The Dutch, a practical people with natural commercial gifts, have always been Europe’s greatest traders. It’s sad, though, that cheesemakers have allowed consumers to lead them astray.
To wit: Edam and Gouda, with proud histories that have been lost to the mass producer’s quest to find the lowest common denominator.
Originally, Edam was sharp and hard, with an assertive flavor and rounded complexity. Alas, that’s gone. Today, there are no farmhouse producers left.
Unless someone comes along to revive the tradition, what will remain is a rather dull, unobtrusively mild, yellow cheese.
It has an aroma that’s lightly spiced, and a taste that’s just a bit salty. Made from pasteurized, partially skimmed cheese, Edam’s fat content is low and its tolerance for other foods high.