You Might Want To Think Twice About Buying Cheese From The Grocery Store

Fresh, funky, creamy, or crumbly, there's a cheese made for everyone. Whether you love adding a melty mozzarella to pressed panini, grating an aged Parmigiano Reggiano over a bowl of rigatoni, or simply snacking on a hunk of beautiful marble blue Stilton, cheese is suitable for any occasion, dessert included — and we're looking at you cheddar. With many cheese lovers flocking to grocery stores to get their dairy fix, you might actually want to rethink where you shop for your cheese.

In an industry worth over $200 billion, the average person will eat about 2.7 kilograms (almost 6 pounds) of cheese in  2022, Statista notes. Given its massive hold on society, it's fair to wonder why exactly we seem to be obsessed with the coagulated milk product. Interestingly enough, Forbes explains that dairy protein has opiate-like compounds, which can trigger a dopamine release in our brains. However, not all cheeses are created equal.

Given that moisture is what determines the texture and presence of mold, Cheese Web suggests that cheeses be divided into groups such as fresh (ricotta), aged fresh (cottage cheese), soft white (Camembert), semi-soft (Edam), hard (Manchego), blue (Gorgonzola), and flavored (truffled pecorino). Interested to know more? Then it could be time to ditch the supermarket and venture elsewhere.

Visit your local cheesemonger instead

If you want to buy cheese like an expert, you'll need to expand your horizons. For a totally tailored experience, the Cheese Professor recommends visiting a specialty cheese shop in your area. Given that the retailer specializes strictly in curds, they'll likely be super passionate and very knowledgeable about their products, helping you find the cheese of your dreams. Plus, they'll also be available to answer any questions, unlike the lonely cheese section at the supermarket.

Additionally, Wisconsin Cheese notes that the options will be more plentiful and unique as these boutiques tend to carry more specialty cheeses, in addition to more exclusive jams, olives, chocolates, and more. Plus, it's likely you will be able to sample a variety of cheeses, and let's face it: Who doesn't love to sample?

Most importantly, however, a visit to your local cheesemonger can also mean a higher quality cheese. Wine Enthusiast explains that — since cheese is a living thing — only the experts know how to truly keep it fresh and flavorful. Often cut-to-order, the cheese carefully selected by your local cheesemonger will make that pre-packed block of Havarti sitting in your fridge pale in comparison.