To add flavor and impact to a cheese plate, entree or even dessert, look no further than Havarti cheese. This semi-soft cheese with a buttery, creamy taste and mellow aroma delivers a delicious lift to foods. 

Havarti originated in Denmark in the 1800s and is named for Havartigaard, the dairy where it was invented. Master Danish cheese makers continued the proud tradition, and today Havarti is favored around the world by home cooks and professional chefs alike.

“Havarti is an incredibly versatile, gourmet cheese that’s easy to use for nearly any dish. It’s one of my favorite cheeses and a sure-fire way to add a tasty kick to your meal,” says Chef Michael Symon, co-host of “The Chew,” author of numerous best-selling cookbooks and owner of several restaurants.

Here are some tips from the expert cheese makers at Castello® for using Havarti cheese to give your favorite dishes a twist.

* Cheese plate: Castello Aged Havarti is an excellent option to elevate a cheese plate. This well-matured cheese’s delicate, crystalline structure forms during its long maturation period, creating a crunchy surprise that’s delightfully delicious.

To complement Aged Havarti’s buttery, nutty flavor, choose subtly sweet and savory pairings. A plate of delicate Marcona almonds, quince jam, white wine salami and a baguette will make for a delicious cheese course.

* Entree: Havarti also works well melted or shredded. Use flavored Havarti, such as Castello Havarti with Caraway, to transform the flavors of a traditional Reuben sandwich into a creative culinary adventure. In Chef Symon’s Reuben Ravioli with Caraway Havarti, the flavors of caraway and creaminess of Havarti provide the feeling and flavor that rye bread usually gives a Reuben, all tucked into a ravioli.

Create a mixture of corned beef, sauerkraut and grated Havarti with Caraway cheese.  Lay out potsticker wrappers or fresh pasta and insert the filling. Drop the filled pasta into boiling water until cooked. Toss with melted butter, scallions, chives and mustard seeds.

* Dessert: Originally, the Danish people considered Havarti a dessert cheese. Today, Havarti’s buttery, creamy flavor makes it an ideal complement to sweet dishes — including all-American desserts like apple pie.

Chef Symon also takes dessert to a new level with his recipe for Apple Pie with Aged Havarti Crust found at castellocheese.com. Add shredded Havarti to the crust, using its buttery, creamy flavor to complement a filling of Granny Smith apples, heavy cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, granulated sugar and dark brown sugar. Before popping it in the oven, dot with butter and top with turbinado sugar, for a heavenly ending to any meal.

Find more ideas for enjoying Havarti cheese at castellocheese.com.

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