milk. The curds are separated from the whey and drained in a muslin or cheesecloth so that excess water can be pressed out and paneer can be produced. Paneer is used in many Indian cuisines, like paneer tikka masala. Cheddar cheese dates back
to the late 12th century in the caves found at
the edge of the village in the Cheddar Gorge. According to a myth, a
milkmaid forgot a pail of milk in one of the caves,
and when she returned, the milk had turned hard. Cheddar cheese then became
so loved by English monarchs that records show King Henry II purchasing 10,240 pounds
of cheddar in 1170. This crumbly cheese is called ayibe. The mild Ethiopian cheese
is traditionally served with spicy dishes to help ease the heat. Halloumi cheese originated on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Traditionally, it was made
from sheep and goat milk, but cow’s milk is now used as well. Halloumi is white and has a salty flavor and is often served grilled or fried because of its high melting point. Oli Baba’s in London’s Camden Market sells deep-fried halloumi cheese fries covered in different sauces and spices. From the region of Samegrelo, Georgia’s sulguni cheese is
made from pasteurized cow’s, goat’s, and water buffalo’s milk. The brined cheese is
often served in wedges. It’s also used in one of Georgia’s
staple dishes, khachapuri. Gruyère cheese is named
after its birthplace, the town of Gruyères in Switzerland. It’s a type of Swiss cheese
made from cow’s milk. Gruyère is a hard cheese that melts well and is often used for fondue. Greece’s favorite cheese is called feta. According to Greek mythology,
the Cyclops Polyphemus was the first to prepare cheese. He transported milk that
he collected from his sheep in bags made of animal stomachs. It wasn’t long until he
realized the milk had curdled and had taken on a solid form. The white, curdled, crumbly
cheese known as feta is made from sheep and
goat’s milk or a mix of both. It’s commonly used in salads, pastries, and served alone on platters. Havarti was created in the mid-1800s by a Danish woman named Hanne Nielsen. She washed curds in fresh spring water, then pressed them into cheese
molds and drained them, which created a soft, creamy cheese. She named it after her
farm, Havarthigaard. Cotija is named after the town Cotija in the Mexican state of Michoacán. The hard, crumbly cheese is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. It’s salty and is commonly
grated over salads, tacos, tostadas, and their traditional
Mexican corn dish, elote. Oaxaca cheese, more
commonly known as quesillo, is a white, semihard, stretchy cheese. It’s named after its birthplace,
Oaxaca, a state in Mexico. During production, it is
stretched into long ribbons and rolled into a ball. It’s commonly used in
quesadillas and empanadas. Paški sir is a hard, aged cheese from the Croatian island of Pag. It’s produced from Paška ovca, a unique breed of small sheep. These sheep produce very salty milk, and not much of it at all. For this reason, at least 16 sheep are needed to produce
just one wheel of cheese. Paški sir is best served
with wildflower honey or fresh fruits. Leipäjuusto, also known as
juustoleipä, is a Finnish cheese. In English, it’s also known
as Finnish squeaky cheese. It’s made with cow’s,
goat’s, or reindeer’s milk. This bread cheese can be
grilled and served hot or cold. Some even have it soaked in their coffee. In the province of North
Holland is the town called Edam, where this cheese was born. Edam is a semihard cheese
traditionally sold in spheres. The insides are yellow and the outside is covered with a red paraffin wax. It ages well and does not spoil quickly. Instead, it hardens, making
it edible for a long time. This hard cheese is a Spanish favorite. Manchego is produced in the
La Mancha region of Spain and made from unpasteurized sheep’s milk. Fresh manchego can be aged for
a minimum of only two weeks, whereas some manchego mature
for more than one year. The rind usually has a basket-weave
pattern pressed onto it. Jarlsberg cheese originated in Norway. Buttery cheese is based on a secret Norwegian recipe from 1956. It resembles a Swiss Emmental
with distinctive holes and has a nutty flavor. It’s a versatile cheese that
can be eaten on sandwiches or even melted for fondue. Nabulsi is salty white cheese with tiny black nigella seeds. It has a slightly spicy taste. Nabulsi originated from the
town of Nablus in Palestine, but it is now made
throughout the Middle East. It’s usually eaten fresh as a table cheese or it can be fried in oil. One dish you won’t miss it in is kanafeh, a staple Palestinian dessert. Ezine is a staple in Turkey. It’s made from pasteurized
goat, sheep, and cow’s milk and ages anywhere between
three and six months. This factory in the town of Ezine pasteurizes 60 tons of milk per day. Ezine cheese can be eaten with a traditional Turkish breakfast. In Puerto Rico, you can
find queso del país, sometimes referred to as queso blanco. The Indulac factory in San
Juan produces as many as 10,000 blocks of queso del país per week. The cheese can be found on store shelves throughout the island. Although Muenster cheese is American-made, it’s an imitation of
France’s Munster cheese. The smooth, yellow
cheese has an orange rind and is made from pasteurized cow’s milk. Its texture makes it good for melting, and it’s used on sandwiches, burgers, and macaroni and cheese. France’s Roquefort cheese is known to be one of the world’s best blue cheeses. It’s made from sheep milk
and ages up to five months. It’s moist and breaks
into little pieces easily and is commonly used in
salads and dressings. Which cheeses are your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.