One of Denmark's Favorite Types of Cheese is Danbo
Denmark is beautiful, lush, green and surrounded by cool seas which produces beautiful pastures for grazing. The bounty of milk, these pasutres help produce, makes beautiful Danish Cheese.
Danbo is one of Denmark's most loved cheeses.
The Different Styles of Danbo
This cheese gains much of its sweet flavor by washing the curds early in the process by removing some of the whey (lactose is milk sugar that feeds the bacteria) and limiting their ability to produce acid. It also gains it's character of flavor and aroma from a specialized bacteria that is encouraged to grow on the surface of the cheese by washing it regularly with a mild salt brine during the aging.
Danbo can be a fresh, sweet cheese with a creamy, buttery flavor or a much stronger and aromatic cheese, depending on how it is aged.
- It can be found with the characteristic rosy surface from the rind washing, or a very clean surface if that rind is washed off early in the process. Leaving the surface growth lends a more flavorful and aromatic cheese, removing this makes for a milder cheese.
- Danbo can be eaten very young and mild, or aged for 6-9 months to develop a much more pronounced character in both texture and flavor. It can also show some small gas bubbles, or be tight and continuous in it's body, depending on aging temperatures. Also the character of the washed rind
A similar cheese today is made in Brazil but goes under the name of Queso Prato
Just to refresh everyone's memory on where Denmark is, you will find it at the epicenter between northern Europe and the Scandinavian countries, with Copenhagen being the most well known city. Denmark is shown on the map here, tucked in between the Baltic and North Seas.
From history, we have all heard the stories of the terrible Viking Danes and their raiding parties; the fierce warriors that have turned out to be pretty nice people after all. Well it seems that in their adventures to foreign lands, they sampled a lot of the local fare and developed a taste for cheese. As time passed, they settled down and became a bit more agrarian, developing lush green pastures and herds of cows producing plenty of milk, most likely because Denmark is very poor in other natural resources and is mainly dependent on agriculture.
Today, Denmark is known for a wide variety of cheese and this month I will be writing about the cheese called Danbo.
The History of Danbo
The Danes were not shy about borrowing ideas, nor were they afraid of innovations themselves.
The history of cheese in Denmark goes waaaaaay back in time:
- 3000 BC: Acid cheese production may have started with farming
- 500 - 1100: The Vikings made rennet cheese; exported and imported know-how
- 1000 - 13000: Monasteries introduced new procedures
- 1232: Oldest document on cheese, used to pay taxes to kingdoms and church
- 1800 - 1900: Butter was the main product - skim milk cheese
- 1870: Hanne Nielsen, Havarti farm. 1883: The first dairy cooperative was founded
- 1900: The cream separator efficiently removed the cream but yielded a leaner cheese
- 1920: Marius Boel - homogenization of milk to Blue cheese - Danablu
- 1921: developed MSC in Dairy Engineering
- 1923: Danish Dairy Research Institute was established
- 1951: Stresa Convention - protecting their Danish cheese names