Cheese lovers are not quiet or shy about their passions. From salty blue cheeses and runny Camemberts, to a sharp Cheddar or smooth goat cheese, flavors rarely border on bland or boring. And cheese aficionados are rarely anything less than opinionated. But no matter your preference (stinky vs. subtle, runny vs. hard), to witness the process of making cheese is to delve deeper into a lengthy process of curdling, stretching, washing, and ripening. And there are places the world over where this process can be discovered firsthand by curious cheese-loving travelers.
Stateside, any cheese lover worth their salt should make their way to Wisconsin. With an official Wisconsin Cheese Trail, itís the perfect place to start for a taste of locally produced varieties. Likewise, Vermont is known for their Cheddar and thereís more than one opportunity to indulge in its sharp flavors up close and personal. Across the pond, visits to cheesemakers in Scotland are well worth the journey for their distinct flavors and stunning surroundings. Take a dairy training course to learn hands-on how itís done, or just bask in the joy of seeing where it all begins.
Or spend time touring premiere cheesemaking regions of France and Italy, which afford the opportunity to not only taste local specialties from charcuterie to local wines, but give ample chance to decide (once and for all) which country produces the tastiest dairy.
Whether youíre out for a cheese education or are nurturing your strong cheese opinions, these tours will bring you that much closer to the ingredients, process, and flavors. Bring home your finds for the ultimate showdown: pecorino vs. Gruy?re, or Camembert against fontina!