If there was a contest for the world's most perfect cheese, edam just might take the cheesecake. With a smooth texture and a mild, nutty, salty flavor that gets sharper as it ages, this Dutch-style beauty is made from skimmed and part-skimmed cow's milk, giving it a lower fat content than its compatriot, gouda, and other semi-hard cheeses. During the seafaring Age of Discovery, it was considered the world's most popular cheese and it's still beloved today by cultures all over the world.
In Wisconsin, edam cheese comes in the same round shape with the same iconic red wax seal as the original Netherlands' version. But our cheesemakers are always pushing boundaries to go where no cheese has gone before, so you'll also find Wisconsin edam in smoked, caraway, aged, organic, and reduced-fat varieties. You can be sure when there are slices of Wisconsin edam on the cheeseboard, there'll be a crowd ready to "edam" up.
Edam is a true crowd-pleaser – it goes with almost anything. It's a great melting cheese – shred it into pasta, potato dishes, and baked egg casseroles for oodles of creamy goodness. We like to make a pumpkin and spinach lasagna with edam filling in for mozzarella. You can also slice it easily for sandwiches or dice it and toss it with smoked salmon on a salad of mixed greens. Aged edam is a great cheese platter idea – it's sharp tangy flavor pairs well with zesty apples and pears. And how about this grilled cheese recipe: edam cheese with honey-balsamic roasted cherries, roasted turkey, and arugula on toasted dark wheat bread.
For cheese and wine pairing, try medium-bodied whites like a pinot gris, riesling, sauvignon blanc or viognier, or light to medium reds like Beaujolais or malbec. Of course, edam will never say no to a glass of champagne.
When drinking beer, edam likes an American lager, Belgian ale, bock, pale ale, porter or saison ale.
Edam is a semi-hard cow's milk cheese that originated in the Edam region of the Netherlands. It has a pale-yellow color, and a mild, nutty, salty flavor when it's young, which becomes sharper and tangier as the cheese ages. Edam is made from skimmed or part-skimmed milk, resulting in a lower fat content than other cheeses.
Edam is easily recognizable for its iconic red wax coating, which is designed to prevent mold from developing on the surface.
Edam is made with skimmed or part-skimmed milk that's curdled with calf rennet. After the whey is drained away, the curds are washed and formed into shapes before they are immersed in a brine, then left to age for 21 days to a year.
Get Pairing Ideas, Cheese Recipes, Cheese Facts, Wisconsin Cheese Awards delivered straight to your inbox.
Edam may have got its start in the Netherlands, but it sure found a home in Wisconsin. Maybe that's because the world's most popular cheese wants to rub shoulders with the world's most accomplished cheesemakers.
See, our 1,200 licensed cheesemakers (yes, we require a license – why the rest of the country doesn't is beyond us) have brought home more than 5,552 awards for their cheese. That's more than any other state or country in the world, including the Netherlands. (Hope there's no hard feelings about that, people of Holland.) And our state produces more flavors, styles, and varieties of cheese than anywhere else in the world, so it only makes sense that edam would feel quite comfortable in Wisconsin.
Simply put, Wisconsin is the state of cheese. That's why you want to make sure your next round of edam is from Wisconsin.
Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?
Check out the world’s largest cheese platform.
View our Current Issue
Need help? Say Hello
In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.