Cheese tourism with Wikimapia

The week is warm and summer wind calls up nice thoughts, so today we want to draw your attention to something really nice and beloved for most people - cheese! Does Wikimapia, a map, can have something in common with food, you may ask? And the answer is totally YES. Let’s have a cheese tour on Wikimapia around the world!
As you may know, there are some most famous and popular cheese types. They differ in taste, age and what not else. And they have their names after towns, where they were firstly produced. All best cheese is made in small mostly European villages, surrounded by green fields and lovely cows. When looking on these bucolic places you almost hear the sounds of a shepherd reed.


The biggest exporter of cheese, by monetary value, is France. That’s a really cheese country - the motherland of famous Roquefort, Camembert, Brie.

Roquefort-sur-Soulzon (Occitan: Ròcafòrt) is a commune in the Aveyron department in southern France.
It is located on the Causse du Larzac and is famous for its ewe's milk Roquefort cheese. Much of the activity in the commune is centred around the production and distribution of the cheese. A visitor centre illustrates the process of making Roquefort cheese and offers guests a chance to sample and purchase the product.


Camembert is most famous as the place where camembert cheese originated. It has been called "The largest small village in France" because the area of the commune itself is out of proportion to the center of the village which consists of the Cheese Museum (in the shape of a Camembert cheese), the Town Hall (Mairie), the Church of St Anne, the Ferme Président (a museum), Beamoncel (the house where Marie Harel, the creator of camembert cheese lived) and 3 other small houses. The rest of the commune is scattered over 2500 acres.


Brie is a historic region of France most famous for its dairy products, especially Brie cheese. The Brie forms a plateau with few eminences, varying in altitude between 300 and 650 feet. Its scenery is varied by forests. There are now many varieties of Brie made all over the world, including plain Brie, herbed varieties, double and triple Brie and versions of Brie made with other types of milk. Indeed, although Brie is a French cheese, it is possible to obtain Somerset and Wisconsin Brie. Despite the variety of Bries, the French government officially certifies only two types of cheese to be sold under that name: Brie de Meaux and Brie de Melun.
Brie de Meaux, manufactured at the town of Meaux since the 8th century, it was originally known as the "King's Cheese", or, after the French Revolution, the "King of Cheeses," and was enjoyed by the peasantry and nobility alike. It was granted the protection of Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) status in 1980, and it is produced primarily in the eastern part of the Parisian basin.


Italy is another cheesy state. Cheese is an essential ingredient in famous Italian pizzas and pastas and other dishes. Italians have an eye for cheese, thats why their “formaggio” types soooo delicious!

Gorgonzola is a comune in the province of Milan, part of Lombardy, northern Italy. Once a rural community, and famous for the cheese which bears its name. The well known Gorgonzola cheese made with goat's milk is firm and salty. It is claimed by the residents to have originated in Gorgonzola in 879, although other towns claim the origins too. Whatever the real town of Gorgonzola cheese is, it is certainly a 100% Italian product. Under Italian law, Gorgonzola enjoys Protected Geographical Status. Termed DOC in Italy, this means that it can only be produced in the provinces of Novara, Bergamo, Brescia, Como, Cremona, Cuneo, Lecco, Lodi, Milan, Pavia, Varese,Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and Vercelli, as well as a number of comuni in the area of Casale Monferrato (province of Alessandria).


Parmigiano-Reggiano (also known in English as Parmesan), is a hard, granular cheese, cooked but not pressed, named after the producing areas near Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, and Bologna (all in Emilia-Romagna), and Mantova (in Lombardia), Italy. Under Italian law, only cheese produced in these provinces may be labelled "Parmigiano-Reggiano", while European law classifies the name as a protected designation of origin.


Netherlands is country of tulips, painters, canals, weed legalization and CHEESE!

Gouda (population 71,797 in 2004) is a city and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. Gouda, which was granted city rights in 1272, is famous for its Gouda cheese, which is still traded on its cheese market, held each Thursday, smoking pipes and its 15th century city hall.
The town takes its name from the Van der Goude family, who built a fortified castle alongside the banks of the Gouwe River, from which the family took its name.

Gouda cheese market

Edam is a city in the Dutch province of Noord-Holland. Edam is famous as the original source of the cheese with the same name.
The cheese market was the primarily boost of the economy of Edam in the 16th century. On the 16th of April in 1526 Emperor Charles V gave Edam the right to have a market every week. In 1594 this right was given for eternity by Prince Willem I as a sign of appreciation for the good collaboration during the siege of Alkmaar.
After the right to have a market Edam held commercial cheese markets till 1922. The cheese was brought to the market by local farmers with little boats. When the cheese was lifted out of the boat it was carried to the market by cheese carriers. At the market the cheese was shown to the merchants. After being tested for their quality the price was settled by haggling until there was an agreement about the price. After that the cheese was brought to a warehouse where it was kept until the quality was at its best.
Since 1989, the cheese market in Edam has been revived as a re-enactment for tourists. It is held each July and August on each Wednesday from 10:30 to 12:30.


Switzerland citizens make irreproachable clocks, secure bank accounts, best chocolate ever and just perfect cheese called Gruyères.

Gruyères is a town in the district of Gruyère in the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland. Its German name is Greyerz.
The medieval town is an important tourist location in the upper valley of the Saane river, and gives its name to the well-known cheese. In this town, a trackless train is the only vehicle allowed on its pedestrianised streets.
Gruyères has a population (as of December 2010) of 1,789. Formerly, the focus was on trading cheese and small and big animals. There were several mills and sawmills and since 18th century a gun powder factory. Until the beginning of the 20th century, straw-twisting was also rather important. Agriculture is still specialized in milk production and cattle-breeding. It delivers raw materials for the cheese production and meat treating. Most important is the famous Gruyère cheese.
Gruyère cheese is an important factor in supporting the tourist trade in the region. A major tourist attraction is the medieval town of Gruyères with its castle, containing a regional museum and an arts museum. There are cultural activities in the castle (concerts, theater). There is a cheese factory in Pringy which is open to visitors. Nearby is Mont Moléson, a mountain suitable for climbing, or for the less athletic there is a cablecar to the summit which was rebuilt in 1998. The resort town Moléson-Village caters for both summer and winter tourism. There are also H. R. Giger Museum and bar.


There is only one famous type of cheese from England, but what a taste it has!

Cheddar is a village in the district of Sedgemoor in Somerset, England, situated on the edge of the Mendip Hills 14.5 km northwest of Wells. Cheddar is noted for its nearby Gorge, the hymn Rock of Ages and its cheese. Cheddar Gorge on the edge of the village contains a number of caves, which provided the ideal humidity and constant temperature for maturing the cheese. Cheddar cheese traditionally had to be made within 48 km of Wells Cathedral. Cheddar has been produced since at least the 12th century.


‘Cheese’ and ‘fromage’ categories on Wikimapia include 270 places today. Mostly they designate cheese shops or places where the cheese is produced, so every fromage connoisseur could find, where to buy the best cheese in his area. If you like cheese as much as we do or just know something that has no mark on Wikimapia yet - share you knowledge with others!