Edam Cheese Vs. Mozzarella

Edam and Mozzarella are both popular types of cheese, but they have some key differences.

Edam Cheese Vs. Mozzarella

Let us compare Edam and Mozzarella cheese in detail so you can understand how they differ in origin, production methods, aging, texture, taste, uses, and nutrition.

What is Edam Cheese?

Edam cheese is a semi-hard, mild tasting cheese that originated in the northern regions of the Netherlands. It is made from pasteurized cow's milk or goat's milk that has been partially skimmed.

Edam has a pale yellow color and a firm, supple texture. When young, it is mildly flavored, but it develops a more pronounced salty and nutty taste as it ages over 2-12 months. Aged Edam also becomes harder in texture.

The distinct red wax coating you often see on Edam helps market the cheese, and it also prevents surface mold from developing to extend its shelf life. Underneath, it has a porous interior that allows air to penetrate and intensify the flavor during aging.

What is Mozzarella Cheese?

In contrast to the Dutch Edam, Mozzarella is originally an Italian cheese. It is a soft, white cheese with high moisture content traditionally made from the milk of water buffaloes. However, cow's milk is also commonly used.

Fresh Mozzarella has a delicate, milky flavor and soft, spongy texture. Low-moisture Mozzarella used on pizzas is often salty with a denser texture that provides ideal melting and stretching properties.

The unique stretched curd and shaping process used to make Mozzarella gives it strings and texture unlike other cheeses. And since it does not go through an aging process, Mozzarella is best eaten fresh to enjoy its signature milky sweetness.

Comparison of Production Methods

The processes for making Edam and Mozzarella cheese differ significantly:

  • Edam: Warm milk is curdled using rennet, the curds are cooked, whey drained, and curds pressed into wheel molds. The cheese is then brined or dry-salted to inhibit bacteria growth. It ages from 2 months up to a year.
  • Mozzarella: Milk is curdled with rennet, the curds mature in whey, then they are stretched and molded into balls or braids. The cheese is then generally consumed fresh. Traditional versions are prepared in hot whey or brine.

Edam requires an aging period that Mozzarella does not undergo. And Mozzarella gets unique strings and texture from an additional stretching step.

Difference in Texture and Appearance

The differing production processes lead to cheeses with distinct appearances and textures:

  • Edam: Has a pale yellow interior. It starts with a springy texture when young then becomes harder and more crumbly as it ages. The longer it ages, the more intense yellow color it develops.
  • Mozzarella: Fresh Mozzarella is white in color with a soft, spongy consistency. Low moisture Mozzarella tends to be saltier in flavor with a dense yet pliable texture. When melted, Mozzarella forms strings unlike most other cheeses.

So Mozzarella's signature strings come from stretching the curds. While aging transforms Edam from springy to semi-hard in texture and pale to rich yellow in color.

Comparison of Flavors

The flavor profiles of Edam and Mozzarella also differ noticeably:

  • Edam: Starts with a very mild, subtle nutty sweetness when fresh. Intensifies to become saltier and sharper as it ages over months.
  • Mozzarella: Fresh Mozzarella has a light, milky flavor and mild aroma. Low moisture Mozzarella tends to be saltier but still delicate. When melted, it takes on a rich, buttery taste.

So in essence, Edam flavor grows more complex with age while Mozzarella is enjoyed for its fresher, subtler taste.

Nutrition Comparison

Let's see how these cheeses compare when it comes to their nutritional value:

NutrientPer 100gEdamMozzarella
Calories357 kcal280 kcal
Calcium28% DV28% DV
Sodium34% DV1% DV

So if limiting fat or sodium intake, fresh Mozzarella would be the better choice. Edam works if you want the calcium level of cheese but less fat.

Key Takeaway: Mozzarella is lower in calories, fat, and sodium. Edam is higher in calcium despite being semi-hard versus soft cheese.

Best Uses for Each Type of Cheese

The distinct characteristics of Edam and Mozzarella make them suitable for different culinary applications:

  • Edam: Its firm texture when aged makes it an ideal pick for cheese platters served with fruits, nuts, breads, crackers or red wines. It also melts well so works in cooked dishes like grilled cheese sandwiches or casseroles.
  • Mozzarella: The king of melted cheeses, fresh Mozzarella shines in Caprese salad with tomato and basil. Low moisture Mozzarella is the signature cheese stretching atop pizzas and lasagnas. The soft texture also makes it perfect for pastas like ravioli.

Nutty Edam suits charcuterie boards or cooking. Stretchy Mozzarella tops breads, bakes, salads, and pastas requiring its meltability.

Shelf Life Comparison

The aging process Edam undergoes also results in a significantly longer shelf life versus fresh cheeses like Mozzarella:

  • Edam: Lasts 2 to 12 months when stored properly depending on the duration it was aged. The wax coating helps prevent molding.
  • Mozzarella: Fresh Mozzarella lasts about 1 week when kept refrigerated in liquid. Low moisture Mozzarella sealed in vacuum packs may last up to a month unopened.

So if you want a cheese that keeps longer, Edam is the better choice. For Mozzarella, plan to use it quicker to enjoy its freshness.

Which Cheese Has More Vitamins?

When we analyze the vitamin content, Edam emerges as the nutrition winner:

VitaminsPer 100gEdamMozzarella
Vitamin A25% DV13% DV
Riboflavin22% DV19% DV
Vitamin B1264% DV48% DV
Vitamin D5% DV3% DV
Vitamin E2% DV1% DV
Vitamin K2% DV2% DV

So while both can add vitamins to your diet, semisoft Edam offers higher amounts across the board.

Key Takeaway: Edam contains over 50% more vitamins A, B12, D and E than Mozzarella. Both provide minimal vitamin K.

Which Cheese is Healthier: Edam vs Mozzarella?

Determining the healthier option requires analyzing their nutrition and potential downsides:

  • Upsides: Edam wins for more vitamins. Mozzarella for less fat, sodium, and calories if you get the low moisture variety. Both provide protein and calcium.
  • Downsides: Edam is high in sodium. Aged varieties tend to be considerably fattier. Mozzarella made from cow’s milk is less nutritious than buffalo milk.
  • Healthiest Pick: Buffalomilk Mozzarella for healthy fats and protein without aging downsides. For cow versions, low-moisture Mozzarella in moderation.

The freshest Mozzarella is likely the healthiest pick due to production method and nutrition retained. But the right choice depends on your needs.


Is Edam or mozzarella better for sandwiches?

Edam is better for sandwiches because of its firm, sliceable texture when aged. It also provides more distinctive flavor than mild Mozzarella.

Can you substitute Edam for Mozzarella?

You can substitute Edam for Mozzarella in some cooked dishes or sandwiches since it melts well. However, Edam won't provide the stretchy melted quality Mozzarella is prized for on pizzas or in Caprese salad.

Is Mozzarella or Edam cheese more expensive?

Mozzarella is generally more expensive than Edam cheese. High moisture Mozzarella made from buffalo milk can cost over $100 per pound retail due to intensive production methods and limited supply. In contrast, aged Edam for export can retail between $6 to $15 per pound.


Now that you know how these two European cheeses differ, you can decide which better suits your recipe, nutrition needs or cheese board.

Both play dramatically different roles based on their unique characteristics.

Cheese Lover Chloe 🧀
Cheese Lover Chloe 🧀

I'm a total cheese fanatic! When I'm not busy studying to be a cheesemaker, you can find me scouring local farmers markets and specialty shops for new and exciting cheeses to try. Brie is my all-time fave, but I also love exploring aged goudas, funky blues, and rich creamy camemberts. Looking forward to sharing lots of melty, gooey cheese pics and reviews!