When it comes to guilty pleasures, cheese is right up there with anything sweet for me. I love to put cheese in just about every meal I eat, and often look for new kinds to try. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but I’m definitely partial to a good, sharp cheddar. And according to a new survey, I’m not alone: Cheddar is America’s favorite cheese!
One of the best things about cheese is how many varieties there are. Though most cheese simply boils down to milk curds, the type of milk and method used to make it results in an impressive array of different (and delicious!) flavors. That means that there’s a cheese to appease every taste — and this list is proof. (Just be careful about what cheese you choose if you’re over 65.)
Nearly 9,000 people responded to a March 2021 survey conducted by YouGov asking what kind of cheese they loved most. And while that’s obviously a small percentage of the American population, it’s a good enough sample size for me. (I’m a cheese lover, not a statistician.) The top three choices are pretty predictable, but the rest of the list might surprise you.
What are America’s favorite cheeses?
Cheddar was the overwhelming favorite, with 19 percent of adults naming it their go-to cheese. But did you know the popular cheese gets its name from the Cheddar village in England? In fact, cheddar is also the most popular type of cheese in the United Kingdom!
Coming in second is the classic American cheese, with 13 percent of the vote. This is a no-brainer, as families nationwide love a good slice of American cheese on their sandwiches — especially a perfectly melted grilled cheese (try adding mayo next time you make one!).
Mozzarella cheese received nine percent of the vote. The Italian-born cheese is everywhere, from appetizers to pizza, thanks to how well it melts and compliments any dish. And given its mild flavor, it’s a favorite with most kids, as well.
With eight percent of adults choosing Swiss, this holey cheese comes in right behind mozzarella. But unlike the latter, Swiss cheese doesn’t actually come from Switzerland. Instead, the American-created cheese aimed to replicate a type of cheese from the European country.
5. Colby Jack/Monterey Jack and Pepper Jack
These two cheeses are as American as it gets, and seven percent of adults prefer them over any other kind. The original was created in Monterey, California in the 1700s and was later named after David Jacks, who popularized it. Pepper Jack is a spicier variation of the cheese.
Five percent of adults chose provolone, another Italian-style cheese that’s a favorite on sandwiches and deli platters.
8. (Tie) Blue cheese.
This one might be controversial, as people either love or hate blue cheese (I fall into the latter category). But nevertheless, the pungent cheese was preferred by four percent of Americans, just slightly less than the milder provolone. This cheese is famous for its distinct moldy appearance, which gives it its name.
8. (Tie) Gouda.
Just like blue cheese, gouda was chosen by four percent of respondents. This one is my favorite, so I’m a little upset to see it so far down the list. Yet I still prefer the Dutch cheese, named after the city of Gouda, over the rest! One trip to the Netherlands and a bite of fresh gouda will certainly make anyone as big a fan as I am.
Rounding out the top ten is Brie, with three percent of the vote. The French delicacy is unmistakable thanks to its unique rind, which almost feels like fabric. This is a go-to on any cheese plates and works well in both savory and sweet dishes. Cranberry baked Brie, anyone?
All this cheese talk might have you wondering whether you can freeze your favorite cheese. We’ve got the answer! And now for the most important question: Did your favorite cheese make the list?