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Be a Cheese Whiz By Knowing the Most Popular Cheeses in Every State

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Do you like cheese? We do, too. A lot. (Remember this grilled cheese? We do. Every day.) That’s why when we were told someone had delved into the age-old question “What is the most popular cheese in my home state?” we didn’t hesitate to tell them to go on.

In the world we live in, sometimes it’s good to take a break from the heaviness around you and just enjoy something. These cheese facts are your enjoyment for the day. (Also, you can enter to win a KFC Colonel Sanders pool float, which is another way to truly enjoy life.)

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The data for this oh-so-important study was collected by the Nina Teicholz’ team (who also created the graphics). To get the data, they started by compiling a list of thirty different types of cheese. This, in and of itself seems like a good day at the office. Next, they ran those cheeses through Google Trends to see how often the word had been searched for. From there, it was a matter of narrowing down the geography and crunching the numbers.

By the numbers, Parmigiano-Reggiano is the head cheese in the states, taking eight of the fifty, followed by Stilton (6), Muenster (5), and Feta (5). Cheez Whiz—which is not even real cheese—made the list. Twice, in Oklahoma and West Virginia. American cheese only made it on the list once, thanks to Rhode Island. In total, 22 different types of cheeses were named the favorites in different states.

Regionally, the data is a little different. Stilton takes the wheel in both the West and the Midwest, while Parmigiano-Reggiano is the preferred curd of the South, and Mozzarella outpaces the others in the Northeast (which, curiously, includes both West Virginia and Virginia).

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While all this wonderful cheese knowledge is great, we do have to state we did have one qualm with the approach: we don’t think Google is the best indicator of cheese favoritism—while we love us some mozzarella, it’s doubtful we’ll ever google mozzarella. We already know and love it, we don’t need to google it. We would, however, google to learn about, say, Emmenthal cheese, a yellow medium-hard Swiss cheese.

This leads us to our final point. Maybe—just maybe—those people in West Virginia and Oklahoma were googling Cheez Whiz to find out more about it, not because they wanted to put it on everything.

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Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
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