Hailing from Holland, Edam is second only to gouda as Holland's most exported cheese. It's made from pasteurized, partially skimmed milk and comes in spheres (with slightly flattened tops and bottoms) or loaves. Most mass-produced Edams are coated in red wax and are typically ripened for 6 to 8 weeks. A black wax coating typically denotes cheeses that have been ripened for a minimum of 17 weeks and sometimes up to 10 months. Edam has a pale yellow paste with a smooth, elastic texture and mellow, delicate flavor. See also cheese.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.