Guide to Cheese Types
Dutch Cheese - Cheese Guide
June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly
Buy Dutch Cheese Online, Find Recipes
Buy Dutch Cheese online from igourmet.com! Please visit our online store and go shopping at the number one imported food delivery service in the USA. No matter where you go in the world, people associate The Netherlands with cheese. In fact, Holland is the #1 cheese exporting nation, exporting hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cheese every year. Dutch Cheese is popular all over the world because of its high quality, excellent value and pleasing taste that appeals to everyone's palate. The Netherlands enjoys a favorable climate for dairy farming and its soil is rich with nutrients from the sea, enabling the Dutch to produce the quantities necessary to support their enormous cheese export economy.
History of Dutch Cheese:
Cheese making in the Netherlands can be traced back to 400 AD. Cheese markets in the Netherlands have been operating for hundreds of years, catering to international buyers who come to inspect the current production of Gouda and Edam. Farmers bring their cheese to the markets where they are weighed, priced, sampled and sold. Today, some of the traditional cheese markets have been converted to tourist attractions, while markets in Woerden and Gouda (the town) are still operating as commercial markets. Cheese museums, such as The Cheese Museum in Alkmaar, are also popular, and provide evidence of the rich Dutch Cheese making history.
Types of Dutch Cheese:
Gouda cheese is the most famous, and most produced, Dutch Cheese, followed by Edam, Maasdam, Boerenkaas, Leyden and lesser known cheeses.
Gouda: Gouda is the best known Dutch Cheese and its recipe has been copied (but rarely equalled) by cheese makers around the world. Gouda accounts for over half of Holland's cheese production. A round cheese typically available in 9 to 24 pound wax-coated wheels, Gouda is named after the Dutch town of the same name. This traditional semi-soft cow's milk cheese is made from 48% butterfat milk and can be aged anywhere from 3 months to 5 years of more. When aged for over 18 months, this Dutch Cheese's flavor becomes intense and complex. It is called Boerenkaas when it is handmade on the farm, typically from raw milk. Gouda is perfect as both a table and dessert cheese, and is a perfect complement to fruit and wine.
Edam: Edam is a semi-hard cow's milk cheese and second only to Gouda as Holland's most exported cheese. Edam is known for its spherical shape with flattened ends, although this typical Dutch Cheese can be produced in loaf form as well. Edam, named after the town of Edam, has a yellow interior and is covered in red or yellow wax. Edam is made from partially skimmed 40% butterfat milk. The fat content of the milk is the big differentiating factor between Edam and Gouda. Because of its mild, lightly salty flavor, Edam appeals to people all ages. Edam does not spoil easily but rather hardens, making it a great Dutch Cheese to take along as you travel. Edam is particularly tasty when served with dark beer.
Leyden: Leyden Cheese, named after the town of Leiden, has a dry, firm texture as it is made from milk with as little as 20% butterfat content. This unique and distinctive Dutch Cheese is made with cumin seeds that impart a spicy aroma and tangy flavor. We love Leyden sliced thinly and served warm on bread. Of course, like all great Dutch Cheeses, Leyden is best served with beer or ale.
Maasdam: Maasdam is Holland's take on Swiss Cheese. It is made in 28 pound "baby" wheels and develops large holes during its maturation process. Popular under such brand names as Leerdammer or Mondrian, Maasdam is known for its sweet and nutty properties. This Dutch Cheese is excellent melted over a Reuben sandwich or julienned for Chef's Salad.
Nagelkaas: Clove Cheese is a Dutch specialty that can be hard to find. We have the Friesian people who live in the northeastern section of The Netherlands to thank for this spiced delight. Since cloves look a little bit like nails, the cheese is called as "Nail cheese" or "Nagelkaas" in Dutch. Nagelkaas has a pronounced spicy taste, so a small slice is usually all you need. Like many of the world's great cheeses, a little bit goes a long way.
Goat Gouda: Dutch Goat Gouda is a relatively new creation, first commercially produced by Henri Willig, but is now made in mass quantity to satisfy worldwide demand. Beside being delicious, Goat Gouda is also popular because goat's milk cheese are more friendly to those who are lactose intolerant. Not overly "goaty", this mildly tangy, creamy Dutch Cheese appeals to those who find other chevres too tart or chalky.
Delft Blue: Leave it to the Dutch to create a Blue Cheese based on their traditional Gouda recipe! Its waxed rind is colored blue on white like the famous Dutch Delft pottery. This relatively mild blue cheese is not intended for salads, but rather to be served as a table cheese, prefereably with grapes or apple slices.
Parrano Cheese: Another modern Dutch Cheese creation, Parrano takes the original Gouda recipe and changes out the traditional culturing agents for those used in the production of Italian Parmigiano Reggiano. The result is exactly what you'd expect - a cross between Gouda and Parmesan. Even though it is hard-textured enough to shred, Parrano is mostly used as a table or snacking cheese.