Edam (cheese)

Edam (Dutch Edammer) is a Dutch cheese that is traditionally sold as spheres with pale yellow interior and a coat of paraffin. Its Spanish name is queso de bola, literally "ball cheese." It is named after the town of Edam in the province of North Holland, where the cheese is coated for export and for tourist high season. Edam which has aged for at least 17 weeks is coated with black wax, rather than the usual red or yellow. Edam ages well, travels well, and does not spoil easily — this made it the world's most popular cheese in the 14th through 18th centuries, both at sea and in remote colonies. It is popular in North America, the Nordic countries, and many other countries around the world.

Edam cheese has a very mild taste, slightly salty or nutty and almost no smell when compared to other cheeses. It also has a significantly lower fat content than many other traditional cheeses being approximately 28 percent with an average protein content of 25 percent. Modern Edam is quite soft compared to other cheeses, such as Cheddar, due to its low fat content.

A major producer is the Friesland Foods company in The Netherlands. In the U.S., the May-bud brand is sold by the Churny Company, a subsidiary of Kraft Foods.

Mild Edam is considered compatible with fruit such as peaches, melons, apricots, and cherries. Aged Edammer is often eaten with traditional "cheese fruits" like pears and apples. Like most cheeses, it is commonly eaten on crackers and bread. Pinot noir is a recommended wine to accompany this cheese.

Together with bibingka and jamón it is one of the foods that complete the traditional Filipino Christmas dinner table. It is also typical in Spain and Latin American countries where it is considered a delicacy. It is the most common cheese used in the popular Czech snack smažený sýr.

Popular culture

Edam cheese has been mentioned in books, films, and on television. In the novel All Quiet on the Western Front, the main character believes that its red outer covering is a sign of impending death. It is a wine flavor nuance in Sideways; an object of desire in the animated film Shopper 13; and Wallace's book East of Edam in Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Edam is featured in a dramatic scene in the Australian film Three Dollars, and actor Jason Flemyng advertised for Edam cheese in the UK.

Also, in the English language, due to its name, a joke exists that it is the only cheese "that is madE backwards"

The original Babybel (red wax) is of Edam variety.

See also


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