Havarti (Castello Creamy)
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 aged less than two months, formed into a nine-pound loaf.
Mild in scent with a mixed yellow color, this Havarti is soft and springy in texture and instantly melts into a mooshy paste in the mouth. Very mild in flavor yet with a definite complexity, the slightly grassy, clay-like paste gives way to a milk-heavy flavor without so much as a hint of sharpness. Aromas of nuts and cured meat can be detected.
This versatile, mild cheese stays so creamy when melted; it would make a great base for a killer mac’n’cheese. For drink pairings, try it with a rich, ripe Chardonnay.