Edam cheeseFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Edam/Edammer Country of origin Netherlands Region Edam-Volendam Town Edam Source of milk Primarily Cows / Goats Pasteurised Yes Texture Semi-hard Fat content 11g/100g Aging time 4 weeks – 10 months Certification No
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. 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. 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.
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. As the cheese ages, its flavor sharpens, and it becomes firmer. 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.
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. 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) where it may be served with a slice of ham (Slovak: so šunkou), 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. 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
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 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. Edam is a seriocomic pivot in the Australian film Three Dollars. Actor Jason Flemyng advertised Edam in the UK. Edam was tested by the Mythbusters in episode 128 for its putative suitability as cannon ammunition against a ship’s sail, but it bounced off the sail without damaging it.
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