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  • The cheese lover’s guide to Europe

    Its centennial cheese tradition represents yet another reason to visit Europe. Countries like France, Italy or Germany are famous all over the world for the cheese varieties they have perfectioned through the years. Another great thing about the cheese producing countries is that, in case you decide to go along their cheese routes, you are very likely to encounter some of these countries the most beautiful rural landscapes.

    Whether you are a fan of feta, Roquefort, mozzarella or gorgonzola, you must also take into account that there are numerous cheese varieties of cheese to be discovered in other parts of Europe: take the Balkans, for example. For today’s post, we selected five of the most popular places where can smell, taste and watch the fascinating art of cheese making:

    Roquefort, France

    The famous Roquefort cheese takes its name from the village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, located in the middle Pyrenees (Midi Pyrenees). Here is where the most authentic Roquefort cheese is produced form the ewe’s milk, and then gets its unique aroma from the caves of Combalou, where it is deposited till it reaches maturity.

    The locals like to call Roquefort “the cheese of kings and popes” and tell visitors how the cheese was accidentally discovered some centuries ago, when a shepard was chasing a beautiful shepherdess through the meadows of the Pyrenees.

    Dolomite Cheese Route, Italy

    Up in the scenic Dolomite Alps you can find the Dolomite Cheese Route, taking you through the picturesque villages of Fiemme, Vigo di Fasa or Fiera di Primero. Here you can sample lots of varieties of goat and sheep cheeses, from the classical Ricotta to the less known Puzzonne di Moena and Nostrano di Fassa.

    Valea Prahovei, Romania

    Prahova Valley in central Romania is mainly known for its great hikes and elegant resorts. But as you drive along the valley from north to south you will discover a flourishing eco-tourism industry. Here in these rustic inns you can taste some of the best locally produces cheeses, like ‘branza de burduf’, ‘cascaval afumat’ or ‘telemea de oaie’.

    Alkmaar, Holland

    You might be surprised to find out that Holland is not only the country of windmills and tulips, but also one of the biggest producers of cheese. In the historic city of Alkmaar, the Dutch producers and foreign visitors gather each Friday morning around the Kaasmkarkt (cheese market). While the members of the cheese makers guild proudly present their traditions, visitors are able to taste some world renowned varieties like Gouda, Edam or Leisde.

    Bregenzerwald, Austria

    Here in Austria’s highlands you can feel free to discover the historic Bregenzerwald Cheese Road. As the whole region is situated at a considerable altitude, here visitors can enjoy the tastiest yogurt, butter and cheese, all made from the purest alpine milk. Just like Valea Prahovei, Bregenzerwald is best known for its ski resorts, but the cheese varieties produced by the locals are definitely worth a try.

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    Comments on The cheese lover’s guide to Europe

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    peter wrote on March 26, 2010:

    By the way you should always ask for the real old mountain cheese when you are in Bregenzer Wald, which is situated right by Lake Constance. Anyhow, I live there so I know this is definitely a good tip :)

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