Havarti is considered one of the signature Danish cheeses, though it possesses neither Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) nor Protected Origin Status (PDO) and can thus be manufactured anywhere in the world.
It’s relatively younger than other famous Danish cheeses, with production starting only in 1921. Still, in just over a century, it has gained significant popularity in Denmark, with its name becoming nigh-synonymous with breakfast cheese.
Havarti cheese is considered to be the original Danish take on sliceable creamy cheese. It was initially referred to as Danish Tilsit, as German Tilsiter cheese served as one of the main inspirations.
Havarti is a semi-soft cheese made with cow’s milk, with a smooth, very rich, and buttery texture that becomes a little denser as it ages. It can be consumed at all stages of maturation, with young and fresh Havarti being a little more common than aged Havarti.
The younger the Havarti cheese, the sweeter it is, with the sweetness being the dominant flavor note in the fresh cheese, highlighted by slightly nutty and tart undertones. The more the cheese is matured, the more the sweetness recedes, with tart and hazelnutty notes becoming dominant, with only a bit of sweetness remaining as an undertone.