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Sharp or mild, cheddar cheese pleases U.S. taste buds

When Americans aren't saying "cheese," it seems, they're eating it. Based on a survey done by the California Milk Advisory Board, Americans eat about 30 pounds of cheese per person per year. Much of it is consumed on pizzas, hamburgers, and deli sandwiches, not to mention on tacos, with macaroni, and in salads and lasagna. California, the nation's leading milk producer, now is also the leading cheese-producing state, having overtaken Wisconsin for the title. Wherever cheese is made, cheddar reigns as the variety of choice, followed closely in popularity by American cheese, which is generally a processed product, or sometimes a blend, such as of cheddar and Colby. America's most popular cheeses by millions of pounds of supermarket sales in 2006, according to the milk advisory board:

Cheddar 536.9
American 513.9
Mozzarella 271.0
Colby Jack 84.4
Ricotta 80.4
Monterey Jack 66.4
Swiss 62.2
Parmesan 51.6
Hispanic 29.0
Colby 24.8
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