DUBLIN, Ireland: Ireland produces more cheese annually than does France, according to a newly released ranking.
Published in International food magazine Chef's Pencil, the ranking lists Ireland as the third greatest cheese manufacturer in the world.
Only Denmark and New Zealand produce more cheese.
France is listed in eleventh place worldwide.
"Coming in at number three on the list is surprisingly Ireland, which produces 287 thousand metric tonnes of cheese every year and has a population of roughly five million," said a spokesman for Chef's Pencil, as quoted by the Irish Mirror.
"Cheese production in Ireland has increased at a staggering rate in recent years.
"For the past five years, Ireland has recorded the second highest cheese production growth rate in the European Union, up 39 percent, only second to Cyprus. This is almost five times higher than the growth rate for the EU as a whole."
Ireland also ranks second among EU countries with the highest cheese production growth over the past five years.