I recently finished reading Alberto Angela's I tre giorni di Pompei (The [last] three days of Pompeii), in which he mentions that mozzarella didn't exist at the time, but was invented in the 5th century, at the end of the Roman empire. Wikipedia disagrees and says that the earliest buffalo milk cheese in southern Italy dates from the 12th century and that the name Mozzarella doesn't appear until the 16th century. That made me wonder how old various types of European cheese actually were. So here is what I found.


Cheese name Region, country When was it invented?
Ricotta Italy Bronze Age (2nd millennium BCE)
Salers Auvergne, France Possibly as early as 2000 years ago
Pecorino Romano Lazio, Italy Possibly from the 1st century CE
Sbrinz Switzerland 70 CE according to their website
Banon Provence, France At least since 2nd century CE
Mozzarella South Italy 5th or 12th century
Chabichou Poitou, France 732
Brie De Meaux Île-de-France 774
Pecorino sardo Sardinia, Italy Late 8th century
Gorgonzola Lombardy, Italy 879
Munster Alsace & Lorraine, France 9th century
Maroilles Picardy, France 962
Feta Greece At least since the 11th century
Gouda Holland, Netherlands First recorded in 1184
Cheddar Somerset, England 12th century
Pont-l'Évêque Normandy, France 12th century
Parmigiano-Reggiano Emilia, Italy First recorded in 1254
Emmental Switzerland First recorded in 1293
Cantal Auvergne, France First recorded in 1298
Appenzeller Switzerland 13th century
Edam Holland, Netherlands 14th century
Herve Liège, Belgium 15th century
Rocamadour Occitanie, France 15th century
Époisses Burgundy, France 16th century
Reblochon Savoy, France 16th century
Cancoillotte Franche-Comté, Lorraine 16th century
Gruyère Switzerland First recorded in 1655
Saint-nectaire Auvergne, France 17th century
Tomme vaudoise Switzerland 17th century