Cheese Profile: Dill Havarti

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

-Dill makes everything better. This includes Danish cheeses.-

When I'm sick I rarely ever eat anything other than juice, water, and chicken broth. If I have to eat something, it'll usually be fruit or lightly sauteed vegetables. Meats, grains, and dairy weigh me down and make me feel like my body has to spend extra energy breaking that food down. Energy that would best be spent healing from sickness and exhaustion.

Still, after a bowlful of blackberries or your sixth plum all that sticky sweet juice and tart skin gets a bit weary. It's usually then I decide it would be a good time to break open that little tupperware that's been sitting in the back of the fridge. Inside it, wrapped in paper, is a wedge of Havarti heavily flecked with dill. I'd been keeping it around to let it age a bit, which lends it a slight hazelnut flavor; however, in this case, delayed gratification be damned. I was tired, cranky, and hungry.

Cutting into it I noticed the irregular holes and the verdant shag as flecks of drab green dill fronds flare out. The smell is fresh and intense, even slightly mentholated. Something, finally, to wake me up from my sickly stupor.

Biting into a piece banishes all the sugar and acid from the fruit and replaces it with a fatter flavor. Dill Havarti is indeed sweet in itself, barely lactic, and tastes of butter, butter, and more butter. not the kind that comes to you in a stick but butter that's been recently whipped from raw, heavy cream.

-Havarti with dill is a fantastic cheese that pairs well on any cheese plate, matches many wines, and works well in many sandwiches and salads.-

The dill imparts its flavor throughout. The presence of certain molecular compounds such as apiole and carvone - these are responsible for the flavors of parsley and caraway, respectively - are abundant in dill and thus lend the cheese a very green taste. Slightly warming, slightly bitter, the dill contrasts against the fat and salt of the cheese and gives it layers of intensity much like a well composed salad where you're able to taste every intriguing ingredient in one bite.

Truth be told I was eager to get out a skillet and whip some of it into a quick grilled cheese. However, I was more eager to crawl back into bed before my next coughing fit. I sliced off another chunk of cheese, grabbed a dill pickle (I like to layer similar flavors) and snatched a few blackberries. I wasn't sure if the meal was provincial or slightly hobo/college student-esque in its whatever's-in-reach composition, but it suited me fine regardless.

Dill Havarti is a unique cheese if anything. It pairs well with things it probably shouldn't. From raspberries to lamb it possesses a wide range of flavors and tastes that make it compatible with many foods, so regardless if you're sick of other cheeses or just plain sick it will match whatever meal you're able to throw together.

-A cheese that's shaggier than your grandma's outdated carpet.-


  1. I first discovered dill havarti in my college's so-called cafe almost ten years ago. They used to put it on the single vegetarian sandwich option, and it haunts my dreams to this day. They sell a rather crappy dill havarti at my local grocery store but I haven't looked very hard for a good one... maybe it's time for a trip to the cheese shop.

  2. Mmmmm it's also amazing on a toasted bagel. Lightly melted. Mmmm...

  3. We've been eating the same cheese lately. It is weird. Bought some Havarti Dill at Corti's about a month ago. Then...there is that Barely Buzzed too. We are on the same cheese wave-length.

  4. Have been enjoying the pleasant and refreshing taste of Havarti Dill cheese for years. It does indeed complement so many dishes and is equally zesty on the traditional assortment of crackers as well. Great with fruit too! The only limitations of this cheese are your imagination. The best recipes sometimes come out of experimentation....
    if you haven't tried this flavorful and pleasing cheese yet then now is the time to give it a try!

  5. Divine melted over chicken breast!


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