Queso de Bola
Queso de Bola is the Filipino term, from Spanish, for Edam cheese. The term literally translates to “ball cheese.” It is a Dutch cheese in a spherical shape (usually slightly flattened at the top and bottom) and coated with red wax. With its festive appearance, it is a favorite at Christmas time especially as part of Noche Buena.
Edam is a semi-hard cheese that originated in the Netherlands, and is named after the town of Edam in the province of North Holland. Edam is traditionally sold in rounded cylinders with a pale yellow interior and a coat, or rind, of red paraffin wax. Edam ages and travels well, and does not spoil; it only hardens. These qualities (among others) made it the world’s most popular cheese between the 14th and 18th centuries, both at sea and in remote colonies.
Popular brand names of queso de bola in the Philippines include Magnolia, Marca Pina, Che-Vital and Marca Pato.
How to partake? The ball of cheese is sliced into wedges, and aside from eating them as is, served alongside ham slices, can be used as a filling for pandesal and to top ensaymada pastries or mixed into pimiento spread for sandwiches and such.
In the United States, you can safely buy queso de bola on Amazon !
Among the favored brands are Marca Piña, Dutch Mill, and Magnolia (San Miguel, not OMGpeke Ramar).