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Edam cheese

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Small, spherical Edam cheese.
Country of originNetherlands
Source of milkPrimarily Cows / Goats
Fat content11g/100g
Aging time4 weeks – 10 months

Edammer cheese

Edam (Dutch: Edammer, [ˈeɪ̯.ˌdɑ.mər]) is a semi-hard cheese that originated in the Netherlands, and is named after the town of Edam in the province of North Holland.[1] Edam is traditionally sold in spheres with a pale yellow interior and a coat of red paraffin wax. Edam ages and travels well, and does not spoil; it only hardens. These qualities (among others) made it the world’s most popular cheese between the 14th and 18th centuries, both at sea and in remote colonies.[2][3] A major producer of Edam is the FrieslandCampina company in Marum, The Netherlands. In the U.S., the May-bud brand is sold by the Churny Company, a subsidiary of Kraft Foods.[4]


Most “young” Edam cheese sold in stores has a very mild flavor, slightly salty or nutty, and almost no smell when compared to other cheeses.[5] As the cheese ages, its flavor sharpens, and it becomes firmer.[3] It has a significantly lower fat-content than many other traditional cheeses; fat comprises as little as 28 percent of the cheese. Modern Edam is softer than other cheeses, such as Cheddar, due to its low fat-content. However, it is not quite as suitable for toasting as are certain other cheeses, such as Cheddar.


Mild Edam goes well with fruit such as peaches, melons, apricots, and cherries. Aged Edam is often eaten with traditional “cheese fruits” like pears and apples. Like most cheeses, it is commonly eaten on crackers and bread, and may be eaten with crackers following the main course of a meal as a dessert of “cheese and biscuits“. Pinot gris, dry Riesling, semidry Riesling, Champagne, Chardonnay and Shiraz/Syrah are some recommended wines to accompany this cheese.[6]


Edam cheese is popular in North America, the Nordic countries, and many other countries around the world. In Spain and many Latin American countries, the cheese was long considered a delicacy. In the Mexican state of Yucatan, it is prepared as queso relleno (stuffed cheese). A ball of cheese is cut in half and carved out; it is then stuffed with a mixture seasoned ground meat, raisins, capers and olives. Finally, it is braised in chicken stock, and served sliced with the chicken stock that has been thickened with cornstarch and spiced tomato sauce.[7] It is the most common cheese used in Czech republic and also very often used as base of the popular snack (Czech: smažený sýr) in the Czech Republic and Slovakia (Slovak: vyprážaný syr)[8] where it may be served with a slice of ham (Slovak: so šunkou),[9] and always with tartar sauce (tatárska omáčka) or mayonnaise. In the Philippines, Edam is better known as queso de bola. Edam is especially popular during the Christmas season, when it is customary for Filipinos to serve and dine with family and friends during the nochebuena feast, or the Christmas Eve meal. It is commonly served with jamón and pan de sal.[10] Its is also associated with Christmas in Sweden due to its red color, and is often found on the Christmas “Julbord” buffet.

In popular culture[edit]

Edam has been treated dramatically and humorously in a variety of cultural art forms. In the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, the main character believes its red outer covering is a sign of impending death. It is a wine flavor nuance in Sideways[11] and an object of desire in the animated film Shopper 13. The book title East of Edam, a playful take on East of Eden by John Steinbeck, appears in the movie Curse of the Were-Rabbit.[12] Edam is a seriocomic pivot in the Australian film Three Dollars.[13][14] Actor Jason Flemyng advertised Edam in the UK.[15] Edam was tested by the Mythbusters in episode 128[16] for its putative suitability as cannon ammunition against a ship’s sail, but it bounced off the sail without damaging it.[17]


  1. Jump up ^ Official Edam Town website Tourist information. Retrieved 2007-04-11
  2. Jump up ^ Miller, Laurel; Skinner, Thalassa; Tsai, Ming (2012). Cheese For Dummies. Culture Magazine, John Wiley & Sons. pp. 209, 210. ISBN 9781118099391. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  3. ^ Jump up to: a b History of Edam Cheese Edam.com. Retrieved 2007-04-11
  4. Jump up ^ “Kraft Food Operations”. Kraft Operations, Waupaca, WI. Archived from the original on 2008-02-03. Retrieved 2007-04-11. Company website.
  5. Jump up ^ Jenkins, Steven W. (1996). Cheese Primer. Workman Publishing Company. p. 373. ISBN 0-89480-762-5. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
  6. Jump up ^ Slinkard, Stacy Serving Wine and Cheese About.com. Retrieved April 8, 2010.
  7. Jump up ^ Queso Relleno Recipe. [1] Yucatan Today. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
  8. Jump up ^ Vyprážaný syr [2] AuthenticSlovakia.com. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  9. Jump up ^ Slovak Food [3] TravelSpectator.sk. Retrieved 2010-11-10.
  10. Jump up ^ Carballo, Bibsy (August 2, 2009). Our one-of-a-kind ‘queso de bola’. Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  11. Jump up ^ Jordan, N. (January 31, 2010). Would you like some whine with that cheese?”. Salon.com. Retrieved 11-02-2009.
  12. Jump up ^ Edelstein, David (October 7, 2005) 24 Carrot Bliss Slate Magazine Movie review. Retrieved 2007-03-05.
  13. Jump up ^ Bowden, Tracy (April 11, 2005). “David Wenham goes from strength to strength.” (Transcript). Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 11-02-2010.
  14. Jump up ^ Connolly, Robert (Director) (2005). Three Dollars (Motion picture). Australia: Dendy Films. Event occurs at 1:08:33.
  15. Jump up ^ Lloyd, Dan (August 8, 2008) Jason Flemyng:I’m sexy if you like gingers. The Mirror. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  16. Jump up ^ “Mythbusters – Greased Lightning”. Discovery.com. October 28, 2009. Retrieved 11-02-2010.
  17. Jump up ^ “Results: Mythbusters – Greased Lightning”. MythbustersResults.com. October 28, 2009. Retrieved 11-02-2009.