Is Havarti cheese similar to mozzarella? (5 differences)

In this article, we will answer the following question: “Is Havarti cheese similar to mozzarella?” and discuss what characterizes Havarti cheese, the differences between Havarti and mozzarella and how to include Havarti cheese in your diet. 

Is Havarti cheese similar to mozzarella?

No, Havarti cheese is not similar to mozzarella. Havarti is a typical cheese consumed in Finland, along with Emmental and Edam and is a surface-ripened cheese with irregular openings. It has a mild, creamy flavour with an acidic taste.

When the cheese is fully matured, its taste can be characterized as aromatically pungent, resembling the flavour of matured Camembert. The non-fully ripened Havarti has a milder taste.

The similarities between mozzarella and Havarti are that both are made with pasteurized milk and are classified as soft cheeses (1,2).

What are the differences between mozzarella and Havarti? 

Havarti cheese and mozzarella have some similarities and some differences. The characteristics of both cheese types are summarized in the table below (1,2,3):

Cheese Havarti mozzarella
milk pasteurized pasteurized
fat content 45 to 55 % in dry mass 18 to 60 % in dry mass
ripening 12 weeks to full ripening, surface ripening by Bacterium linens not ripened
texture soft to semi-soft with holes soft
pH 5.9 5.6
flavour acidic, aromatically pungent or mild milky, mild
salt content 2.2 % 0.1 to 0.5 %

How to include Havarti cheese in your diet?

Havarti can be eaten uncooked in sandwiches or included in cooked, as an ingredient in recipes. Country-style grilled cheese is an option. You will need (4):

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup red onion slices
  • 1/4 pound Brussels sprouts, stemmed and quartered
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • salt, pepper, dried rosemary, pepper flakes
  • 1/3 pound kielbasa sausage, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 thick slices of rye bread
  • 1 cup Wisconsin Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 6 one-ounce slices of Babcock Havarti cheese

Instructions (2 sandwiches):

Mix the balsamic vinegar with the honey in a pan at high heat to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer till the volume is reduced to 1/4 cup.

In a skillet, heat olive oil and cook the onion slices, sprouts and garlic. Add the seasoning and mix till the onions darken and remove from the skillet.

Add the sausage to the skillet and cook till brown and remove from the skillet. Spread butter on the bread slices, heat the bread slices till the butter melts.

Top with parmesan, sausage, onion mixture and balsamic mixture. Layer 3 Havarti cheese slices and top with a second slice of bread. Turn to heat the other side.

Other FAQs about Mozarella that you may be interested in.

Can you freeze mozzarella?

Can you freeze fresh mozzarella?

Can you freeze mozzarella cheese?

What cheese is similar to Havarti cheese?

Tilsit is probably the cheese that is most similar to Havarti cheese. Like Havarti, Tilsit is a Danish or Finnish cheese and has an acidic flavour and a soft texture, which is its best substitute. Other types of cheese that can be used as substitutes include (1,2): 

  • Camembert 
  • Edam 
  • Emmental
  • Muenster
  • Limburger
  • Gruyere

Which cheeses are similar to mozzarella?

Cheese types that are similar to mozzarella are the ones that can be stretched when melted. These are called filata cheese types and include Provolone and Caciocavallo, two Italian cheeses, and Oaxaca, a Mexican cheese (1).

A step in the production of the cheese types is the pasta filata, where the cheese is heated in warm water, usually to temperatures above 70°C, and the cheese is stretched to form a protein structure and coalescence of the fat globules.

This results in the melting and stretching properties of the cheese when heated, in addition to the release of oil.


In this article, we answered the question “Is Havarti cheese similar to mozzarella?” and discussed the characteristics of Havarti cheese and the differences between Havarti and mozzarella, as well as how to include Harvarti cheese in your diet.

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Clark S, Costello M, Drake M, Bodyfelt F, editors. The sensory evaluation of dairy products. Springer Science & Business Media; 2009 Jul 30.


Ritvanen T, Lilleberg L, Tupasela T, Suhonen U, Eerola S, Putkonen T, Peltonen K. The characterization of the most-liked reduced-fat Havarti-type cheeses. Journal of dairy science. 2010 Nov 1;93(11):5039-47.


Lo CG, Bastian ED. Incorporation of native and denatured whey proteins into cheese curd for manufacture of reduced fat, Havarti-type cheese. Journal of dairy science. 1998 Jan 1;81(1):16-24.


Country style grilled cheese [Internet]. Babcock Dairy Plant. 2015 [cited 2023 Aug 15]. Available from: