Cheese and Dairy
Europe’s rich pastures provide healthy feed for cows, goats, sheep and buffalo because healthy and well-fed herds produce better quality milk. The variety of landscapes and climates, the diverse traditions and know-how produce a wide variety of products and tastes.
EU milk is full of taste and is produced following safety standards that keep it free of contaminants. For example, when fresh milk is collected after the milking, the transporters make sure that it is cooled to no more than 6°C and kept at this temperature until it is processed, to preserve its freshness and safety. Each batch of milk is also logged, so it is traceable back to its origins.
Much of the milk is consumed fresh, with lower or higher fat levels, depending on the taste of the consumer. Milk produced in Europe is also processed into dairy products, including yoghurts, butter and cheeses.
The quality of European dairy products is directly attributable to the expertise of farmers and producers, often passed on from generation to generation and from the safety regulations in place, and the innovative manufacturing technology.
1000s of different cheeses
The Member States of the European Union together produce thousands of varieties of cheese. They come in different textures and tastes, including soft, semi-soft, firm, blue-veined and fresh. It’s easy to appreciate European cheeses because they are part of the rich European culture.
Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) cheeses owe their quality to the particular geographical environment in which they were produced, as well as the methodology and origin of the milk. For example, Roquefort cheese is made from the milk of a certain breed of sheep and matured in natural caves near the town of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in France. Invented in Denmark in the early 20th century, Danablu is a strong cheese, with a creamy strong-flavoured texture. It features an evenly distributed blue veined mould throughout. The well-known Greek Feta is made from sheep's milk, though sometimes with goat's milk added. It is a crumbly aged curd cheese that is ideal for salads, omelettes, grilled dishes, and more.