On 2nd December, 2010, the name "Edam Holland" was given a Protected Geographical Indication status to the cheese produced in Netherlands, only by the European Union.
If you love cheeses as much as we do, then these little (not so much) red spheres may be a great souvenir for you to bring back from your trip to the Netherlands! Your very own time-machine that would transport you to the Dutch meadows every time you bite into the cheese with some stale bread or crackers.
Edam cheese is a semi-hard pale-yellow cheese usually covered with a red or black wax coating. It has a mild flavor with a nutty as well as slightly salty taste when young. The flavor sharpens with age. As this cheese has a lower fat content, this cheese is softer than its counterparts.
Young Edam cheese is usually eaten with fresh-tasting, lightly sweet, sometimes tangy fruits like cherries, apricots, peaches, etc. Aged cheeses are usually eaten with crackers or some dry-stale bread. The aged cheese is usually paired with wine Pinot gris, Champagne, or may be some Chardonnay. Tastessence has gathered some alternatives to this cheese that you could use.
Edam Cheese Substitutes
This is yet another Dutch cheese made from pasteurized cow's milk. It is a pale-yellow, semi-hard cheese with a mild flavor that intensifies with age. The taste can be best described as slightly sweet and nutty with a mild salty finish. This cheese has a compact, firm, and crumbly texture.
However, the aroma of this cheese can be described as pungent, while Edam cheese has a very subtle aroma. We feel that Gouda makes the best substitute as this cheese goes well with fruits and can also be paired with wines that go well with Edam.
This is a pale-yellow, hard cheese that traditionally hails from Cheddar of Somerset, England. It is sometimes yellowish-orange in color due to the addition of annatto (a reddish colored condiment with a slight peppery taste of nutmeg). Its texture is quite firm, compact, and crumbly. The flavor can be best described as creamy; it has a sort of salty-sharp taste that intensifies with aging. The addition of annatto lends it a nutty flavor, which is similar to that of Edam cheese.
This hard, pale-yellow Swiss cheese can be a great alternative to Edam when used in baked dishes like soufflés. The flavor is a combination of creamy, nutty, and slightly fruity when young, which takes on a prominent earthy taste with age. The best quality of this cheese, that makes it an excellent option for cooking, is its mild taste that doesn't overpower other ingredients of the dish. This cheese also works well with the wines that go with Edam.
This semi-soft Italian cheese can also be a great alternative to Edam. Young Fontina has an earthy-woody sort of mushroomy taste. Its texture is creamy, dense, and smooth. This is an aromatic cheese that goes well with red wines that also go well with Edam. Matured Fontina is a hard cheese that has a creamy, nutty, and tangy taste with a slightly sweet hint that intensifies with age. This matured cheese can also be eaten with fruits like apples and pears.
It is a medium-hard Swiss cheese that has a distinctive fruity, buttery, and nutty taste with a sharp finish. Sometimes, this cheese is said to have earthy-grassy hints. The most prominent characteristic is its signature marble-sized holes. This cheese pairs well with fresh fruits. It can also accompany a glass of crisp white wines that are usually well-paired with Edam.
There are three forms of Appenzeller cheese: "Classic", aged 3-4 months; "Surchoix", aged 4-6 months; and "Extra", aged 6 months or longer. This cheese can be used in sandwiches, pastas, and grilling. This cheese can be paired with wines that go well with Edam cheese.
These cheeses need to be used only as substitutes for Edam cheese, but they can grace your everyday soups, pastas, and salads or the uber fancy ones like soufflés too.