Edam is a medium-hard cheese, produced from part-skimmed cow's milk and has a sweet, slightly nutty flavour. It is Holland's second most exported cheese and originally came from the town of Edam which is in the Netherlands, close to Amsterdam. The town is worth a visit if you are ever in the area, and there are bicycle tours from Amsterdam to the area available.
The colour of the wax coating tells a lot about the cheese. The typical red wax coating denotes a young Edam produced for export. In Holland, the cheese is sold with a yellow wax coating. A black wax coating shows that the cheese has been matured for at least 17 weeks and therefore has a stronger flavour. Other colours of wax coating can be found, for example, a green coating generally indicates that the cheese contains added ingredients such as herbs or garlic.
Edam is available in both full fat and reduced fat varieties and is also suitable for use during pregnancy as the milk used is pasteurised and there is therefore no risk of Listeriosis
Edam on Crackers
Place a slice of cheese on to a cracker of your choice. The cracker may or may not be buttered depending on personal preference.
Edam on Toast
Slice a piece of Edam thinly (or grate it if you have time). Place a slice of bread under a hot grill until it is golden brown. Turn over and cover with grated or sliced Edam. Place back under the grill until the cheese starts to bubble. Ideal served with a fresh green salad. Unfortunately, this recipe does not work very well in a pop-up toaster.
Cut Edam into fingers approximately 1cm by 1cm by 8cm. Arrange these on a plate with various dips. Vegetables such as carrots or cucumber can also be cut into similar sized fingers and served in the same way. Edam fingers are particularly tasty dipped into Marmite.
Tomato and Edam Soup
Heat a tin of tomato soup in the usual way. Cut Edam into 1cm cubes and throw into soup once it is nice and hot. Serve with fresh crusty bread.
Take a jar of pickled beetroot or pickled onions. Remove half of the contents leaving the vinegar in the jar. Add enough 1cm cubes of Edam to bring the level of the vinegar back to the top of the jar. Reseal jar and shake well. Serve in sandwiches or as a tasty midnight snack. This may not keep very well but if you use beetroot, it turns the cheese purple.
Suggested Beverages to Accompany your Edam
Tradition suggests that a dark beer would be the best drink to accompany your Edam. There appears to be no exact equivalent in the UK, but a pint of Director's or similar would be a good alternative. For those of you that are a little more refined try a glass of Pinot Noir. For those of you who are underage, or just don't drink alcohol, a glass of apple and blackcurrant cordial can be heartily recommended.