Special Report

America's Favorite Cheeses

All cheese is basically the same thing: coagulated milk curds. The milk might come from cows, sheep, goats, water buffalo, even yaks or camels. The curds are usually compressed and often cured — that is, ripened or matured — and typically salted.

 Then the fun begins: Cheeses may be wrapped in cloth, walnut or chestnut leaves, or bark, among other things; coated in wax or ash, or even wool; washed in brine, beer, wine, or various alcohols; inoculated with mold (to make blue cheese); smoked; colored; flavored with truffles, nuts, or many different kinds of herbs or spices; aged for various periods in a variety of ways.

To compile a list of America’s favorite types of cheese, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a YouGov survey conducted in March 2021 with almost 9,000 respondents. 

 There are thousands of kinds of cheese. The annual International Cheese Awards in England showcases more than 5,000 entries from around the world every year. An ever-increasing number are produced in the U.S. 

Wisconsin makes more cheese than any other U.S. state. The state produced nearly 3.4 billion pounds in 2019, about a quarter of all U.S. cheese production that year.  

 There are some interesting differences between men and women as well as age groups when it comes to one’s favorite cheese. In the survey, women were twice as likely to pick brie cheese as their favorite, while men were twice as likely to prefer blue cheese. Baby boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, were more than five times more likely than Gen Z-ers, those born after 1997, to say their favorite cheese was Swiss. On the other hand, Gen Z-ers were twice as likely as boomers to say that they loved American cheese.

Cheese is often a staple in sandwiches, which vary in type about as much as cheese. The great thing about sandwiches is that they can be made with almost anything — these are the best local sandwiches in every state.

Click here to see America’s favorite cheeses

To compile a list of America’s favorite types of cheese, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a YouGov survey conducted in March 2021. The survey was conducted using an online interview completed by nearly 9,000 adults. Respondents were given a list of 19 answers, including 16 different types of cheese as well as the options “other,” “Don’t know,” and “N/A – I don’t like cheese.”