Havarti is a semi-soft cheese and is the most famous cheese from Denmark. It was produced by a Danish farmer’s wife in the mid-1800’s. She started it by traveling across the world to explore and learn the art of cheese making. When she came back to Denmark, she began experimenting with different ways of creating the dairy product and the finest among the ones she made was Havarti cheese. It was named after the farm where she made it.
Havarti cheese is made by curdling the cow’s milk and adding rennet to it. After that, the cheese will be pressed into cheese molds. Then lastly, it will be drained and left for aging. It’s typical aging time is around three months. If it’s aged longer, it can become saltier and may taste like hazelnut.
Characteristics of Havarti Cheese
Havarti cheese is made from high-pasteurized cow’s milk. It is an interior-ripened cheese that does not have a rind and boasts of a smooth surface. Its outer surface has a bright color that ranges from cream to yellow. It also has small and irregular openings which are known as “eyes”.
Havarti cheese has a buttery taste that ranges from sweet to very sweet, but has a slightly acidic flavor at the same time. The texture of Havarti cheese can be pretty supple and flexible and its buttery aroma is subtle but it can get sharp depending on the variety.
There are different varieties of Havarti cheese that range from plain cheese to aromatic cheese. One of the most popular variety is Cream Havarti. It is a deliciously mild, very creamy, natural, and semi-soft cheese. It usually ripens very little and has a smooth texture. Cream Havarti also comes in different flavors such as cranberry, garlic, coconut, caraway, basil, dill, and red pepper.
Another variety of Havarti cheese is the Smoked Havarti which has a smoked rind, adding new dimension to the traditional Havarti.
A slice of Havarti cheese contains 120 calories, 6 grams of protein, 11 grams of total fat, and 150 milligrams of calcium.
Serving Ideas and Pairings for Havarti Cheese
There are many ways to serve the cheese because both Havarti and Cream Havarti are table cheeses and they can be sliced or grilled. You can make a Havarti green bean salad and add some vegetables and spices in it. Or you can also create cheese puffs using Havarti cheese. It is also great to use in sandwiches that are made from Panini, together with spinach and peppers stacked in it.
You can also serve Havarti cheese as a snack or dessert cheese together with fruits, or use it while preparing dishes such as pasta, rice, and vegetables. It’s because the cheese can melt very well. Havarti cheese also goes well with wines such as lesser-oaked Chardonnay, light-bodies Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Havarti cheese is best for those who are looking for sweet-tasting cheeses. It is another kind of cheese that is perfect to serve in events and great to add as an ingredient to your favorite dishes.