In honor of National Cheese Lover's Day on Jan. 20 — perhaps the holiest of national food days, I present you with a super cheesy idea: learn about and consider visiting the top cities for cheese lovers. Yes, there are cities across the world that are famous for their cheese production and contributions to the expansive selection of cheese we're lucky enough to enjoy today. Yes cheese lovers, National Cheese Lover's Day is our day.
And while I feel like the term "cheese lovers" is a little redundant, like aren't just all Earthlings lovers of cheese? I realize some of us are a bit more dedicated to the art of eating and seeking cheese in our lives than others.
For most of us, National Cheese Day is the Valentine's Day of food celebrations. It's the day that we tell our favorite food how much we love it. It's the day that we spend loving on it, eating it, talking about it and thinking about new ways to incorporate it into our diet. So in the spirit of the nation's cheesiest day, let's take a minute to focus on the cheesiest cities in the world that share our passion for pressed curds of milk. In no particular order, here's where you can go to find likeminded cheeseheads:
OK, maybe that's obvious, the city of love is also the city of incredible cheese. Famous for their vast and varied dairy products, like Camembert, Brie. Gruyere, there's an endless array of cheese factories to visit. Plus if you head to Normandy, you can visit a cheese museum that's in the shape of cheese.
La Mancha, Spain
Well known for their production of Queso Manchego, Spain is another big producer of popular cheeses. Learn about how the historic cheese is made at Artequeso (Finca La Prudenciana) and show off your knowledge back in the states the next time you make nachos.
One of the most popular producers of cheese in the United States, Madison, Wisconsin is responsible for a lot of the cheese we buy at our grocery chains. They're basically the nation's capital for cheese. #Respect.
San Fransisco, California
This might be a surprise for some, but San Fran is actually a cheese haven. The city is packed with creameries and dairy groceries that sell local artisanal cheeses like Mt. Tam, Red Hawk and Chimney Rock.
New Orleans, Louisiana
You've probably heard a lot about the amazing food in New Orleans, but cheese is not what they're more notably recognized for. Thanks to St. James Cheese, that's changed. Specializing in raw milk cheese, St. James is well-known for their unpasteurized and delicious stinky cheeses.
New York City, New York
While the city of New York might not be your first guess as a cheese mecca, it's actually booming with cheese vendors from both upstate New York and all around the world. Murray's Cheese was founded in 1940 and sells some incredible house made cheeses like the Hudson Flower sheep's milk cheese.
Quebec is home to some world renown artisanal cheesemakers. Featuring cow, sheep, goat, and buffalo cheese, international cheese lovers look to Montreal for the goods. Check out a Plaisirs Gourmets and go to cheese heaven.