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Dutch Suitcase Cheese

Dutch cheese plate with mustard and tangerine marmalade Every morning in Dutch dairy land, people breakfasting in the nation of Holland spread unsalted raw-milk butter over a slice of sweet rye bread, then top it with local cheese. In case you didn't catch that, they spread slices of sweet, salty caramelly Dutch gouda goodness on top of more sweet cultured milk, a.k.a fresh butter. Every morning.

We have a Dutch friend and customer who recently brought in cheeses to taste that she had her father pack in his suitcase when traveling from Holland to Berkeley. She came in with two plates full of nearly all raw-milk beauties, including a triple-creme on the cheese board aged under 60 days. After she told me of her daily breakfast, I shed a milky tear of happiness. Then I feasted.

Aged Goudas

Somewhat rare to form, I might have consumed more butter that day than I did cheese. I don't say this without considering all the cultured cream I've had in my life, from Strauss, from Affineur Rodolphe le Menuier, from Italy, but the Dutch know exactly what to do with the most luscious milk of their prized cows.

And they're not bad with cheese either. Unfortunately for us, there is a cornocupia of Dutch cheese we'll never try in the United States- either because it's raw-milk and aged under 60 days, hence not legal to import, or just because so little is made, they'd rather keep it for themselves.

Below is a list of cheeses that Lidewey served us. As a side note, as stated by Janet Fletcher in Culture Magazine, flavored goudas are not faux pas in Holland. Rather than adding fennel seeds or cloves to their traditional cheese styles to provide cheese snobs with something to gossip about, the Dutch add flavorings for variety's sake- it's just to another way to eat cheese on butter in the morning. Hallelujah.

I need to visit this country.

1. Demeter fenugreek goat (gouda): mild, fresh, sweet, floral, fennel seeds.

2. Vlaskaas, Beemster  traditionally made only during the flax harvest. Pastuerized

3. Jonge Komynes, cow's milk, with cumin

4. Leerdammer: cow's milk, light, fresh milk and hazelnut flavors

5. Zeeuwse Ronde: triple creme raw cow's milk. tastes like sweetened creme fraiche- definitely only available in Holland. This is sad.

6. Belegen goat- aged 10 weeks.

7. Belegen goat- aged 30 weeks.

8. Friese Nagel kass, cow's milk cheese spiked with cloves. Uber strong.

9. Blue de wolvega, cow's milk, mild, buttery blue, firmer than many blues.

Ouwe Beemster

Bastiaanse, young and old

Leidse Kanter

Had you tried many of these in the states? If so, let people know where they can find them in the comment section below!

What other great, unusual, Dutch cheeses should readers try?