Noord-Hollandse Edammer is a BOB (Beschermde Oorsprongsbenaming) Edam cheese prepared according to a traditional recipe. It is spherical, with a flat top and bottom and weighs at least 1.7 kg and at most 1.9 kg. The moisture content on the twelfth day amounts to a maximum of 45.5% and the fat content in the dry matter must be between 40% and 44%. The salt content is a maximum of 3.9% in the dry matter and is hence considerably lower than that of other Edam cheeses.
- Geographical area:
The cheese is made from milk obtained exclusively in the Province of Noord-Holland. Many dairy farms in this province are located in polders and land reclaimed from the sea, which have sea clay as their soil. Grass vegetation grows on the pastureland which is suited to the type of soil and the other growing conditions. The composition of this milk, especially the soft milk fat, in combination with the special method of preparation, gives a dairy product which differentiates itself from other Edam cheese through its special malleability. The distinctive taste of the cheese is also determined by the characteristics of the taste of Noord-Holland milk fat, the low salt content and the other process factors. In the case of the latter, it must be pointed out that quality takes precedence over quantity in production. The difference in quality compared to other Edam cheeses is clearly reflected in the price. Buyers are prepared to pay the not insignificant difference (about 8% more than other Edam cheese).
Noord-Holland Edammer cheese has been made since the Middle Ages. It was exported worldwide from Edam and other ports around the former Zuiderzee. This cheese was originally made on farms, as can be seen from the special Edam cheese presses on display in the regional museums of Noord-Holland. Since the end of the nineteenth century, Edam cheese has mainly been produced in factories.
The milk used as raw material is obtained in Noord-Holland. On delivery, the milk is partially skimmed and pasteurised. The ratio between fat and dry matter is established so that the fat content in the dry matter amounts to a minimum of 40% and a maximum of 44%. Traditional ingredients are added to the cheese milk, as obtained naturally (calf s) rennet, lactic acid (BD lactic acid) and colouring. The milk is then curdled and treated in the cheese tub, during which the curds and whey are extracted. The curds obtained are cut into blocks, put into moulds and placed under a press for a few hours. The cheese moulds are measured accurately and give the cheese its traditional size and shape. After the pressing process, the cheese is immersed in a brine bath for a few days to absorb salt. Then the cheeses are ripened on wooden planks under special humidity and temperature conditions.
Reference: The European Commission