Is Edam Cheese Vegetarian? (Can Vegans Eat Edam Cheese?)

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Edam cheese is a mellow blend of creamy and nutty tones which comprises the base, with hints of salt appearing in gentle sparks. But is edam cheese vegetarian?

No, Edam cheese isn’t vegetarian; however, it is made from cows or goat’s milk, which gives the cheese its savor (we’ll shed more light on this below).

Left to age, the flavor intensifies, and a bust of creamy textures and milder undertones fill your palate if you decide to enjoy it young.

Edams cheese maintains a springy texture in its youth but becomes drier and crumbly over time. It can be paired with rich fruit (i.e., Apricots, peaches, and cherries) and offers a delightful touch, and brightly contrasts the tones of other ingredients.

Edam cheese is mainly produced in Spain, north- and south America and is a delicacy for mostly younger audiences due to its softer nuances and texture.

Is Edam Cheese Vegetarian?

Edam cheese is not vegetarian, as I mentioned earlier. Still, the creamy and mild savory taste of a Mainland Vegetarian Edam Cheese block makes it suitable for vegetarians and people that prefer a minimized fat option.

It’s worth noting that no preservatives or additives were used when making Edam cheese; this makes most versions of the cheese gluten-free and good for vegetarians.

However, vegetarians should be mindful of the rennet source and avoid Edam cheese if it is made with animal rennet.

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How Is Edam Cheese Made?

Is Edam Cheese Vegetarian

Edam cheese is made with partially-skimmed pasteurized cow’s milk. The process begins with the milk being heated to 86 degrees f (30 c), and bacteria are added to the mix.

Rennet follows to create curds, which are cut into small pieces, heated to 104 f (40 c), before squeezing off all the whey. The curds are molded and pressed into small balls or wheels before salted and allowed to ripen at 50 f.

Edams cheese can be eaten just after production; when young, the cheese has a very supple texture, with a mild, slightly nutty taste.

To achieve a more complex flavor, edams cheese needs to be allowed to age; they become drier and saltier tasting.

If you purchase edam cheese imported from the Netherlands, you may find it covered with a shiny red or yellow wax coating. 

The wax was originally used to preserve the cheese and prevent surface mold from developing: it still serves this purpose, but it now serves as a marketing tool for the cheese giving it a distinctive look on the cheese counter.

There are also different wax colors used outside the Netherlands to indicate different properties:

  • Black wax: aged for at least 17 weeks
  • Green wax: herb-flavored
  • Brown wax: peppercorn-flavored
  • Orange wax: cumin-flavored

Although edam cheese itself isn’t vegetarian, you can get vegetarian and lower-fat versions that use suitable substitutes for your diet.

Edam Cheese Alternatives

Speaking of alternatives, here are some mild semi-hard cheeses that can be used in place of edam cheese in a dish.

One of such suitable substitutes for edam cheese is gouda; it has a similar mild taste and a handful of other identical qualities.

Gouda cheese has a dense and springy texture; it also features sweet and creamy tones with notes of hazelnut and soft butter.

If you want a cheese that can stand on its own or be paired with other ingredients and deliver a similarly sharp and bold flavor you will get from edam cheese; then cheddar is your best option.

It delivers tones of hazelnut and caramelized butter as its signature flavors.

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