The most favored dairy product of the world is, without any doubts, cheese. In technical terms, cheese is nothing but the product of coagulation of milk protein – casein. So essentially, cheese has high content of proteins, fats (the good ones), calcium, phosphorous and other essential vitamins. The origins of cheese predate back several centuries; it even predates the recorded history. Cheese is produced in three steps; first there is the curdling of cheese, which is nothing but coagulating it by mixing, second is the curd processing and finally the ripening process in which the flavors are added. There are over 500 varieties of cheese produced all over the world. As cheese has high protein content, 7gm of protein per 30gms, it is considered a part of the balanced diet. Cheese consumption also results in a lot of health benefits; it protects from dental problems due its calcium content and prevents tooth decay. The most general types of cheese produced in the world are cheddar, mozzarella, and Swiss and American varieties. The other benefits of cheese include: promotion of good sleep, aids in weight reduction, and also helps in maintaining blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Annually 18 million metric tons of produced which, is equivalent to 3kg for each person on earth. So let’s have a look at the top 10 cheese producing countries of the world.
The continent country is the head start for our list, with its dairy farms producing over 340,000 tons of cheese annually. Though a little low on the stats listing, considering the enormous grazer population of the country; Australia still manages to feed its populace and also excel in exports. The most common types produced by the Australian dairy industry are cheddar, semi-hard, hard grating, fresh and Mold cheese varieties. Annually the dairy farms in the country produce over 9.480 million liters of milk, of which 34% is utilized for the production of cheese. The cheese production industry is one of the largest in the country, employing over 50,000 employees. It comes as no surprise, with their per capita consumption of 13kgs annually.
If you ever thought that, the Argentinians were only good at football, then, you probably might want to think again. They are one of the largest producers of cheese and are the second largest producers in the continent. Annually Argentina produces over 425,000 metric tons of cheese, with over 595,000 tons produced on 2012 alone. That contributes to about 10 percent of the total cheese production of the entire world. About half of the milk produced from the 14000 Argentinian dairy farms is utilized for cheese production. The cheese varieties produced here include fresh cheese, curd cheese, Green and, blue mold cheese.
The existing records of the first cheese makers are found here in Egypt; records confirm that cheese was produced in Egyptian culture, long before people of other civilization learned agriculture. So it comes as no surprise that, the Egyptians contribute to the hundreds of varieties of cheese available in the market today. The most popular varieties include, Laban Rayeb, Laban Khad, Laban Zeer, Kishk and Laban Zabady. The cheese produced here is mainly from the milk of Buffaloes, cows, sheep and goat. Egypt produces 460,000 tons of cheese every year, with its major exports being to Europe and other Middle Eastern countries. Egypt is one of the main exporters of cheese to Asia and Middle East.
The other Latin American cheese producer in our list is the largest producer of dairy product in South America. Brazil is known for a lot of things: the carnival, for their coffee, for their cocoa, for football and lot more. But little do people know; they are also one of the finest and biggest cheese producers of the world. Though the exports from Brazil are not substantial as other large cheese producing nations, Brazil does export large amount of cheese to other Latin American countries. Annually Brazil produces over 495,000 tons of cheese, which makes it the seventh largest producer of cheese in the world. With their focus on improvements in technology and herd population, the cheese production in Brazil is expected to grow 3% annually.
While Egypt brags about its position as the oldest cheese maker in the world, Polish people have now shown evidence that they had produced cheese even before. A recently found pottery in Poland suggests that, it was used for cheese production over 7500 years ago which, predates any known records. But, oldest or not, the Polish do know how to make good cheese. With over 4000 varieties of cheese in the world, 90 of them were invented by Poland. The most famous cheese of Poland is the white cheese which in the local tongue is called Tvarog. Though making tasty cheese is their passion, it’s also a big industry in Poland. The polish people alone produce over 594,000tons of cheese annually, making them one of the largest producers of cheese in the world. They are also, big lovers of cheese with over 10.8kgs of cheese consumed per capita every year.
The Dutch may not be the oldest cheese producers in the world, even though they were curdling cheese as far as 4000 AD, but they sure know how to preserve the tradition of cheese making. Netherlands is the home to some of the most famous and tasty cheeses in the world. They include Gouda, Maasdammer, Boerenkaas, Frisian clove cheese, Leidse cheese, Dutch blue cheese and Herb cheese to name a few. Though these may sound like names, they are actually the major varieties, under which there are lots more to choose from. The Dutch also preserve their cheese making tradition by keeping cheese markets, where the cheese is sold as in the days of Kings. Though all this might seem outdated, in truth, they are the fourth largest producers of cheese in the European continent, producing over 732,000 tons of cheese every year.
Home to some of the most famous and delicious cheese in the world, including the Parmesan cheese; Italy is the superstar of the cheese market. The Italian obsession with cheese can be found in their food styles; almost none of the foods in Italy are prepared without cheese. Let it be their famous Pizzas, or Pastas, or Lasagnas or even salads; you will have a pretty hard time finding Italian food without cheese. So, if you’re a weight watcher, you probably want to stay out of the Italian restaurant at the corner of the street. So, it comes as no surprise that they are one of the highest cheese producers in the world. The Italians produce over 1,149,000 tons of cheese annually which is almost double as what Poland produces. They are also one of the highest consumers of cheese as well, with their per capita cheese consumption going well 20.9kgs annually. Italy exports most of its cheese products, making over 1,253,580,000 US dollars a year on average.
The French are known for a lot of things: their restaurants, their romantic cities and the infamous language which will put every woman on the face of the planet in a spell. But do you know that France is the home to over 1000 types of cheese? Well if you didn’t, here is the inside scoop for you. The French produce over half of the world’s cheese, with their varieties exceeding the dishes that can be made with cheese. France produces over 1,884,000 tons of cheese annually and exports over 2,658,441,000 US dollars’ worth of cheese every year, making it the largest exporter of cheese in the world. The French also consume a lot of cheese; an average French man consumes 26.1kgs of cheese every year, making them the second largest consumers of cheese.
With over 22.6kgs of cheese consumed per capita on average, it comes as no surprise that, Germany is one of the largest cheese producers in the world. The Germans have a long tradition of cheese making as their European neighbors, and cheese has a close relation to their cuisine as well. The German cheese production industry is a highly modernized, multi-billion dollar industry which produces over 1,927,000 tons of cheese every year. Germany is also the 2nd largest exporter of cheese, with its exports averaging over 2,658,441,000 US dollars a year.
1. United States of America
When it comes to commercialization, there is no other name that outshines the United States of America. Though the people of US don’t have a long tradition as their European counterparts; they do know how to produce cheese, and produce them in large quantities. The Americans produce over 4,275,000 tons of cheese every year on average. Though contrary to what you might think, the Americans don’t export much of the cheese they produce; most of the cheese produced is utilized by the innumerable American Fast food joints.