Top 100 Best High-End Cheeses and Online Suppliers
"Nothing says holidays, like a cheese log." - Ellen DeGeneres.
"What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?" - Bertolt Brecht.
"Age is something that doesn't matter, unless you are a cheese." - Luis Buñuel.
"How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?" - Charles de Gaulle.
CHEESE is a food derived from milk that is produced in a wide range of flavors, textures, and forms by coagulation of the milk protein casein. It comprises proteins and fat from milk, usually the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep. During production, the milk is usually acidified, and adding the enzyme rennet causes coagulation. The solids are separated and pressed into final form. Some cheeses have molds on the rind or throughout. Most cheeses melt at cooking temperature.
Hundreds of types of cheese from various countries are produced. Their styles, textures and flavors depend on the origin of the milk (including the animal's diet), whether they have been pasteurized, the butterfat content, the bacteria and mold, the processing, and aging. Herbs, spices, or wood smoke may be used as flavoring agents. The yellow to red color of many cheeses, such as Red Leicester, is produced by adding annatto. Other ingredients may be added to some cheeses, such as black peppers, garlic, chives or cranberries.
For a few cheeses, the milk is curdled by adding acids such as vinegar or lemon juice. Most cheeses are acidified to a lesser degree by bacteria, which turn milk sugars into lactic acid, then the addition of rennet completes the curdling. Vegetarian alternatives to rennet are available; most are produced by fermentation of the fungus Mucor miehei, but others have been extracted from various species of the Cynara thistle family.
Cheese is valued for its portability, long life, and high content of fat, protein, calcium, and phosphorus. Cheese is more compact and has a longer shelf life than milk, although how long a cheese will keep may depend on the type of cheese; labels on packets of cheese often claim that a cheese should be consumed within three to five days of opening. Generally speaking, hard cheeses last longer than soft cheeses, such as Brie or goat's milk cheese. Cheesemakers near a dairy region may benefit from fresher, lower-priced milk, and lower shipping costs. The long storage life of some cheese, especially if it is encased in a protective rind, allows selling when markets are favorable.
A specialist seller of cheese is sometimes known as a cheesemonger. Becoming an expert in this field requires some formal education and years of tasting and hands-on experience, much like becoming an expert in wine or cuisine. The cheesemonger is responsible for all aspects of the cheese inventory: selecting the cheese menu, purchasing, receiving, storage, and ripening.
Cheese News, Reviews & Resources
- 15 Health Benefits of Cheese, According to Science (+8 Delicious Recipes) - Jen Reviews.
- 15 of the World's Most Expensive Cheeses - Mental Floss.
- 20 best cheese recipes - "From Simon Hopkinson’s classic roquefort salad to Meera Sodha’s paneer butter masala, this versatile ingredient is given a starring role."
- 46 ways to use up leftover cheese - "What to do with bits of brie, pieces of parmesan, and all the other odd knobs in your fridge? The preserving professionals from Cornersmith have the answers."
- 50 BEST CHEESE - TheFiftyBest.com.
- 2021 World Cheese Awards - "World Cheese Awards 2021 Results."
- 2022 world's best cheese for is revealed - "When you gather 4,434 cheeses from 42 countries in one room to find out which is best, there's inevitably a sense of excitement in the air. There is, of course, inevitably also a very, very powerful smell. This year's winner, a gruyère from Switzerland, was eventually chosen by a panel of top judges after the field had been whittled down first to 98 'super gold' champions and then to a final 16."
- American cheese: Does it deserve its bad reputation? - "Everything you think you know about American cheese is wrong."
- American cheese is named best in the world - "For the first time ever, a US cheese is named best in the world."
- best & worst health myths & wisdom - "Chocolate doesn’t cause acne - but carrots do help you see in the dark. True or false: cheese gives you bad dreams and oysters are aphrodisiacs? We investigate good, bad and mad health advice."
- 'Blue-brain’ cheese: is this the mouldiest cheese in Britain? - The Guardian.
- British cheese now a 'status symbol' in the US & Japan - The Telegraph.
- Brunello Cucinelli - since 1978. 2-piece steel and buffalo horn cheese cutlery set.
- Casu marzu: The world's 'most dangerous' cheese - "It's the world's 'most dangerous' cheese. Here's what it tastes like."
- Cheddar has conquered the world, but it wasn't produced in its namesake English town for years - "Now, an award-winning dairy is putting Cheddar, England back on the map."
- CHEESE - Wikipedia.
- CHEESE AT AMAZON.COM'S GROCERY & GOURMET FOOD - over 2,000 results as of July 9, 2023.
- CHEESE.COM - "World's Greatest Cheese Resource."
- Cheese Fondue Recipe - "Cheese fondue is a rich and decadent Swiss dish that is the perfect meal for a special occasion. Its savory and creamy flavor make it a satisfying meal."
- Cheese makes wine taste better, study shows - The Telegraph.
- CHEESE OF THE MONTH CLUB
- cheese, red wine & chocolate: Key to weight loss - Daily Mail.
- Cheese wheels, croquembouche towers & pork pie tiers - The Telegraph.
- Cheesed off: will stilton survive the pandemic? - "Sales are down by 30% since the coronavirus outbreak, and evidence shows it’s not just in the UK where cheeses are falling from favour."
- Chhurpi: The world's hardest cheese? - "Created thousands of years ago in the remote reaches of the Himalayas, chhurpi can be eaten for up to 20 years."
- Cottage Cheese Makes a Comeback - "The diet staple of the ’70s is jiggling back into the mainstream - bringing with it a host of health benefits." The New York Times.
- Crack & cheese: do pleasurable things really affect your brain like drugs? - The Guardian.
- Dean & DeLuca - gourmet cheese shop & online gourmet suppliers since 1977.
- Decoding cheese: What bacteria are right for delicious cheese? We went to a cheese cave to find out - "The delicious microbial truth of how cheese gets made."
- Does cheese really give you vivid dreams? - "Eating a pungent blue or mature camembert before bed is reputed to lead to outlandish dreams, or even nightmares. But can a dairy-laden snack really influence what happens in our sleep?"
- eating cheese could be the key to a longer life - Metro.
- Emmentaler: Switzerland's king of cheeses - "'Swiss cheese' with its iconic holes is known throughout the world, but true Emmentaler is a handcrafted, carefully controlled product."
- Europe's tastiest cheeses - "There are stinky cheeses, cheeses with added ash, cheeses made in stomach-churning ways, and some of the most expensive cheeses on the planet. Everyone has their own favorite cheese, of course - but here are 22 of ours."
- Fine Food Specialist - since 2012. "Buy Fine Foods & Specialty Items." Here at Fine Food Specialist we are passionate about cheese and equally about where it is produced. With a wonderful selection ranging from blue cheese to pasteurised, to soft, hard and matured, our choice is mind-blowing. Our cheese category is vast, spanning British, French, Spanish and Italian cheeses; there is something to suit every palate. Most of our cheeses are available all year round but some of the traditional ones are seasonal like a rich and creamy Vacherin Mont d'Or, which is available from October until March. With such a staggering choice, there is undoubtedly a choice for every occasion.
- FORTNUM & MASON - Piccadilly since 1707. "Cheese is for many the food of the gods, its infinite varieties a source of infinite pleasure. We pride ourselves on tracking down the very best British cheeses, handmade by artisan cheesemakers all over the country. But we love our continental cousins too, and offer their finest cheese alongside our own."
- French Camembert producers cheesed off as Canadian rival scoops prize for world’s best - The Telegraph.
- From cheese-rolling to grime: The curious pastimes of the English - "In an old English tradition, believed by some to have pagan origins, the people of Brockworth, Gloucestershire, chase a wheel of cheese down a steep hill on the last Monday of every May. The cheese is taken home by whoever tumbles to the bottom first."
- Fromages.com - "The best of French cheese."
- Going to the Source for a Sacred Italian Cheese - The New York Times.
- Have you been storing your cheese all wrong? - The Telegraph.
- High-fat cheese: the secret to a healthy life? - The Telegraph.
- how vegan cheese finally caught up with modern appetites - "Like other facets of the mushrooming plant-based foods industry, sales of vegan cheese have skyrocketed in recent years."
- H. Moser & Cie creates million-dollar watch made of Swiss cheese - "The Swiss Mad Watch."
- IGOURMET.COM - "We have spent the past century assembling an unmatched selection of over 850 imported and domestic specialty cheeses from over 36 countries."
- International Cheese Awards - cheese show and competition held each year at Dorfold Park near Nantwich, England. It represents the most important cheese events in the UK and one of the most important events on the global level. Held since 1897, the show continues to grow year-on-year, and attracts over 3,700 competitive entries from around the world in 260 categories.
- Italian man crushed to death under falling cheese wheels - "An Italian man has been crushed to death under thousands of wheels of a Parmesan-style cheese, authorities said."
- LIST OF CHEESES - Wikipedia.
- Nigella Lawson: ‘I can be ecstatically happy with just bread & cheese’ - "In an exchange of emails for Observer Food Monthly’s 20th anniversary, the broadcaster and writer explains how Twitter helped her through lockdown and what she eats on a night off."
- On the Normandy Cheese Trail - The New York Times.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano makers are putting edible microchips the size of a grain of sand into their 90-pound cheese wheels to combat counterfeiters - "The next time you dig into a bowl of pasta with freshly grated parmesan, you could accidentally be eating a microchip. That's because makers of Parmigiano-Reggiano are implanting microchips into the casings of their 90-pound cheese wheels as the latest move to ward off counterfeiters, The Wall Street Journal reported."
- Paxton & Whitfield - since 1791. "Britain's leading cheesemonger for over 200 years, sourcing and maturing exceptional cheeses." Cheese Knives & Cheese Knife Sets. 93 Jermyn Street, London, U.K.
- PETROSSIAN - "Exquisite Food and Gifts Since 1920." Cheese of the month selection.
- Rogue River Blue from the USA takes top prize at World Cheese Awards 2019 - "An organic blue cheese produced by US cheesemaker, Rogue Creamery was named World Champion Cheese 2019 in Bergamo, Italy on Friday 18 October. Rogue River Blue now becomes the World Cheese Awards’ first ever American champion, rising to the top among a record-breaking 3,804 entries from 42 different countries."
- ‘Sophisticated’: ancient faeces shows humans enjoyed beer & blue cheese 2,700 years ago - "Austrian Alps salt miners had a ‘balanced diet’, with an analysis of bronze and iron age excrement finding the earliest evidence of cheese ripening in Europe."
- Spanish cheese nearing extinction - "Casín, possibly Spain's oldest cheese, has been made since at least the 14th Century. However, in a culinary landscape now dominated by Manchego, its survival is an open question."
- Switzerland's ingenious cooling caves - "Nothing is more representative of Ticino life than its 'grottos', village taverns whose forerunners were natural caves used to store wine, cheese and meat."
- That Stinky Cheese Is a Result of Evolutionary Overdrive - The New York Times.
- The Ancient Greek Roots of Feta, The Oldest Cheese in Recorded History - "Feta is the soft white 'king' of Greek cheeses, renowned around the world. Its origins can be traced back to ancient times as the first mention of the famous cheese is as old as Homer’s Odyssey. In fact, it’s the oldest cheese in recorded history."
- The Big Cheese (Tour) - "A writer spends eight days exploring the world of British farmhouse cheeses, from London to the West Country, where a good Cheddar rules the day."
- The end to a French cheese tradition? - BBC Travel.
- The Fifty Best Cheese - TheFiftyBest.com.
- These are the best cheeses in Europe - "Europe's tastiest cheeses. There are stinky cheeses, cheeses with added ash, cheeses made in stomach-churning ways, and some of the most expensive cheeses on the planet. Everyone has their own favorite cheese, of course - but here are 22 of ours."
- This mountainous region produces some of Asia's best cheese - "Once the mist clears over the hilly mountaintops, green is all you can see in Dalat, a mountainous region in the Central Highlands of southern Vietnam. The country's top agricultural producer, it's a popular vacation destination for both Vietnamese and international tourists. But Dalat is also earning fame for a rather unexpected reason - it's the source of some of the best cheeses produced in Asia, including creamy mozzarella, burrata and camembert."
- This picture of cheese helped send a man to prison for 13 years - "We can explain,"
- Vitamin K found in some cheeses could help fight Covid-19, study suggests - "Scientists in Netherlands explore possible link between deficiency and Covid-19 deaths."
- What’s the best way to store cheese? - "A plastic box with a lid will keep wrapped cheese for as long as you need to eat it - but there’s also a neat trick using sugar lumps"
- What's the healthiest cheese? The best options, according to experts - "Whether eating cheese is healthy - that's a little less clear. High in protein, calcium, vitamins and essential amino acids, cheese is also a calorie-dense food, and can be high in fats and sodium. The protein found in cheese is a good alternative to protein derived from flesh, because it is still of animal origin, and contains all the essential amino acids the body needs but can't synthesize on its own. However, as with all things nutrition, it's the overall balance of what you eat day to day that should inform how much cheese you consume."
- When Choosing Cheese, Low-Fat May Not Matter - The New York Times.
- Why Italian cheesemakers buried their pecorino - "When Covid hit Italy in 2020, the pecorino industry careened towards life support. But thanks to the ingenuity of several producers, the cheese is now perhaps better than ever."
- Why Seventies cheese is back on the menu - The Telegraph.
- Why the ultimate breakfast of champions might just be wine & cheese - "The trend for pairing booze & breakfast seems unusual - and likely to get you sacked. But in certain settings, with certain foods, it starts to make sense."
- Why Vegan Cheese Doesn't Melt - "The debut of vegan cheese didn't inspire confidence, but in recent years vegan cheese had become a grocery store staple. But there's still one problem; vegan cheese won't melt, stretch, brown or bubble. So, what's the science behind why vegan cheese doesn't act like we expect?"
- World Championship Cheese Contest - since 1957. "The largest technical cheese contest in the world. Held biennially."
- World Championship Cheese Contest 2018 - Results.
- World Cheese Awards - since 1988. "The Guild of Fine Food."
- world's best cheese comes from a dairy in Cornwall, but you can't eat it until 2019 - The Telegraph.
- World's best cheese for 2021 revealed - "A soft goat's cheese from Spain won first place at the World Cheese Awards on Wednesday, besting the field of 4,079 entries from more than 40 countries on five continents. The winning cheese, called Olavidia, from an artisan cheesemaker using the commercial name Quesos y Besos (Cheeses and Kisses), got 103 votes, besting the second-place finisher, a soft cheese from France's Fromagerie Berthaut washed with the spirit Marc de Bourgogne, with 98 votes, that had been ahead until the very last minute."
Top 100 Best Cheeses & Online Suppliers
- Chimay - "Since 1876, the Trappist monks of Scourmont have recovered the secrets for making this semi-soft cheese using the good milk of their farm, and ripened in the vaulted cellars of the Abbey. Today, the Chimay cheese is exclusively made from regional milk, and the Trappist monks have modernized their production operation."
- Brie de Meaux - named the "king of cheeses" in 1815 by Talleyrand at the Congress of Vienna.
- BRIE DE MELUN
- CAMEMBERT DE NORMANDIE - moist, soft, creamy, surface-ripened cow's milk cheese. It was first made in the late 18th century in Camembert, Normandy, in northwest France. It is sometimes compared in look and taste to brie cheese, albeit with a slightly lower butterfat content than brie's typical 60% and 75% by weight.
- Cantal - uncooked firm cheese produced in the Auvergne region of central France. Cantal cheese was granted Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée certification in 1956. One of the oldest cheeses in France, Cantal dates back to the times of the Gauls. It came to prominence when Marshal Henri de La Ferté-Senneterre served it at the table of Louis XIV of France. Senneterre is also responsible for the introduction of Saint-Nectaire and Salers.
- Crottin de Chavignol - the most famous goat cheese of the many varieties produced in the Loire Valley.
- Époisses de Bourgogne
- LIST OF FRENCH CHEESES - French President Charles de Gaulle asked, "How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?" There is immense diversity within each variety of cheese, leading some to estimate between 1,000 and 1,600 distinct types of French cheese. French cheeses are broadly grouped into eight categories, 'les huit familles de fromage'.
- Morbier - semi-soft cows' milk cheese named after the small village of Morbier in Franche-Comté. It is ivory colored, soft and slightly elastic, and is immediately recognizable by the distinctive thin black layer separating it horizontally in the middle. It has a yellowish, sticky rind.
- PÉLARDON - cheese from the Cévennes range of the Languedoc-Roussillon region. It is a traditional cheese made from goat's milk. It is round soft-ripened cheese covered in a white mold (à pâte molle à croûte fleurie) weighing approximately 60 grams, with a diameter of 60-70 mm and a height of 22-27 mm. Pélardon has benefited from Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) status since August 2000.
- PICODON - goats-milk cheese made in the region around the Rhône in southern France. The name means "spicy" in Occitan.
- ROQUEFORT - one of the world's best-known blue cheeses.
- ST. MARCELLIN
- TOMME DE SAVOIE
- Vacherin - cow's milk (French vache, "cow") cheese. Two main types of French or Swiss Vacherin cheeses exist.
- ValenÇay cheese - "Valençay cheese is an unpasteurised goats-milk cheese and is one of the classic French cheeses made in the province of Berry in central France. It is named after the town of Valençay in the Indre department. This cheese comes in two types: the one coated with wood ash and produced on farms is called Valençay Fermier while the other coated with vegetable ash and made in dairies or industries is called Valençay Laitier."
- Edam - (Dutch: Edammer) is a semi-hard cheese that originated in the Netherlands, and is named after the town of Edam in the province of North Holland. Edam is traditionally sold in flat-ended spheres with a pale yellow interior and a coat, or rind, of red paraffin wax. Edam ages and travels well, and does not spoil; it only hardens. These qualities (among others) made it the world's most popular cheese between the 14th and 18th centuries, both at sea and in remote colonies.