May 22, 2023

American Cheese Abroad: Discovering Popular U.S. Cheese Varieties in Europe

American cheese options have made their mark in Europe, offering a range of unique flavors and textures to cheese lovers worldwide. Whether you prefer a sharp cheddar, a creamy Monterey Jack, a strong blue cheese, or a milder Colby, there's a U.S. cheese that's sure to please your taste buds. So go ahead and explore the delicious world of American cheese!

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Cheese has always been an important part of American cuisine, with a variety of options that are enjoyed by people all over the world. In fact, the United States offers hundreds of varieties and styles perfectly crafted to meet global customers’ and consumers’ desire for enjoyable, great-tasting cheese. In recent years, American cheese has even gained popularity in Europe, with a growing number of options available to cheese lovers. As global appetites for cheese continues to grow, the U.S. cheese industry is well suited to supply the increased demand. 

History of Cheese in the United States

The cheese industry in the United States has a history that dates back to the 17th century when Dutch settlers began producing cheese in the state of New York. As the country grew and expanded, so did the cheese industry. In the 19th century, cheese factories began to emerge in the Midwest, where dairy farms were abundant. These factories used new technology to increase efficiency and produce cheese on a larger scale. Today, the United States is one of the largest producers of cheese in the world, including over 1,000 varieties. Cheese production is an important industry in many parts of the country, particularly in Wisconsin, California, and New York. 

Popular U.S. Cheese Options in Europe

Almost a quarter of the world’s cheese, close to 6 million metric tons in 2018, is manufactured in the United States, making it the largest cheese producer in the world. With its state-of-the-art production facilities, the U.S. cheese industry has increased production by more than 1.1 million metric tons over the past decade, ensuring a consistent supply of high-quality cheeses year-round. While U.S. cheese is readily available in the United States, it’s becoming increasingly easier to find a wide variety of options throughout Europe. Many popular U.S. cheese brands, such as Tillamook and Cabot, have expanded their distribution to international markets, making it easier than ever for European consumers to access these delicious cheeses.

Cheddar cheese

Cheddar cheese is one of the most popular cheese options in the United States, and it has also gained popularity in Europe. The cheese variety has its roots in the town of Cheddar in Somerset, England, where it was first produced in the 12th century. Cheddar cheese is known for its sharp, tangy flavor, which comes from the aging process. The cheese is typically aged for several months to several years, depending on the desired flavor and texture. It is a versatile cheese that can be used in many dishes, including sandwiches, burgers, and macaroni and cheese.

Asian Legume Salad

Take your taste buds on a culinary journey with this Asian Legume Salad Recipe by the US Dairy Export Council! Packed with protein-rich chickpeas and edamame, and topped with shredded U.S cheddar cheese, this light and wholesome meal is as delicious as it is nutritious. The nutty flavor of black sesame seeds complements the sharpness of the cheddar cheese perfectly, making this salad a true standout. It’s light, refreshing, and oh so satisfying.

Monterey Jack cheese

Monterey Jack cheese is another popular cheese option in the United States that has gained popularity in Europe in recent years. The cheese was first produced in the 1700s by Spanish missionaries in Monterey, California. Monterey Jack cheese is known for its mild, creamy flavor and its ability to melt easily, which makes it a popular option for dishes like nachos, quesadillas, and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Teriyaki Pizza with Mushrooms

Looking for a pizza with an Asian twist? Look no further than this Teriyaki Pizza with mushrooms! The richness and creaminess of the Monterey Jack cheese perfectly balance the bold teriyaki flavor of the chicken and shiitake, shimeji, and enoki mushrooms. Topped with green onions for a pop of freshness, this pizza is a cheesy delight that’s sure to satisfy your cravings. 

Blue cheese

Blue cheese is known for its distinctive blue mold, which is created by adding specific bacteria to the cheese during production. The cheese has its roots in Europe, where it has been produced for centuries. Blue cheese has a sharp, tangy flavor and is often crumbled over salads or used in dressings and sauces. In the United States, blue cheese is produced in a variety of different styles, from mild to extra sharp. 

Zucchini Pasta with Blue Cheese Sauce 

This zucchini pasta dish is all about the star of the show: blue cheese! The creamy, pungent flavor of the blue cheese takes center stage in this recipe. Thinly sliced zucchini noodles are smothered in a rich and indulgent blue cheese sauce, accented by the crunch of chopped cashews and the burst of flavor from cherry tomatoes. Topped off with fresh basil leaves, this dish is sure to satisfy your cheese cravings and leave you feeling satisfied. Indulge in the intense flavor of blue cheese and treat your taste buds to a pasta dish like no other!

Colby cheese

Colby cheese is a semi-hard cheese that is made from cow’s milk. It originated in Colby, Wisconsin, in the late 1800s. Similar in flavor to cheddar, colby cheese has a softer texture and a milder taste making it perfect to be used in sandwiches and as a topping for crackers and bread.

Crepe Rolls

Looking for a fun and delicious treat that the whole family will love? Try these rolls of crepe! Made with a creamy filling of U.S. cream cheese and Colby cheese, these rolls are the perfect indulgent treat for cheese lovers. With each bite, you’ll taste the rich and creamy goodness of the cheese filling, perfectly balanced by the delicate crepe wrapper. Drizzled with chocolate syrup and sprinkled with crushed pistachios, these crepe rolls are a delightful treat and sure to be a hit amongst kids and adults alike! 

Pepper Jack cheese

As the name implies, Pepper Jack is a Monterey Jack cheese that has been infused with spicy peppers, such as jalapeños. It is a popular cheese that is often used in Mexican dishes, such as burritos and tacos. It can also be used as a topping for burgers and sandwiches.

Pepper Jack Cheese Summer Rolls

If you love Pepper Jack cheese, these summer rolls are a must-try! Packed with a colorful mix of shredded carrots, red cabbage, and green onions, these rice paper rolls are bursting with flavor and texture. The Pepper Jack cheese adds a spicy kick and creamy texture to every bite. Dip these rolls in a zesty soy and sesame dipping sauce for the perfect finishing touch. This finger food is great for a summer gathering or a quick and easy snack. Enjoy!

All recipes are courtesy of the US Dairy Export Council. To learn more about U.S. cheese, check out