The monks spent a lot of time developing cheeses. Following the Reformation the monastery was torn down in 1559 and the cheese type was thought to have disappeared. It was not until 1937 that the cheese was rediscovered at the state research dairy in Hillerød by H.J. Jørgensen. The cheese was first produced at Midtsjællands Herregårdsmejeri, and in 1952 the Esrom name was officially recognised.
Esrom is one of only two Danish cheeses that carry the EU's PGI label. Esrom is exported in large volumes which makes the label especially significant. Unique to Esrom is its smear coating. With this method - termed "the Danish way" - the cheese is produced for rapid smear ripening, i.e. surface ripening combined with ripening from within.
Arla Esrom cheese is produced at Arlas dairy in Nr Vium, Denmark.
Required characteristics for an Esrom Cheese:
- Country of origin: Denmark
- A granular cheese. Shape: Rectangular base. The length is approx. twice the width.
- Body and texture: Semi-hard to soft, pliable and sliceable consistency. The structure is characterised by innumerable holes of varying sizes, although no larger than a grain of rice, evenly distributed throughout the cheese. It is possible to add caraway as well as other aromatic herbs, spices or fruit.
- Taste: Mild, acidulous, aromatic flavour characterised by surface ripening. With age, the smell and flavour of the cheese are increasingly dominated by smear ripening.
- Maturation time: Min. 2 weeks when despatched from the production site.