IT always surprises me just how few German cheeses you will find on offer over here in the UK.

Perhaps it’s because the Germans share a border with France that they have been left somewhat overshadowed by the popularity of French cheese on the international market. The only variety of German cheese that really seems to have made its way to popular attention are varying takes on Bavarian smoked cheese – some of which are really good, and others less so. This is a real shame, especially considering that German cheese manufacturers contribute a third of the European cheese market.

So as a self-confessed Germanophile I’ve always been slightly disappointed not to be able to share my own happy experiences of Deutsche dairy when serving up a cheeseboard to friends.

This became especially apparent to me over the weekend when I jetted off for a city break in Düsseldorf to explore the delights of German cuisine being cooked up in the riverside city on the Rhine (and Düssel).

If there is one thing I love about going away, it’s a hotel breakfast. But a hotel breakfast on the continent so often involves cheese too, which gets the day off to the best start imaginable. After all, Germany is the nation that has its own breakfast cheese (Odenwälder Frühstückskäse) which has been awarded protected designation of origin status (although it can be enjoyed at any time of day!)

Arriving down late for breakfast (blame the beer safari the previous night) at the Maritim at Düsseldorf Airport where I was staying, I was worried I had missed the soft cheeseboard, so loaded my plate up with slices of Gouda (one of the most popular among Germans) and Emmental.

Though clearly the hotel is well prepared for a clientele with an appetite for cheese, as no sooner had I decided I had more than enough to keep me going through the morning than a fresh board of soft cheeses appeared. Obviously I had to give these nine varieties a try too – even if it was at the expense of having to forgo the muesli and yoghurt course.

Evidence of the German's love of cheese was also found at the permanent market Carlsplatz, which is home to a couple of cheese merchants, all offering up a wide selection of German cheese to rival even the most comprehensive of French delicatessens. As Düsseldorf is famed for its mustard there were many varieties with a kick, though not being a mustard fan myself I opted for a Gouda infused with truffle instead, which was quite something. Luckily my room had a fridge, or things might have become very fragrant.

There was even local cheese for sale in Duty Free at the airport - though by then my basket was already laden with gin, and I didn’t think whoever I was sat next to on my BMI flight to Bristol would appreciate sharing their journey with someone carrying a bag full of stinkend käse - even if it was only a short-haul flight!