Cheddar vs Havarti

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Aaron

  • Cheddar tastes stronger than Havarti cheese.

So, what are cheddar and havarti exactly, and how different are they?

Cheese is an aged-old staple in Western culture. And among them, we have cheddar and Havarti which are quite popular.

If you were asked for the differences, uhmm.. at least they both taste somehow different as much as we know, right?

Without further ado, let’s start with the taste!

How similar are they?

Cheddar and Havarti cheese are quite different!

Cheddar is a type of hard cheese that is made from cow’s milk. It has a strong flavor and a smooth, firm texture. Havarti, on the other hand, is a type of semi-soft cheese that is also made from cow’s milk. It has a mild, buttery flavor and a deep creamy, soft texture.

If we were to compare their flavor side by side. You will be able to tell cheddar has a particularly strong, tangy flavor similar to Colby and Gouda, while Havarti is more of the buttery, mild side of taste which is relatable to Swiss cheese.

Texture-wise, cheddar is smooth and firm, while Havarti is creamy and soft. Cheddar is typically an orange color due to annatto added during the production, while Havarti is usually ivory.

Cheddar and Havarti are both great to use for different purposes. Cheddar is a great option for those who want a sharp and tangy cheese flavor boost, while Havarti is a good choice to add more creamy and buttery cheesy flavor to the dishes.

One contributing reason to their taste differences is because of aging time. Cheddar usually goes older and ages longer — several months or for up to two years depending on the types, while Havarti is aged for around 3 months.

Which one has been around longer?

Cheddar cheese was first made in the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England. The cheese got its name from this village and has been made there since the 12th century. Havarti cheese, on the other hand, originated in Denmark. It was created in the 1900s by a farmer named Hanne Nielsen.

In this sense, cheddar is definitely the older one.

Are they made differently?

Cheddar cheese is made from cow’s milk. It is a hard cheese and typically aged for a longer time. The production method is somewhat similar to the grana style of hard Italian cheese, such as Parmigiano Reggiano and Romano cheese.

I have other articles comparing each of them to the cheddar cheese, go to the search bar above for more.

On the other hand, havarti cheese is considered a smear-ripened cheese (which means washing the surface regularly to encourage bacteria growth) made from cow’s milk and is a semi-soft cheese that is typically aged for a shorter time.

The production method for Havarti is similar to the process of making other semi-soft cheeses, such as brie and camembert. So, it tends to have a pronounced smell.

Can you just replace one with another?

There is no correct answer to this, but both type of cheeses can apparently be used in a variety of dishes. Cheddar cheese can be used in dishes such as macaroni and cheese, enchiladas, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Havarti cheese is great for dishes such as quesadillas, pizza, and pasta dishes.

You can substitute Havarti cheese for Cheddar cheese in most recipes, but keep in mind that Havarti has a milder but deeper flavor. Also, Havarti often comes with herbs and spices, so it might add an extra layer of flavor to your dish.

Is Havarti Cheese Healthier than Cheddar Cheese?

By comparing the data of Havarti USDA cheese produced by the Castello brand with cheddar cheese nutritionally (read my other article), there is no significant difference between the health benefits in macro-nutrient. Given that both are high in calcium, protein, sodium, and fat — it’s generally good for your health.

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