Havarti (Castello Aged)
Castello is a cheese brand that was originally established in 1893 by Rasmys Tholstrup and expanded by his son, Henrik, before being purchased by Arla Foods, a Danish agricultural cooperative. Today Castello cheeses are available around the world, but in North America the brand is best known for its various blue, camembert and brie-style cheeses. Havarti cheeses were added to the Castello name in 2012.
Havarti is a traditional Danish cheese that was first produced by farmer Hanne Nielsen in the mid-1800s. Nielsen decided to travel around Europe to learn the art of cheesemaking, and once she returned to her farm at Havarthigaard, North of Copenhagen, she decided to produce a new cheese and name it after the farm. Today the Castello Havarti is produced at Nr Vium dairy in Vidbaek, Denmark, using mild that’s collected from farms in Western Jutland. This particular version is matured at least 58 weeks—over a year—moving between storerooms at different temperatures.
White in color with small eyes scattered throughout, the firm texture of this cheese maintains its elasticity but begins to crumble in the mouth as small crystals contribute an added crunch. Smell is slightly sour and nutty and taste is mild with a tangy sharpness that lingers but never overwhelms. Sweet and lactic flavors mellow to an earthy nuttiness, and hints of anise and proprionibacteria can be detected.
Pair this cheese with a moderately concentrated wine, such as a Malbec.