What is Edam Cheese?

Origin: The Netherlands

By Arch at Low Saxon Wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
Edam is a mild, smooth textured and yellow Dutch Cheese, produced in a round shape and coated with red, orange, green, mahogany and black wax, depending on the flavour and age.

It is a washed curd cheese named after the town of Edam, in northwestern Netherlands, on the IJsselmeer (Lake IJssel). From the 14th to the 18th century, Edam cheese was the most popular cheese in the world especially at sea and in the far away colonies (wwwEdam)

The cheese was traditionally made from whole cow’s milk but is now made from part-skim milk.  It has a supple, smooth texture, a mild milky buttery flavour, and a very thin, barely formed rind, dipped in a protective coat of red wax (World Cheese Book). The Edam cheese sold in the Netherlands is rarely coated with a paraffin wax, except during tourist high season.

The cheese is usually sold young but becomes more flavoursome and firmer as it ages.  A mature Edam cheese tastes dryer and saltier than a Gouda cheese. The old Edam cheese is  perfect for grating (wwwEdam)

Size: Edam cheese is mostly sold as a 1.7 kg. round cheese but it also exists in a smaller size called ‘baby Edam’ and a double sized cheese, coloured with carotene and especially meant for export. The coloured cheese has a rich yellow gold colour. Aged Edam is rarely sold in the USA-Canada.

Nowadays the French make their own double sized Edam cheese and call it ‘Mimolette’.

Different Flavours of Edam Cheese

  • Black Waxed Edam: has been matured for 6 months and is drier and firmer, in texture.
  • Green Waxed Edam: is flavoured with fine herbs.
  • Mahogany Waxed Edam: is flavoured with peppercorns.
  • Orange waxed Edam: is flavoured with cumin.

Culinary Use Edam Cheese

Edam is eaten as a snack or melted, in sandwiches.

The cheese melts well and is popular in cooking.

It can be served at breakfast with chocolate sprinkle and eggs, as the Dutch do in the Netherlands.

It can also be deep-fried. Here is a recipe of Fried Edam Cheese.

Mature Edam is firmer and can be grated.

The majority is exported, the Dutch preferring Gouda (World Cheese Book).

Quick Summary Edam Cheese

Origin: City of Edam, The Netherlands
Milk: part skimmed milk
Age:up to 6 months
Texture and colour: supple and smooth texture, with pale yellow colour
Flavour: very mild with sweet milky buttery taste becoming more firm and flavoursome with age.
Fat content: 24%
Weight and shape: produced in 2Ib (1kg) and 4.5 Ib (2kg) balls and 5.5 Ib (2.5kg) blocks. It’s covered in red wax or red cellophane. Other flavours have orange, brown and black wax.
Rind: thin rind
Calories: 100g (3.5oz) has about 305 calories, depending on age of cheese/producer
Producer(s): Original Edam has a PDO status but Edam style cheeses are manufactured elsewhere

By Arch at Low Saxon Wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

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