Cheese is widely loved and consumed all over the world, so we decided to bring you countries that produce the most cheese in the world. The fact that there are hundreds of types of cheese speaks enough about this food’s popularity. It doesn’t matter if you prefer it in your sandwich or with wine, cheese is always delicious.
It is assumed that cheese was produced even before recorded history. Cheese derives from the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep is and forms by coagulation of the milk protein casein. The styles, textures, and flavors of cheese depend on the various factors like the origin of the milk, bacteria, mold, processing and aging. Nutritional value of cheese is also largely influenced by these factors. Different additives are added to achieve a distinct flavor or texture of the cheese.
Although cheese is popular food, there are some regions that are producing it more than others. Currently, the largest cheese producing region is Europe with 56.7% of world’s cheese production followed by Americas who account for 30.1% of world’s cheese. Asia produces 6.4%, Africa 4% and Oceania 2.8%. Regions that produce the most cheese consume it in large quantities which can be seen from our list of 7 countries that eat the most cheese in the world.
To determine our 8 countries that produce the most cheese in the world, we looked at cheese production stats provided by Food And Agriculture Organization Of The United Nations from 2013. There are no reports for the later years, and other sources are incomplete or refer to our source. Countries are ranked according to their production volume in tonnes. Let’s start the cheesy countdown.
Production Volume: 639,250 tonnes
Cheese in Egypt dates from ancient times and is considered an important part of the diet. Since 2003 when the country produced around 660,000 tonnes of cheese, production has dropped to current capacity which is steady for a few years now. The most famous cheese varieties produced in Egypt are White Cheese and Roumy Cheese.
Production Volume: 658,000 tonnes
Russia’s cheese production increased largely from 1999 when the country produced just around 350,000 tonnes of cheese. Cheese plays an important part in Russia’s cuisine, with Bryndza, Circassian cheese, and Korall being the most popular cheeses consumed and produced in this country.
Production Volume: 744,047 tonnes
744,047 tonnes of cheese produced in Poland is all time high for this European country with cheese production being on the steady rise in the past few years. When it comes to most popular Polish cheeses, you may not recognize the name of Oscypek cheese, but you have sure tried it once in your life. Other popular cheeses are Gołka, Koryciński, and Bundz.
Production Volume: 793,024 tonnes
Cheese plays an important part not only in the Dutch cuisine but in the country’s economy as well, being one of the largest exported goods. In the past decade, cheese production in Netherlands had both highs and lows, but in the recent years, the production is increasing. The most famous Dutch cheese varieties are Gouda and Edam.
Production Volume: 1,227,219 tonnes
You would though that country with more than 300 varieties of cheese will be placed higher among the countries that produce the most cheese in the world. Although cheese production dropped in 2012 compared to 2013, the fact is that Italy still is one of the key players on the cheese market. Italian cheese and varieties like Gorgonzola, Mozzarella or Parmigiano-Reggiano are highly appreciated and widely used in the world.
Production Volume: 1,901,040 tonnes
For a country that is one of the largest wine produces in the world, high rank among cheese producers isn’t a strange thing. Wine and cheese go hand in hand, that’s a fact. France increased its cheese production in the past years, most notably from 2009 when they produced 50,000 tonnes less cheese compared to 2013. From 350 to 450 varieties of French cheese the most famous are Camembert, Brie de Meaux and Roquefort.
Production Volume: 2,220,270 tonnes
Germany increases its cheese production every year by 20,000 to 40,000 tonnes and it seems like this country is aiming towards to top spot. We really don’t know why, because beer and cheese don’t go so great together. Jokes aside, cheese plays an important part in Germany’s culture and cuisine. The most famous varieties of German cheese are Neufchâtel, Cambozola and Tilsit cheese.
1. United States
Production Volume: 5,398,396 tonnes
Well the United States may not have rich cheese culture like some other countries on our list of countries that produce the most cheese in the world, but that didn’t stop them to claim the top spot. The United States hold this position for a long period and there seems to be no competition. Almost half of the cheese produced in the United States comes from two states, Wisconsin and California. The most popular varieties of cheese produced in the United States are cottage cheese, American-type cheese and variations of European cheeses.