Cheese comes in endless types and tastes. If you are a true cheese lover, you must be a true enthusiast for Cheddar. Havarti cheese also has a wide base of fans across the world. Sometimes, a few foodies make the mistake of confusing Cheddar and Havarti. Both kinds of cheese can be similar when they are not aged.
If you want more insight into these delicious cheese types, keep reading this Havarti vs. Cheddar comparison. We will dive deep into their significant differences and highlight their essential characteristics.
Table of Contents
What is Havarti Cheese?
Havarti cheese is native to Denmark. Yellowish or hazelnut cheese is famous for its soft and buttery taste. It is made from cow’s milk and falls into the semi-soft cheese category. This cheese found its way to America through Danish immigrants.
Havarti does not have an intense taste. It has a mild and slightly sweet flavor. This cheese’s balanced and rich flavor allows it to stand alone in a sandwich or be added to various dishes.
You will need whole cream milk to make Havarti cheese properly. This explains the richness and creamy taste of the cheese.
Just like in making mozzarella and many other kinds of cheese, there should be rennet involved in the process. After the curdling phase is over, the cheese is almost ready. It will only need some molding and time to age.
Luckily, you won’t have to wait long to enjoy this beauty. It ages within three months, but you wait a year. This long wait gives you a darker color and a richer taste. As the Havarti cheese gets older, it develops small holes.
What is Cheddar Cheese?
Cheddar is one of the most popular types of yellow cheese worldwide. Mozzarella and Cheddar are two of the most commonly consumed cheeses. Like parmesan, Cheddar is one of the hard cheese types.
The authentic recipe for making cheddar cheese requires using cow’s whole milk. However, you can make it from other types of dairy milk.
The origin of Cheddar is the United Kingdom. As the recipe spread worldwide, new types of cheese appeared on the scene. You can find bright yellow, white, or even reddish orange cheddar, but the most common type remains yellow.
Unaged Cheddar has a smooth texture but ages to become firm and crumbly. Despite being a hard cheese, Cheddar maintains its creamy taste. A well-aged cheddar will develop a sharp taste which usually takes two years.
In this case, it will be called vintage Cheddar. However, after four months of aging, you can enjoy its mild and creamy taste.
What are the Differences between Havarti and Cheddar Cheese?
Cheddar and Havarti are often confused with each other, despite the apparent differences in their appearance, texture, and taste.
Bringing them side by side can be quite revealing if you are still trying to tell them apart.
Havarti and Cheddar were made in different parts of the world. Initially, the recipe for Havarti cheese was created in Denmark.
On the other hand, Cheddar was invented in England, particularly in Somerset. Despite their origins, Havarti and Cheddar found their way to international kitchens.
2. Historical background
Both recipes existed many decades ago but are of different ages. Typically, Cheddar is older than Havarti. The former was invented in the 12th century, while the latter appeared in the 19th century.
Cheddar can be made from various types of milk, but it was initially made from cow’s milk. You can make Cheddar from full-cream or skimmed milk. On the other hand, Havarti is made only from whole cow’s milk.
This is one of the most straightforward signs you can rely on. The taste is different, especially when you compare Havarti to sharp or aged Cheddar. Cheddar has a more intense flavor, while Havarti tastes creamy and buttery.
The texture of both kinds of cheese is easy to distinguish. Cheddar has a hard and firm consistency yet maintains a decent level of smoothness. The Havarti cheese, on the other hand, has a semi-soft texture.
By looking at the color of both types of cheese, you will find a notable difference. Unlike Havarti, Cheddar can come in various colors.
Havarti is mainly bright yellow or cream. Cheddar, on the other hand, can be yellow, orange, or sometimes whitish.
7. Proper aging
In terms of aging, both types of cheese go their separate ways. Havarti is left to age for only 3 months.
Cheddar, on the other hand, can be aged between 18 and 24 months. This age difference is responsible for the wide gap in taste as well.
8. Nutritional value
Both types of cheese are considered excellent sources of many nutrients, including fat and calcium. There is also a decent amount of protein in Havarti and Cheddar.
However, Cheddar can provide more calcium due to its hard nature. Also, Cheddar has a higher level of fat. So, beware not to overconsume Cheddar.
9. Serving options
Due to the intense flavor of Cheddar, you can use it in the famous grilled cheese sandwich. Havarti’s mild but creamy taste makes it ideal for inclusion in various recipes. This includes pizzas and kinds of pasta.
Cheddar is an excellent option for melting and turning into a cheese sauce. You can try to involve Cheddar in pasta dishes, but choose a mild type to avoid the flavor’s sharpness.
Havarti Cheese vs Cheddar Cheese: Are they the same?
Havarti and Cheddar cheese are not the same types of cheese. They are different on many levels.
Both come from the same source: cow’s whole milk. However, Cheddar can be made from other sources, like goat or sheep’s milk. Havarti has different flexibility.
Cheddar was made many centuries before the invention of Havarti. The former was made in England, while the latter is a Danish product.
As for aging, Havarti can only be aged for 3 months. Cheddar can be aged for two years. It has a harder and stronger taste in terms of taste and texture, while Havarti has a smooth, creamy taste.
Both types of cheese can give you protein, calcium, and dairy fat. However, as hard cheese, Cheddar will provide you with more calcium and fat.
Last but not least, Cheddar and Havarti can be used interchangeably in most kinds of pasta and pizzas. However, sharper Havarti can’t replace aged Cheddar. For instance, Havarti won’t be a suitable replacement for Cheddar in a grilled cheese sandwich.