Media up in arms as no Swiss cheese makes world top 20 in new ranking

Media up in arms as no Swiss cheese makes world top 20 in new ranking

It is safe to assume that those who are patriotic about Gruyère - which according to an international jury at least is the best cheese in the world - are in for a shock this week after the culinary encyclopaedia TasteAtlas placed the fromage outside the top 20 in its "50 best kinds of cheese in the world" list. After not a single cheese from Switzerland featured in the top 20, the local media are despondent.

Best cheese in the world list by TasteAtlas

The cheese ranking, which was put together by the Bulgaria-based TasteAtlas website, was dominated by Italian cheeses, with eight of the top 10 being from the country. The hard cheese Parmigiano Reggiano came out on top with an average review score of 4,8 out of 5, with other international favourites Gorgonzola Piccante (4,8) and Burrata (4,7) rounding out the podium.

Only two out of the top 10 were from other countries - Oaxaca, a soft white cheese from Mexico, and Queijo Serra da Estrela, a semi-soft sheeps' cheese from Portugal, also placed inside the top 10. 

Out of the top 50 best cheeses in the world, 18 came from Italy, nine from France, four from Greece and three from Spain. Much like the Netherlands, which saw one of its cheeses make the ranking, Switzerland only had one participant: Gruyère, in a disappointing 29th place.

Gruyère cheese ranked outside the top 20, much to Swiss media's disdain

Needless to say, Gruyères' poor finish, and the fact that other Swiss cheeses like Appenzeller and Tête de Moine only featured in 62nd and 63rd respectively, did not go down well with the Swiss media. “TasteAtlas knows nothing about cooking,” wrote Margaux Habert of Watson, noting that, as cheese is so synonymous with Swiss culture, and as there are so many weird and wonderful types to try, the alpine nation should have featured more prominently.

She joked that TasteAtlas must be in the hands of the “Italian cheese mafia” based on the prominence of Italian products on the ranking. However, before we all grab our pitchforks, Habert noted that Switzerland's vocal supporters were perhaps no match for the larger populations of Italy, France and America who reviewed the cheeses they know and love first.

Other commentators also pointed out that Italian cheeses like parmesan and mozzarella are relatively ubiquitous and well-known, while other cheeses are perhaps exported less and eaten (and loved) more in their home countries. 

Ah well, just means more Swiss cheese for us!

It’s safe to say that a single ranking is not going to dissuade those in the alpine nation from having Gruyère on and in as many dishes as possible, from cheese fondue to toasties. Habert concluded that “if the public prefers to gorge themselves on pâté for cats with Kiri and Babybel... That will leave more Swiss cheese for us!”

Want to see how other types of cheese did on the ranking? Check out the TasteAtlas website.

Thumb image credit: Yuri Turkov /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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MariaCastello2 12:00 | 15 July 2023

What??? I cannot believe what I'm reading! While I agree with some of the Italian cheeses, Gruyère deserves to be at least in the top 10! I'm from Mexico and trust me when I tell you that it is a heck of a lot better than Oaxaca cheese. I would place "Menonita" cheese way above Oaxaca, btw.