Though Edam and Mozzarella cheese are both dairy products, there are some prominent differences between the two. Among others, these differences are based on production methods, nutritional value, melting properties and uses. So, how can you differentiate between Edam and Mozzarella?
While Edam is a semi-hard Dutch cheese made from pasteurized cow or goat milk, Mozzarella is an Italian semi-soft cheese traditionally prepared from water buffalo milk. Edam is left to age and has a sour flavor. Mozzarella is typically served fresh due to its milky flavor. In addition, Edam is melting easier than Mozzarella.
If you’re curious, continue reading this article to find out more about the background of both kinds of cheese and a detailed comparison of their characteristics.
What Is Edam?
Edam is a semi-hard, pale yellow cheese that originated in the Netherlands’ northern areas, but it is also made in Spain, North and South America. Made from pasteurized cow or goat milk, Edam also has a relatively low-fat content compared to other semi-hard and hard cheeses, with about 28g of fat per 100g of dry matter.
Edam that is exported outside of the Netherlands has a shiny red wax coating, but on some occasions, such a coating can be yellow. The wax originally served to preserve the cheese by preventing surface mold from developing. It still serves this purpose today, but it also helps market the cheese by giving it a distinct appearance on the cheese counter.
What Is Mozarella?
Mozzarella is an Italian semi-soft curd cheese that is widely regarded for its delicate, creamy flavor. It is traditionally prepared from the milk of water buffalo, but sometimes other types of milk are used as well. Fresh Mozzarella is usually white, but depending on the animal’s diet, it turns a light yellow when seasoned.
However, it’s important to mention that water buffalo milk Mozzarella is more healthy than cow’s milk Mozzarella, having higher calcium, protein, and iron levels. Also, because of its low fat and salt level, fresh Mozzarella is considered to be one of the healthier cheeses on the market.
Edam Vs. Mozarella: Differences
Taste and Aging Process
When let to age, Edam’s flavor deepens and becomes sharper and saltier. When consumed fresh, Edam has a very mild and slightly nutty flavor. The aging process generally lasts for two months, but it may be extended for up to a year.
Mozzarella, on the other hand, has a very mild and milk-like taste. When melted, Mozzarella’s flavor can remind you of butter. However, because of high moisture content, it is almost never served the same day. When Mozzarella is in vacuum-sealed packaging, it may be preserved in brine for up to seven days or longer.
Even though it’s not as popular a choice for cooking as Emmental or Gruyere, Edam has good melting properties, so it’s frequently used when making creamy pasta, potato dishes, and baked egg casseroles.
Melting Mozzarella is a tricky business. There are many Mozzarella varieties, and whether the cheese will melt or not depends on its type and fat level. When Mozzarella does melt, it does so in a unique way compared to other cheeses, resulting in the cheese strings we all appreciate when we pull out a slice of pizza with Mozzarella on top.
If you need to watch your weight and you know that Edam cheese has 357 kcal per 100g while Mozzarella contains about 280 kcal per 100g, it’s easy to make a choice.   Moreover, Mozzarella has more protein, which is important for muscle growth.
Early Edam cheese pairs well with fruits such as peaches, apricots, cherries, and melons. Matured Edam cheese pairs well with pears and apples. It is also served with crackers and cookies, as well as wines such as Pinot Gris, dry and semi-dry Riesling, Champagne, Chardonnay, and Shiraz. If you are looking for a cheese to add to your sandwich, Edam is the one you should choose.
Mozzarella is commonly used in a variety of pizzas and pasta dishes, as well as in a Caprese salad with sliced tomatoes and basil. Since it’s one of the healthiest cheese options on the market, it’s often included in various diet plans.
Edam is made from pasteurized cow’s or goat’s milk that has been slightly skimmed, heated to 30°C, and enriched with bacteria and rennet in order to make curds. The curds are then sliced into little pieces, heated to 40°C, drained of whey, molded and pressed into small balls or wheels, and salted. Now, the aging process may begin!
The Mozzarella-making process is a tad more complex. The “pasta filata” production method, which means “spun paste” or “stretched curd” in Italian, gives Mozzarella cheese its distinct texture and flavor. The procedure begins with the selection of high-quality milk, which is subsequently fermented using thermophilic lactic acid bacteria.
The fat-to-protein ratio in milk plays a critical function in achieving the ideal texture and flavor. The milk is then heated to 34–38 °C before adding a chemical called rennet, which is responsible for the curdling process. When the milk begins to curdle, it is stirred to divide the curd into smaller pieces, and such pieces are left to ripen in the whey for about five hours after the rennet has been added.
Afterward, the curds are stretched in hot water (about 95°C), submerged in cold water, and put in brine. It’s an important step in the making process, as stretching gives Mozzarella its distinct texture and melting properties. It should also be mentioned that Mozzarella, unlike many kinds of cheese, is not aged, but served fresh instead.
When it’s still young, Edam has somewhat of a springy texture, but as it ages, it becomes drier and crumblier.
Mozzarella also has a springy, dense texture and a faint, scarcely noticeable aroma of wholesome cream, making it a favorite among those with sensitive palates.
Edam Vs. Mozarella: Which Is Better?
Having in mind that Mozzarella and Edam cheese are not used as substitutes, making a choice between the two will most often depend on your personal taste, dietary preferences, and what you’re cooking.
That being said, if you need to make a tasty sandwich, Mozzarella will be too bland to use and won’t contribute enough flavor, but a slice of Edam will do just perfectly. On the other hand, if you are keen on making a light salad, Mozzarella is the most logical choice of cheese to use.
Mozzarella also contains probiotics such as the microorganisms Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus fermentum, which are beneficial to the immune system, help prevent upper respiratory infections, and can lower blood cholesterol.