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Edam Cheese in Filipino Markets, what's the connection?

Read this article, it gives history of this Edam specifically for the Philippine market. I also want to add that

Ensaimadas were not always made with grated cheese on top. It was eaten with slices of Edam. Cottage industries and commercial manufactures started adding grated cheese around the 60s on top as an innovative variation which made sense since it was often times eaten with Edam. Nowadays lesser quality cheese is used for the mass market. Queso de Bola is used by more artisan brands. The original ensaimada is a Malllorcan pastry.

Our one-of-a-kind ‘queso de bola’
By Bibsy Carballo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:51:00 09/02/2009

Filed Under: Food
HOW MANY of us take for granted the existence of ?queso de bola,? that beloved ball of cheese wrapped in red paraffin that no respectable Filipino home would be without on Christmas?

How many are aware that this ?queso de bola? is the only one of its kind in the world, custom-made for the Philippines through the decades?

An invitation from Willy Lambengco of Wilmington Imex, the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Manila Chapter, cheese master Erik Boas and executive chef Gene Gonzalez of Café Ysabel uncovered volumes of interesting data unknown to most.

Over premium Dutch cheese samples flown in from Holland, wine and Gene?s special dinner, we chatted with Boas, also Friesland Campina?s sales export manager for Asia, and got our fill of ?cheesy? stories. It also helped that Erik was born and raised in Jakarta, where his father served as commercial training officer during the Dutch regime.

In 1898, while our country was waging a revolution against Spain, a quiet but also important revolution was beginning in the farmlands of Holland, with a small group of farmers forming a cooperative that, today, is the largest producer of dairy products in the world. It became the biggest after last January?s merger of two reigning dairy giants ? Royal Friesland from the north and Campina from the south, to be known as Royal Friesland Campina.


The story of the beginnings of the Marca Piña Queso de Bola is equally engaging. According to Lambengco, the name was apparently coined by Dr. Frederick Zuellig, a Swiss immigrant to the Philippines, who founded the Zuellig Pharmaceuticals in the early 1900s. The company?s food division began importing this mature cheese shipped in crates and with salt added as preservative in the long journey from the Netherlands to the Philippines in the late ?30s.

The Queso de Bola became so popular that it became regular fare during Christmas, served with ham, ?pan de sal? or ?ensaymada? and ?tsokolate.?

When Zuellig dissolved its food division to concentrate on pharmaceuticals, the exportation from Holland continued with various merchants, notably Chinese, distributing the product until the current Wilmington group took over in 2001.

Boas says his company produces the Marca Piña Queso de Bola only for the Philippines, as it is especially made for the Filipino palate: around 250 million kgs are exported to the Philippines each year ? a drop, really, in the bucket of a company of 70,000 member farmers producing 11.7 billion kilograms of dairy products.

Marca Piña, Boas says, can only be made from winter milk, ?meaning from cows who stay inside during the winter months, because if we use the milk of summer, the cheese will collapse.?

?It has a 24-week maturity and 3.8 salt content, which is unique and only sold here in the Philippines. Even ?balikbayans? buy here to bring back abroad. The Dutch no longer have the salted cheese to make the long trip since they now have refrigeration.?

Feb 06, 2014
amzingg in Cheese

Edam Cheese in Filipino Markets, what's the connection?

I too have always been curious about this. The link above explains it. Why I was curious is because I wanted to see if there was an Edam sold in most cheese stores that would compare, but there isn't because these are made in the Netherlands specifically for the Filipino palate. Read on, it'll tell you why.

Dec 06, 2012
amzingg in Cheese