Mozzarella the leading cheese on U.S. restaurant menus, accounting for 21% of 36,000 menu items that list cheese as ingredient, survey says

OAK PARK, Illinois , February 13, 2012 (press release) – Mozzarella is the leading cheese on the American menu, as reflected by a 21% share of 36,000 menu items listing cheese as an ingredient. The Top Five cheeses, which include mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, jack and Swiss make up 67% of the 100 or so cheeses mentioned on the menus of the 1,550 chains, independents and non-commercial operators in the MenuMine database.

Mozzarella not only wins the Pizza battle, with an 84% share of cheeses listed on the menu, but it also does very well in Appetizers, thanks to cheese sticks. Swiss and cheddar are very important to the Sandwich menu part, while American is a popular choice in burgers. Parmesan enjoys a lead in Prepared Entrees and Salads. Center of Plate Entrees mainly rely on Blue Cheese (steaks w/ Blue Cheese Topping) while other cheeses help out with sauces for accompaniment side dishes.

There are more than 100 various cheeses showing up on menus, including the following (not in any particular order): Comte, Manchego, Crescenza, Emmantal, Gruyere, Boursin, Epoisse, Farmer’s Cheese, Fontinella, Garlic Cheese, Muenster, Grada Padano, Romano, Havarti, Iberco, Anejo, Brie, Caprino, Caseno, Asadero, Basque, Chaubier, Colby, Jalapeno, Jarlsberg, Kafalogravia, Kefalotiri, Lappi, Vlahotyri, Tuma, Taleggio, Stilton, Sheep’s Milk, Rotel, Pimiento, Piave, Pecorino, Oaxacan, Mizithra and more. For purposes of this analysis, cheeses were consolidated by type, such that white cheddar is included in Cheddar, Gorgonzola in Blue, Chevre in Goat, Pepper Jack in Jack and more.

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