I can’t get all of the Level One cheeses! What should I do?

Firstly, It isn’t necessary to taste all of the cheeses in order to pass the exam. All the information you need to know about the cheeses – in order to pass the exam is in the learning materials when you sign up to our courses. If you are able to taste as many as you can, of those that you can access, then great! – But please do not worry if you cannot locate all of them.

1. Go for one of our Cheese swaps!

Whilst the Level One course has specified the 25 cheeses to be studied, these are not set in stone. The important thing is to learn the Academy of Cheese tasting process and taste in the company of the other delegates, not to taste exactly the same cheese. For each specified cheese, there will be lesser-known alternatives available that are made in a similar way and with the same type of milk. Our cheese swaps have similar flavour profiles, for example, and pair well with the same drinks and accompaniments.

Level one cheeseSuggested cheese swaps
Aged GoudaYoung Gouda
Block Cheddar Any block cheddar
Blue Stilton PDOStichelton, Shropshire Blue, Gorgonzola Dolce, any other blue
Brie de Meaux PDOBaron Bigod, Somerset Brie
Brillat -Savarin PGI Delice de Bourgogne; Crème de Bourgogne; Vignotte; any triple cream cheese  
Camembert de Normandie PDO Camembert de Normandy; other camemberts or bries  
Cloth-bound CheddarAny cloth wrapped cheddar: Montgomery; Quicke’s; Keens; Isle Of Mull
Cloth-bound CheshireAny Cheshire
Crottin de Chavignol PDO Any Crottin, Golden Cross
Époisses PDOMuenster, Pont L’Eveque, St Cera
Feta PDOCotija, Graceburn
Goats Curd Cream cheese
Gorgonzola PDOPevensey Blue, St Agur, Leeds Blue, Danish Blue
Le Gruyère PDO Emmental or other Swiss hard cheese, Comte, any Gruyere. Italian: aged fontina, bitto or similar
Livarot PDOLimburger, Epoisses
Manchego PDOAny Manchego; Pecorino Sardo; any hard pecorino (the better quality the better); Ossau Iraty; any hard sheep’s cheese  , Spenwood
MimoletteAged Gouda
Morbier PDO French: Epoisses; Munster; Langres; maroilles. Irish: Durrus; Gubbeen; Milleens. English: Stinking Bishop. Italian: Taleggio
Mozzarella di Bufala Campana PDOAny Mozzarella Burrata
Parmigiano Reggiano PDO Grana Padano
Pecorino Sardo PDO Pecorino Romano, Asiago,
Roquefort PDO Gorgonzola, any other blue
Single Gloucester PDO  Any Single Gloucester
Smoked CheddarApplewood, any smoked cheese
Yorkshire Wensleydale PGI Any Wensleydale, Lancashire

2. Taste local cheese alternatives.

Your local cheesemonger / delicatessen should be able to point you in the direction of similar cheeses and if you have a Farmer’s Market in your area, it is likely that there will be locally-made artisanal cheeses that fit the bill. Again, the stallholder should be able to offer alternatives.

Find your local cheesemonger, cheese maker or delicatessen in our Directory

3. Choose from our cheese library.

The Cheese Library, which you will gain access to as soon as you enrol, has detailed descriptions of over 175 cheeses. This is full of all the information you need to identify similar cheeses that fall into the same category as the ones you are required to study.

4. Don’t worry, taste as much cheese as you can.

If you are still unable to find suitable alternatives for the suggested cheeses, please don’t worry; you will not lose marks. Taste as many on the list as you can; the more you taste, the more attuned you will become to the different flavour profiles and the greater appreciation you will get, but it’s not a condition for passing your exam.