10 Best Cheeses in the World
First, to decide on what qualifies to be the best cheese in the world, you must choose what type of cheese you are grading. Since there is no one-size-fits-all system to find the best cheese, the following is comprised of the best soft cheeses to the best hard cheeses.
10. Gournay Cheese
First made in Normandy in the 1950’s, Boursin cheese has grown more and more popular. Boursin comes in garlic and herb, pepper, and shallot and chive varieties for you to try. One of the best things about Boursin cheese, in addition to taste, is its presentation. Once you open the box it comes in a foil that leaves the cheese in a crimped cylinder shape that is very appealing. Boursin has a very light and creamy texture that melts in your mouth. You can find Boursin for about $5 for one 5.2 oz package.
9. Goat Cheese
Wisconsin has been making Montchevre organic goat cheese since the 1980’s. This goat cheese only allows milk from its network of independently owned goat milk farms to ensure the most quality milk is going into their cheese. As soon as you see this cheese, you can tell that it is going to be smooth and creamy, and it is. You can get plain Montechevre organic goat cheese, or get it in a garlic and herb log for about $5 each.
Camembert Le Chatelain comes in a package that almost takes you to Normandy, where it is made. This cheese offers a soft center covered in a semi-soft rind and provides a strong aroma. When you cut into Camembert Le Chatelain you will notice a beautiful contrast in color between the rind and the center. The pale yellow center is set off by a strong white rind that creates a beautiful display. If you want to experience this cheese yourself, you can pick up some for around $8.
Based in New Jersey, Arla Dofino has made an excellent havarti cheese. Smooth and easy to slice, this havarti can be eaten alone, or used in almost any dish that calls for cheese. The soft texture and wonderfully subtle taste of this cheese blends well with anything from sweet fruit to hearty pizza. If you have never had this cheese it is a definite must try, and you can get it for a little more than $5.
Norway’s Jarlsberg cheese offers a robust and slightly sweet take on Swiss cheese. Jarlsberg cheese has the characteristic holes of a Swiss cheese with an outer shell, made of a wax rind, that has a rich yellow color. The texture of this cheese is what you would expect of any semi-soft Swiss. What sets Jarlsberg apart from the rest is that it has a more noticeable nutty favor. For about $18 and free shipping, you can taste the difference with Jarlsberg.
Originating in Spain, Don Juan Machego has passion behind it that you can almost taste. This machego will quickly become your favorite after you taste the tangy and earthy tones it brings to you. With its firm yet semi-soft texture, this cheese is a serious contender in the competition to be the best cheese in the world. Among soft and hard cheeses, machego is in the transition zone between semi-soft to semi-hard. You can get Don Juan’s take on machego for $18, shipping included.
Bulgarian White Brined Sheep’s Milk Cheese comes in a brine that adds to this cheeses classic taste of feta. Feta can be hard to place on this list as it can dither between quite soft and very firm depending on the kind of feta that you get. This particular feta is more on the firm side. Typical of many true feta cheeses, this cheese is made from only sheep’s milk. Bulgarian White Brined Sheep’s Milk Cheese seems to have found a way to maintain a fresh and perfectly salty taste. For $20 you can get 2 pounds of this feta in the brine.
3. Extra Sharp Cheddar
Oregon is home to Tillamook Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar, where they seem to have making cheddar mastered. This cheddar is extra sharp, meaning that it is aged and has an intensified bold cheddar flavor. Coming in to bridge the gap between semi-firm and definitely firm, this cheese fits the bill perfectly. Tillamook Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar has a smooth texture while being very firm and packed with flavor. $6 will get you almost 8 ounces of this extra sharp cheddar.
2. Parmigiano Reggiano
igourmet’s Parmigiano Reggiano 24 Month Top Grade cheese is of such quality that it has been rated as the number one Parmesan cheese in America by Cooks Illustrated and Americas Test Kitchen. This cheese has a hard texture that is perfect for grating and shaving. Parmigiano Reggiano has a subtle creamy yet savory flavor that you can pair with almost any food.
$19 will give you almost 16 ounces of igourmet’s Parmigiano Reggiano 24 Month Top Grade cheese and free shipping. Try it out and see if you agree with Americas Test Kitchen and Cooks Illustrated.
Mitica makes an Asiago Stravecchio Extra cheese that is worthy of being the best in the firm and hard category. Since part of its name actually means extra aged, you can trust that this asiago is aged to perfection. This asiago offers strong flavors of nuttiness and salt, all densely packed into each bite. You can try Mitica’s Asiago Stravecchio Extra for about $15 per pound, and see why it took rank in this list.
There are cheeses all across the type and texture spectrum that are worthy of the best cheese title, try them all and make your decision. Share the cheese you think deserves to be called the best cheese in the world, and add your take on any of the cheeses listed.