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|Other names||cream Havarti, flødehavarti|
|Country of origin||Denmark|
|Source of milk||Cow|
|Aging time||3 months|
|Certification||Havarti PGI (Oct. 2019)|
|Related media on Wikimedia Commons|
In the 1800s, Hanne Nielsen (1829–1903) traveled around Europe to learn about cheesemaking. Nielsen's farm was in Havarthigaard, north of Copenhagen, and in 1852, after returning from her travels, she developed the technique to create havarti, a semi-firm cheese dotted with small holes.
The original havarti cheese is different from flødehavarti ("cream Havarti"), which is made from high-pasteurized milk, so that the whey proteins that would otherwise be eliminated during production remain in the curd. This raises yields, but alters the taste and texture. Cream havarti usually ripens very little, since the remaining whey proteins cause problems (off-taste, odd appearance) during prolonged ripening.
Havarti was traditionally a smear-rind cheese, but modern flødehavarti is not. Havarti is a washed-curd cheese, which contributes to the subtle flavor of the cheese. Havarti is an interior-ripened cheese that is rindless, smooth, and slightly bright-surfaced with a cream to yellow color depending on type. It has very small and irregular openings called eyes distributed throughout.
Havarti has a buttery aroma and can be somewhat sharp in the stronger varieties, much like Swiss cheese. The taste is buttery, from somewhat to very sweet, and slightly acidic. It is typically aged about three months, though when the cheese is older, it becomes more salty and tastes like hazelnut. When left at room temperature, the cheese tends to soften quickly.
In 2013 18,900 metric tons were produced in Denmark. As of 2019, 17,000 metric tons are produced annually in Denmark, of which 3,000 to 4,000 metric tons are consumed domestically. In 2015 17,700 metric tons were produced in Wisconsin and 7,400 in Canada. In 2018 Wisconsin produced 18,400 metric tons and Canada 7,500 metric tons.
Less than half of the world production is made in Denmark. Other major producers in the EU are Germany and Spain. Internationally, the main producers are the United States and Canada, with other producing countries including Finland, Poland, France, Australia and New Zealand. In the United States the main producing state is by far Wisconsin, with other producing states being California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington. The Danish multinational Arla Foods produces the cheese for the American market in Wisconsin from milk produced in Wisconsin.
Havarti is one of twelve cheeses whose characteristics and manufacturing standards are registered in the Codex Alimentarius as of 2019.
It has become a staple foodstuff in Denmark.
For 1 slice weighing 28 g:
In October 2019 the EU granted exclusive Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) rights to Denmark after four years of lobbying by the Danish industry. It may now only be produced from Danish milk and at approved dairies, for it to be sold in the EU and countries with which it has signed a trade agreement recognising EU PGI rules on cheese (specifically South Korea). There was vehement opposition and pressure from the US against recognition, which earlier compelled the EU to postpone the planned PGI status fearing it might be deemed too provocative amidst indications of a political backlash from the United States.
The Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), an industry alliance based in Virginia, United States, representing exporting interests founded by the U.S. Dairy Export Council to fight EU geographical indication guidelines expressed outrage over the 2019 EU decision to reserve the name for Denmark, claiming the PGI status is not "legitimate intellectual property protection, but instead for barely concealed protectionism for economic gain". The United States, Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay and Argentina have joined with the CCFN to overturn the decision. The CCFN has claimed that havarti is a generic cheese, and that the EU is trying to "egregiously ... monopolise global trade" in this and many other traditional European products, and is disregarding "established international standards". The CCFN demands that EU PGIs are amended to include the name of the region where it is produced, such that only the name "Danish havarti" is protected, a proposal Danish producers are amenable to. Danish producers contend it is domestically well-known as a Danish cheese and knowledge of the cheese outside Denmark is "extremely limited". The CCFN has urged the Trump administration to sanction the EU for its "abuses".
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- Shawna Morris, Thomas Lividini (2018). Comments by the U.S. Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN) and the US Dairy Export Council (USDEC) regarding proposed amendments to the European Union Geographical Indications Legislation on Foodstuffs (Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs (Report). Consortium for Common Food Names and the US Dairy Export Council. p. 1-4. Retrieved 28 October 2019.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
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