Estonia is the seventh-largest cheese producer in the world per capita, according to a report by Chef’s Pencil, an Australian food magazine.
In a year, Estonia produces 35.3 kilograms (77.8 lbs) of cheese per person. According to the report, Estonia produced 47,000 metric tons of cheese in 2021, an increase of 9% over the past five years. This puts Estonia 15th in the European Union among the countries with the highest cheese production growth.
“While Estonia doesn’t have such a long cheese-making tradition, this small Baltic country has made up lost ground and is now among the top nations for cheese production per capita,” the magazine said.
The most cheese per capita is produced in Denmark – 78 kilograms (172 lbs) a year. New Zealand follows with 76.1 kg (168 lbs) and Ireland with 56.7 kg (125 lbs). They’re followed by the Netherlands, Ireland and Belarus.
Lithuania comes in eighth with 34.9 kg (77 lbs) of cheese per capita produced yearly and Latvia tenth (27.7 kg; 61 lbs). Finland is ranked 20th with 15.1 kg (33 lbs) of cheese produced per person a year.
The most cheese in the world is produced in the United States (6.2 million metric tons; 13.7 billion lbs), followed by Germany (2.4 metric tons; five billion lbs) and France (1.8 million metric tons; four billion lbs).
When compiling the report, the Chef’s Pencil team relied on the data from Eurostat, the EU’s official statistics agency, the US Department of Agriculture, and some other local agencies.