The Top 10 Most Popular Cheeses

Baked Camenbert in a box

I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like cheese. Here are the top 10 most popular kinds of cheese, from all over the world.

I love cheese; my friend once said that I must have been a mouse in a previous life, as I was always nibbling bits of cheese. (Mice don’t actually like cheese so maybe not.) There are so many wonderful cheeses produced around the world, with all different textures, flavours, and aromas. And they can be made from various kinds of milk, like goat and sheep’s milk.

Cheese can be used in cooking, melted on toast for a tasty snack, or arranged on a board with grapes and crackers to serve with wine to your guests. You will be spoiled for choice with the variety of cheeses available. So without further ado, let’s delve into the top 10 kinds of cheese and find out more about them.


This cheese is perhaps one of the most popular here in England. The flavour varies from mild and milky to intensely strong and almost sharp in flavour. Good, mature cheddar is very crumbly, so it’s best grated rather than attempting to slice it. Cheddar is originally from the county of Somerset, in England’s west country and the name comes from the method used to make the cheese – cheddaring – which is a curdling process. The milk is cooked first, then milled to form very small pieces. It is then pressed to form a block.

Cheddar can be left to mature for up to 5 years. Some cheddar is matured underground, in local caves. Cheddar can be used in almost any dish where cheese is called for. It’s as versatile as it is delicious.

Cheddar cheese and crackers


This is a mild, pure white cheese, made with a blend of goat’s and sheep’s milk, originating from Greece. Feta is matured for just 3 months. The fresh curds are brined (soaked in salt water) and then packaged with some water to keep them soft and fresh. Feta is crumbly in texture and has a salty taste from the brine. Danish feta is also available, but it’s milder and creamier than the Greek version and isn’t matured for as long. Feta is good in salads and can also be marinated before serving.

Feta cheese

Parmigiano Reggiano

More commonly known as Parmesan, this is one of Italy’s most famous cheeses. It has been made in Italy for over 900 years, and the manufacturing process has hardly changed at all in that time. It starts off with skimmed cow’s milk, which has bacteria added to it. Then after heating, rennet is added to curdle the milk. It’s strained through muslin and then placed in cheese moulds known as wheels.

The wheels are immersed in brine for 3 weeks, then stored in special ageing rooms, where the wheels are cleaned and turned every 7 – 10 days. The cheeses can stay in this room for anywhere between 1 and 3 years – or longer. This brining and ageing process is what gives Parmesan its distinctive salty flavour and crumbly texture.

Parmesan is an integral ingredient in Italian cooking, and almost any pasta dish can be enhanced with some freshly grated Parmesan sprinkled on top.

Grated Parmesan


This creamy, nutty and slightly sweet Swiss cheese takes its name from the town of Gruyeres in Fribourg. Gruyere is made from cow’s milk and matured for around 12 months. It melts beautifully, making it ideal for gratins and fondues. It’s best to remove the rind before eating.

Gruyere cheese


This mild, white, milky cheese was originally made with milk from the Italian Water Buffalo. Making mozzarella is a lengthy process. The curds are gently heated in warm water, then they have to be stretched and massaged until they’re silky-smooth. The cheese is then rolled into balls. Mozzarella doesn’t need to be matured, it’s best eaten as fresh as possible.

It’s said that mozzarella is one of the most healthy cheeses as it’s low in fat and salt. Most mozzarella available in our supermarkets is made from cow’s milk, but buffalo mozzarella is available, although at a higher price than the cow’s milk version. Either one is perfect for pizza and for topping pasta bakes.

Mozzarella and tomatoes


This firm, white cheese is produced in Cyprus; it was originally made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk, but most of the halloumi we buy in the shops is made from cow’s milk. It’s an unripened, brined cheese, giving it a salty taste. One of the main benefits of halloumi is that it can be baked or fried, and it won’t melt. Halloumi is often used in place of a beef burger for vegetarians.

Fried halloumi on salad

Goat Cheese

Originating from the Mediterranean and the middle east, this cheese is made from the milk of the domesticated goat and varies from soft and spreadable varieties to firm and crumbly logs or blocks. In France, it’s known as chevre. There are also goat milk versions of brie and feta. The same process is used in making goat cheese as for making cheese from cow’s milk. But goat cheese has advantages over cow’s milk cheeses. It has more nutrients, is lower in fat and can be tolerated by those who have an allergy to cow’s milk.

Goat cheeses


This ripened cheese dates back to the 1800s and is named after the village of Camembert in Normandy, France, where it was first made. Cow’s milk curds are shaped into rounds, bacteria are added to give the soft crust typical of ripened cheeses, and then it’s left to ripen for 6 – 8 weeks. The taste gets stronger as it matures.

Camembert has been compared to brie, but although similar, there are notable differences. Camembert has a much lower butterfat content, so could be considered healthier than brie. My favourite way to eat camembert is to bake it whole and dip cooked new potatoes or chunks of bread into the molten mass at the centre. (See the image at the top of the page.)



This has been called the king of cheeses. It has a tangy, robust flavour and is a pale yellow colour shot through with blue ‘veins.’ Originally made from pasteurised cow’s milk in Hartington, Derbyshire, and dating back to 1900, the cheese can now only be made in three British counties; Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, and Derbyshire, using only locally-produced milk.

The blue veins are created by pushing stainless steel needles into the whole cheese, allowing air inside. Then a special bacteria called penicillium roqueforti is added, giving the cheese its distinctive aroma and taste.

Stilton is matured for 9 – 12 weeks. It has a unique flavour and is often used in cooking. There are many varieties of blue cheese available but stilton remains the most popular in England. It’s good on crackers or melted over a steak.

Stilton blue cheese


This is made in Holland from cow’s milk and is sweet and creamy in flavour. It’s named after the town of Gouda, where people still come to have their cheeses weighed and sold at the local cheese market. Gouda varies in flavour and texture, depending on how long it’s been matured. Ageing can take anywhere from a few weeks to 7 years. The longer it’s aged, the stronger the taste becomes.

Aged gouda has been compared to Italian Parmesan in flavour and texture. It’s also available in a smoked variety. Gouda melts very well, so can be used in pasta bakes, toasted sandwiches or fondue. It has an attractive pale golden colour so makes a great addition to a cheese board.


I hope that you enjoyed reading about some of the different kinds of cheese available. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Now that you know more about cheese find some delicious recipes on what to cook with cheese.

6 thoughts on “The Top 10 Most Popular Cheeses”

  1. Cheese is a favorite add-on around the world. 

    Many have their own favorites and they find their ways to travel around. 

    I always thought European love cheese and it is also the Americans who enjoy them.

    This blog is a great collection of cheese with their origin and how they are made. It’s the knowledge that helps you when you eat them to enjoy them better. Maybe that is me!

    I am a fan of your home cooking page.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    • Thanks Anusuya, I am honoured to have you as a fan of my website! I think you’re right, having knowledge of the foods you eat is very helpful, and it can make you a better cook as well. We have many delicious cheeses here in England, I love them all. I am working on my next post, which will be about herbs and spices so look out for it!

  2. Hello there, just a fellow cheese lover dropping by. I’m the same as you, I adore almost any type of cheese, although I’m not quite able to jump on-board with the blue-cheeses of the world just yet.

    A couple of my favourites from this list are Gruyere and Mozzarella and I’m increasingly becoming a ‘super-fan’ of Halloumi. And let’s not forget the power of Parmesan when this little gem is added to any pasta dish, the enhancements are astronomical.

    Great post, I’m glad I stumbled onto this today.

    • Hi Danny, thanks for stopping by. I love blue cheese, maybe you could try something like cambozola or St. Agur, which are mild and creamy. You could also try using blue cheese in a pasta sauce, it might convert you. I have a recipe for penne with mushrooms and gorgonzola on my website, I think it’s in quick and easy pasta recipes. Go and check it out. If you try it, let me know what you think.

      Parmesan is a vital ingredient, I am never without a wedge of it in the fridge. Any pasta dish can be enhanced with a grating of fresh Parmesan. When I was a child, fresh Parmesan wasn’t available so we had a tub of the dried stuff. When I tried the real thing, the tub got thrown out and I haven’t used it since. 

      Without cheese food would be a bit dull, in my opinion. Can you imagine pizza without the stretchy mozzarella? Perish the thought!

  3. Wow, thank you very much for this valuable detailed interesting post about cheeses. I really like to eat cheese. I love to eat mozzarella. But I have never made goat cheese. I will definitely try that too. Also, I was surprised to hear that Stilon cheese goes back to 1900. Keep posting like this.

    • Hello again Pasindu, I’m glad you learned something new and enjoyed the article. In Britain we have many kinds of cheese with a long history. And some unusual names, like Cornish Yarg, Long Clawson, Stinking Bishop, and Renegade Monk! If I live to be 200 years old I would never have time to try them all. 

      I too love mozzarella, especially on pizza. Goat cheese can be very strongly flavoured and pungent, try the soft, mild cheese which comes in a log shape. I make it into tartlets with a red onion marmalade in the base and a thick slice of the cheese in the centre. Delicious. Come back soon, I’m going to write about herbs and spices next


Leave a Comment