Rosenborg®, Our Royal House
The House of Castello® began under the auspices of the name Rosenborg®, after the Royal Castle in Copenhagen, built in the 17th century by King Christian IV, a lover of fine art and architecture. The Castle is rich in tradition and craftsmanship, qualities that are reflected today in the range of Castello-Rosenborg® cheeses.
King Christian IV had a reputation for being the perfect host. He offered exquisite food and delicate wines at sumptuous banquets – to the accompaniment of music he himself composed! The centerpiece of every occasion was a fine selection of specialty cheeses.
The Origin of “Danish Blue”
Castello-Rosenborg® falls into the category of “mold” cheeses, the secret of which lies in a unique combination of rich milk, traditional cultures, and a careful ripening process. There are two types of mold in Castello-Rosenborg® cheeses – blue and white. Blue mold grows from within the cheese during its maturation and creates its unique flavor, while white mold forms on the outside of the milder Brie and Camembert cheese types.
Mold cheeses have been traditionally made in Europe for over a thousand years, especially in the south. In France, Brie originated near Paris and was a particular favorite of the royal court, while Camembert, from the Normandy region, was made by farmers for their own tables.
In the 1920s, a Dane named Marius Boel discovered an innovation to improve the taste of classic sheep’s milk Roquefort – using the rich milk from Danish cows. The result was a creamier, richer, and fuller flavored cheese, Danish Blue. It was an instant success and an enduring classic.
Danish Blue, with its aromatic qualities and fine taste, is made in the classic Danish tradition and has been imported into America for generations. As with all other cheese under the Castello® brand, our Traditional Blue boasts a unique heritage and a proud tradition of craftsmanship.
Why do we think Castello® is the king of specialty cheese? Two reasons: its illustrious history and its 115-year tradition of skillful production.
Our story begins in 1893, when the young visionary, Rasmus Tholstrup, decided to dedicate his life to cheese making. Over 110 years later, the story continues, with Castello being sold in over 50 countries.
Thanks to his high standards and hard work, Rasmus soon became a pioneer in his field. Fortunately, his son, Henrik, grew up to share his passion for cheese and the Castello® legacy was secured. Henrik Tholstrup took the family dairy from strength to strength, introducing a range of innovative, prize-winning cheeses.
Henrik bought a Swedish dairy and the successful Bianco cheese was born – a creamy Havarti with a smooth and supple texture that became very popular. However, it was Castello® that made Tholstrup a big name within the industry. Tholstrup developed the white cheese over the course of 10 years before its introduction, a debut that saw Castello receiving scores of medals and prizes.
In 1958 Henrik bought several dairies in Denmark, and on the first day of production, 17 Castello® cheeses were manufactured. Just four years later, that number had increased to 2,200. Thirty years later, 60,000 Castello® cheeses were being produced every day.
In 1963, Henrik received the Danish Cheesemonger’s award, having made “A tremendous effort by introducing the new Castello® cheese, which has made Danish cheese production highly successful and in a few years has gained remarkable popularity both in Denmark and abroad.”
At first, Castello® was called “yellow” because of its golden wrapping; this was the precursor of today’s favorites, Castello® Blue and the White version sold abroad. Having been acquired by Arla in 2006, Castello® is now available at a store near you. Give it a try – taste the legacy!
Crafted with Care
Making specialty cheese is a real skill. And thankfully, each and every one of our cheese makers shares the same passion for Castello® as our founder, Rasmus Tholstrup. He set the benchmark for precision, dedication, and the understanding of the way in which each and every cheese ripens.
Castello® cheeses each have very different characteristics. Our expertise means they are given individual attention. Only when Castello cheeses are ripe and perfectly ready will you find them on the shelves. Then it’s over to you to sit back and enjoy it – while it lasts!
How We Make It
The Castello® dairy might have grown in size over the years, but traditional production values of impeccable quality remain at the core. Here’s how we do it.
First things first: We source the best milk from the best farms – we wouldn’t have it any other way! Then we mix the milk with cream and concentrate it, before pasteurizing the mixture. Then we pour the milk and cream mixture into a vat, and determine the destiny of the cheese by adding a few further ingredients. For Castello® Blue, we add maturing culture, rennet and blue mold.
We like to think of what happens next as cheese making magic. It’s a simple enough process, but it takes skill and experience to perfect. The cheese starts to coagulate as it splits into the soluble part, or whey, and the insoluble curds. We cut and stir the curds and whey, then pour them into a round plastic case where they separate fully. The remaining curds soon become cheese, at which point we remove it from the casing and dip it into salted water. It’s the same traditional method we’ve always used, after all, why try and improve on perfection?
Next, Castello® Blue is pierced with lots of tiny holes before being placed on a tray in our ripening room. Trust us, it’s this vital mold-growing process that makes Blue taste so good! It takes about 14 to 16 days to ripen. After this, the cheese is washed, dried, cut, packed and left in a cooling room for 5 to 7 days at a near-freezing temperature. It is then shipped out after it is 21 to 25 days old.
Generations of Awards
Arla Foods has been making Castello-Rosenborg® cheeses since 1893, and the company holds an impressive record of world-class product awards. We’re bringing our very best under the Castello® insignia as your guarantee of exceptional quality, product innovation, and exquisite taste.
2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001
- American Culinary Institute Gold Medal “Best Taste” Award: According to a blind taste test conducted by American Culinary Chefs (ACC), the nation’s best-tasting imported Blue cheese is Castello-Rosenborg®. Castello-Rosenborg® has been honored as the best tasting by ACC five consecutive years.
2003, 2002, 2001
- American Tasting Institute: Castello-Rosenborg® Danish Blue Cheese, Extra Creamy Danish Blue Cheese, and Mellow Blue Danish Cheese won “Gold Medal” and “Best of Show.”
- Wisconsin Cheese-Makers World Championship Contest
- 3rd Place Blue Cheese – Traditional Danish Blue Cheese, Rosenborg® brand.
- Wisconsin Cheese-Makers World Championship Contest
- World’s Best Blue Cheese – Extra Creamy Danish Blue Cheese, Rosenborg® brand.
- Wisconsin Cheese-Makers World Championship Contest: World’s Best Cheese Overall – Extra Creamy Danish Blue Cheese, Rosenborg® brand. 3rd Place Blue Cheese – Traditional Danish Blue Cheese, Rosenborg® brand.
- Wisconsin Cheese-Makers World Championship Contest: World’s Best Cheese Overall – Extra Creamy Danish Blue Cheese, Rosenborg® brand.
- Wisconsin Cheese-Makers World Championship Contest: World’s Best Blue Cheese – Traditional Danish Blue Cheese, Rosenborg® brand.
- Wisconsin Cheese-Makers World Championship Contest: Traditional Danish Blue wins “Best of Class.”
- Wisconsin Cheese-Makers World Championship Contest: Traditional Danish Blue wins “World Championship.”