Differences of Dutch Cheese

GOUDA HOLLAND

Gouda Holland makes up about 50% of the cheese production in Holland, making it the most important, iconic and best-known cheese. Gouda is a semi-hard yellow cheese made from cow’s milk with a 48 % milk fat content and a mild taste. Aging intensifies the flavor and hardness. Gouda usually comes in cheese wheels weighing around the 11 kilo.  The cheese is named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands, but its name is not fully protected. Partly protected status came from the European Commission in September 2010 (see category Made in Holland). Cheese under the name of Gouda is currently made and sold all around the world.

MAASDAMMER

Maasdammer cheese represents 15% of Dutch cheese production. Made from cow’s milk, it is aged for at least 4 weeks. It ripens faster than other Dutch cheeses. It has large holes, a domed shape and a sweet, nutty taste. The shape, typical taste and holes are created by special bacteria that release gases during the maturation process. Leerdammer and Maasdam are the best known brands of Maasdammer cheese. The cheese was created to compete with the popular Swiss Emmental by being less expensive and quicker to produce. In the process of making a cheese with the same general components as Swiss cheeses, the Dutch ended up with a cheese that is nutty and sweet, but softer than Emmental due to higher moisture content.

OLD AMSTERDAM

Old Amsterdam won the prestigious World Championship Cheese Contest in the Aged Gouda category. On March 18th 2010, the jury honored Old Amsterdam with the title Best of Class. Old Amsterdam competed in a category with 39 entries. On April 23rd Old Amsterdam received the prestigious Superior Taste Award in Brussels. This international quality award is issued by the International Taste & Quality Institute (ITQI) and considered the Michelin star of the food & beverage industry. Old Amsterdam was also honored last year. Old Amsterdam is a Gouda type of cheese originating from North Holland. The brand was invented in 1985 by the firm Westland Kaasspecialiteiten B.V. from Huizen. It is a cheese made from a recipe owned by the Westland Family. Designed to “age” quickly this cheese at 4 months old it is ready to be sold and “Old Amsterdam” tasting as if it were a 12+ month old cheese.

GOAT

Goat milk is often used by those who are young, ill, or have a low tolerance to cow’s milk. Goat milk is much more similar to human milk than that of the cow, being much thinner, lower in fat, and higher in vitamin A and potassium.  Because goat milk is leaner than that of cows, goat cheese tends to be leaner as well. For this reason, many dieters craving cheese will use goat cheese as a substitute, crumbling it on salads or melting it on cooked dishes.  Although cow’s milk and goat’s milk have similar overall fat contents, the higher proportion of medium-chain fatty acids such as caproic, caprylic and capric acid in goat’s milk contributes to the characteristic tart flavor of goat’s milk cheese.

LEERDAMMER

Leerdammer is a Dutch semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk. It has an aging time of around 3–12 months. It has a creamy white texture and was made to be similar in appearance and flavor to Emmental, but it is rounder in taste. It has a sweet and somewhat nutty flavor that becomes more pronounced with age. It also has distinct holes in it. In a past advertisement campaign this was made use in claiming jokingly that “the taste is around the holes”.  The cheese is produced exclusively by le Groupe Bel. The Leerdammer name is a trade mark of Bel Leerdammer B.V. Leerdammer cheese is produced in Schoonrewoerd in the municipality of Leerdam, the city which gave Leerdammer its name.

Generic Leerdammer-style cheese is sold as Maasdam cheese.

EDAM HOLLAND

Edam Holland cheese is the second most important cheese in the Netherlands, making up 27% of the total cheese production. Edam is semi-hard, with a fat content of 40% and a very mellow, salty taste that appeals to all ages. Aging intensifies the flavor and hardness. The cheese has a typical round shape and weighs 1.7 kg. Baby Edammers weigh around 900gr. Export versions often have a red paraffin coating

SPECIALTIES

Basiron:

–          A small Gouda Holland cheese with herbs such as nettles, mustard, pesto or with walnut which can all be seen as delicacies.

Dolaner:

–          The Dolaner Extra Piquant is at least 15 months matured on traditional wooden shelves! The maturation process costs a lot of effort and you can recognize the cheese on its crispy white crystals.

–          The Dolaner Sweet Piquant is a 16 kilo model cheese matured for at least 9 months in a traditional way. Dolaner Sweet Piquant has a very pure, sweet and piquant taste

Mook Smoked:

–          Mook is a very special smoked cheese. Unlike regular smoked cheese Mook is not a processed cheese. Mook is a natural cheese with a very creamy and characteristic smoke flavour. It has very good melting qualities so perfect for use in hot dishes!

Montana:

–          Montana has a sweet, slightly piquant flavor and aromas of fruit and fresh milk. Where the color darkens towards the rind, Montana’s trademark nuttiness becomes even more pronounced. It finishes with a touch of sharpness to balance out its milder characteristics. Montana pairs with a variety of beverages and appeals to fans of Gouda and Cheddar.

SMOKED CHEESE

Smoked cheese is melted and smoked, and then reconstituted into sausage-like shapes. It is usually sold in slices and has a distinctive brown rind and a smoky taste. Available as Natural, Chili and Black Pepper.