Which cheese is the best cheese? Probably whichever cheese is readily available at any given moment, right? Recently, Reddit users started sharing their “normal” cheese AKA the cheese they are most likely to have on hand if we opened their fridge MTV Cribs-style. While a few cheese favorites rose to the top, the answer for most popular cheese varied widely, depending on the country the Redditor was from. The results were a delicious cheese board, a lovely array of cracker companions, fit for any dinner party or afternoon snack.
The most popular answer in the thread by far, sitting comfortably at number one with over a thousand upvotes, was cheddar cheese. This is perhaps unsurprising to anyone in the U.S. or U.K., as people from both regions commented on the post. “We have other cheeses occasionally but there is nearly always cheddar,” wrote one Redditor, “and if there isn't we buy some.”
While the amount of cheddar we spend on cheddar (moment of pause for that cheesy wordplay) has been increasing in recent years in the U.S., cheddar is not the most popular cheese in the United States. According to a 2014 report from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Italian-style cheeses are the most popular in the U.S. Meaning, mozzarella beat out American-style cheese like our beloved cheddar.
Makes sense if you think about how much pizza we also consume in the States. (And most everyone knows mozzarella is the best pizza cheese or at least the most reliable.)
The second most popular answer in the Reddit thread? Gouda. It appeared to be particularly popular among Dutch Redditors and fancy-pants Americans. (Side note: Americans’ concept of fancy cheese is far from universal. People around the world are partying daily with cheese we in the U.S. seems to only reserve for special occasions.)
While the U.S. is the top cheese producing country in the world, we don’t eat the most cheese per capita. We don’t even fall in the top ten. According to 2014 data from IDFA, the top three cheese-eating countries are France, Germany, and Luxembourg. In those parts of the world, soft, buttery cheese like camembert and gouda reign supreme.
The third most upvoted answer was “brown goat cheese” otherwise known as brunost. I’ll save you a Google and tell you it’s very little like the white, crumbly and creamy goat cheese we’ve come to know and love in the U.S. (If you haven’t been blessed by my lord and savior Trader Joe’s blueberry and vanilla goat cheese, you need to get saved ASAP.) Brunost, as described by those unfamiliar with the cheese, has a savory dulce de leche flavor. The texture is similar to American goat cheese but often comes in smooth slices. If you want to get freaky with your morning cheese selection, you can party like the Norwegians and add brunost to your breakfast toast.
Gruyere, manchego, and brie were also among the cheeses people consistently keep on hand. However, those among us whose cheese selection is a little less refined can still feel validated. One Redditor said that Kraft singles “that can barely be called cheese” are what they and their bank account consider “normal” cheese. “Any cheese other than that is fancy.”
String cheese also made a welcome appearance further down in the thread. (I didn’t make it far enough down in the comments to see if spray cheese reared its ugly, aerosol head.) And where my cottage cheese heads at? Literally nowhere? Cool, cool.
Cream cheese also wasn’t mentioned near the top but it’s a staple in my refrigerator. You ever added a thing layer of cream cheese to your grilled cheese? How about a lil’ dollop in your mac and cheese? As its name suggests, it makes everything creamier and more delicious.
This has all been fun and we’ve had a great time, but there is only one true cheese: it is pepper jack and if you disagree that’s fine but you’re wrong.