Cheese Lovers Guide to Europe

A cheese platter and a fantastic drop of wine…possibly the best combination evahhhhh, so can you really blame us for putting together a whole story on where to find the best cheese in Europe? We didn’t think so. Whether it’s a slice of tangy Roquefort in France, a cube of Edam in, well, Edam or a gooey pot of fondue in Switzerland we’ve picked a bucket list of locations fit for the ultimate cheese aficionado. Happy cheese dreams!

Written by Jade Just – Contributing Travel Editor.

Paris, France

The average French person eats roughly 26kg of cheese per year and with over 400 varieties to choose from it’s no surprise that in France you’ll constantly be a stone’s throw from a fromagerie. For a wide selection within a small range we’re going to suggest you cut to the chase and head straight to Paris where you’ll find French formage such as: Pont l’Évêque, a semi-hard, salty-tasting, cow’s milk cheese that’s one of the oldest varieties in France; Roquefort – a pungent blue sheep’s milk cheese (ideal contrasted with quince paste); camembert – beautifully soft and one of France’s most famous cheeses.

Where to go:

Laurent Dubois – Fromagerie
Les Epiciers – a bar where you’ll find the ultimate trio – wine, cheese and cured meats
L’Affineur’Affiné – Fromagerie and restaurant where you’ll learn a thing or two about cheese too!

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Cover & top image: Laurent Dubois; bottom Les Epiciers

Emilia-Romagna region, Italy

It’s not just the best cheese in Italy that this northern region is famous for but many food savvy tourists would say it’s got the best of everything. It’s hailed as the home of the king of cheese – Parmigiana Reggiano (Parmesan) and also produces prosciutto, Parma ham, stuffed pastas (think: Tortelloni, Raviloi, Cannelloni…), balsamic vinegar and of course, wine (specifically Lambrusco).

Where to go:
Sorelle Picchi, Parma – the Parmesan cheese tasting is a must-do
La Prosciutteria, Parma – a deli with all things cheese and meats
Salumeria Simoni, Bologna – restaurant and deli

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Top image: La Prosciutteria; bottom: Sorelle Picchi

Gruyères, Switzerland

If you’re daydreaming about Switzerland no doubt you’re conjuring images of rolling hills and snow covered peaks. With the stunning greenery comes seriously luscious grass and some very happy cows, which is why Gruyères produces excellent cheese. Those who love a fondue or raclette are in luck as Gruyères’ cheese is fantastic for melting.

Where to go:
Chez Boudji – for seriously yummy fondue and views to boot
Le Chalet de Gruyeres – raclette? Yes please

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Top image: Chez Boudji; bottom:

Alkmaar and Edam, Holland

Both towns have renowned cheese markets…yes, markets dedicated solely to all things cheese (cue: jaw drop). Holland’s cheese markets have their own quirks for instance Edam’s cheeses are brought to the market by horse and cart, and boats, whereas Alkmaar’s cheese is partnered with art and wares. The secret to making the most of a cheese market? Be on time.

Where to go:

Almaar Cheese Market – every Friday morning (March – September)
Edam Cheese Market – every Wednesday morning (July and August)

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Top, middle & bottom images: Almaar Cheese Market www.bestofamsterdam.com

Crete, Macedonia

Cheese consumption in Crete is the highest in the world and it’s not all about feta, in fact there’s everything from Graveria (rich and buttery) to Pichtogalo Chanion (yogurt like cheese). To complement your cheese, the island is also well known for it’s olive oil and brandy but be sure to try Cretan Graviera topped with local honey for breakfast or dessert.

Where to go:

Oinoa – a wine bar and bistro that makes the most of the local produce.
The Well of the Turk – a turkish, mediterranean inspired restaurant with plenty of dishes that feature local cheese.

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Top image: Expedia; middle: Incredible Crete; The Well of the Turk – www.greece-is.com

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