Pronunciation: [TIHL-ziht; TIHL-zih-ter]

A cheese that orginated in Tilsit, East Prussia (Tilsit is now part of Russia and known as Sovetsk), when Dutch immigrants accidentally created it while attempting to make gouda. It's now made in a variety of forms in various other countries including Denmark, where it's sometimes called Havarti Tilsit; Germany, where it's Tilsiter; or Tollenser; and Switzerland, where it was called Royalp or Royalp Tilsiter but today is generally referred to as Tilsiter or Tilsit. Tilsit has a semisoft to semihard texture with irregular eyes or cracks. Commercially produced Tilsit is made from pasteurized milk and has a pale yellow interior surrounded by a dark reddish-yellow rind. Its flavor is mild, spicy and tangy but becomes stronger and more pungent with age. A very strong version, called Farmhouse Tilsit, is made from raw milk and is aged for about 5 months, which creates a cheese approaching limburger in aroma. 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.

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