10 Famous Dutch Cheeses Made from Cow’s and Goat’s Milk

10 Famous Dutch Cheeses Made from Cow’s and Goat’s Milk

Every Lebaran or Christmas, mothers will be busy making one of the famous Dutch cakes, namely kastengel with one of the ingredients that should not be missed, namely edam cheese. Cheese is one of the famous cheeses from the Netherlands. Indeed, apart from windmills and tulips, the Netherlands is famous for its cheese products.

Since 400 AD the Dutch have been making cheese. Now the Netherlands is the largest cheese exporter in the world. The dairy industry is worth more than 7.7 billion euros. From the results of its dairy products, this country offers various types of Kaas which means cheese in Dutch. Let’s get acquainted with the famous types of cheese from the Netherlands.

  1. Gouda

Although the name may not be as familiar as edam, gouda cheese is described as the ‘King’ of Dutch cheese. Gouda is a semi-hard cheese that has a milk fat content of about 48%, which will be mentioned in the cheese.

Jonge Kaas is gouda cheese that has just ripened for about four weeks. At this stage, the cheese is still quite soft. This cheese has a low lactose content so it is suitable for those who have problems with cheese with high lactose content.

Another type of young Gouda cheese is Belegen Kaas which is two months old although belegen is suitable for those who prefer slightly older cheeses. Older gouda cheese can be eaten with fruit or grapes.

Meanwhile, the younger gouda cheese is preferred for sandwiches. Reypenaer and Old Amsterdam are popular brands of gouda cheese that are not produced in Amsterdam. It is not difficult to find gouda cheese in supermarkets and cheese shops throughout the Netherlands.

However, it is best when buying cheese to taste the various variants assisted by knowledgeable cheese shop employees who provide samples to buyers.

  1. Edam

In terms of export sales, edam is runner-up after gouda and it is another semi-hard Dutch cow’s milk cheese. This cheese is recognized because it has a round shape and is slightly flat on the sides although sometimes it also appears oval.

Although the name “edem” has similarities with Eden (Garden of Eden, in some cultures pronounced “edem”), it is the name of the town in the Netherlands where the cheese originated.

This cheese is yellow which is clear and attractive. The outside is covered with red or yellow wax skin. This cheese is made from cow’s milk from a Dutch farm, which provides an excellent source of calcium.

Edam cheese’s unique shape and easy slicing make it perfect for sauces, sandwiches, and soups. Milk fat is largely the determinant for the difference in final yield between edam and gouda cheese.

Edam is a bit light and feels a bit salty on the tongue. This cheese is generally favored by people of all ages. This cheese holds up well and can harden over time which can be taken with you when traveling. All the edam taste will be felt all when drunk with dark beer.

  1. Maasdam

Maasdam is another famous Dutch cheese that comes from the village of Maasdam in Zuid-Holland. This is a traditional Dutch cheese made from cow’s milk. This semi-hard cheese is wrapped in a waxy rind so that its soft and smooth texture with many large holes is covered.

The aroma of this cheese is fruity, while the taste is light, nutty, buttery, and sweet. This cheese has a high-fat content, at least 45%. In the early 1990s, this cheese was created as a substitute for the expensive Swiss Emmental cheese.

The cheese begins to age from 4 to 12 weeks. When young, cheese is usually consumed as a snack or used in sandwiches. Maasdam can also be thawed and used in fondues, soups, and casseroles.

  1. Boerenkaas

Sometimes referred to as farmhouse cheese, boerenkaas is a handmade, raw milk cheese. As a rule, at least half of the milk used in the production of boerenkaas must come from the farm’s cows. The other half can be purchased from no more than two other dairy farms. This ensures the product is traditionally made.

This windmill country does not have a wide variety of soft cheeses. Generally, innovation is a change from the existing style. However, there are a few exceptions, including Le Petit Doruvael, whose name, although it sounds French, is actually in Dutch.

This cheese that has been washed from the province of Utrecht has a distinctive aroma with orange-colored skin and a sticky texture. This cheese goes well with vijgenbrood, which is a flour-free “bread” made solely of dried figs, nuts, and spices.

  1. Leidsekaas & Komijnekaas

The city of Leiden was once famous for its butter industry and originally Leidsekaas or Leiden cheese was made from skim milk, a by-product of butter production. The fat percentage of this type of cheese is lower than gouda cheese which generally ranges from 20 to 40 percent.

The low-fat, dry, and salty nature of this cheese made it a perfect fit for the long 17th-century voyage by ship to the East. This cheese can be easily stored without having to be refrigerated for a long period. To combat the salty taste, it is thought to add cumin seeds.

The texture of the original cumin cheese from Leiden is crumbly and has a savory and slightly sour taste. The minimum age is 6 months. The taste of cumin will be intensified through the aging process. Not all cumin cheeses can be labeled Leidsekaas due to differences in fat percentage and the EU Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). Some cumin cheeses are simply gouda cheese topped with cumin seeds.

  1. Leerdammer

Leerdammer is the best cheese from the Netherlands whose ingredients are cow’s milk. This cheese was invented in 1977 by Cees Boterkooper and Bastiaan Baars at Schoonrewoerd. But now the production of this cheese is done in Leerdam, that’s why this cheese is given the name leerdammer.

This cheese has a chewy, smooth, open, and soft texture. While the taste is sweet, light, and has a nutty taste. Leerdammer is often described as a cross between Gouda and Emmental. This cheese will generally age between 3 to 12 months. Leerdammer is recommended for use in salads, sandwiches, and various cooked dishes.

  1. Geitenkaas

Goat cheese from the Netherlands is in the form of a soft and fresh goat cheese that is familiar. The style is like a semi-hard gouda. The advantage of this goat cheese is that the maturation process is shorter when compared to cheese made from cow’s milk.

Semi-hard goat cheese has a pale color with a slightly savory taste but the texture melts in the mouth. Kobunder Natuurkaas is a type of goat cheese smeared with Dutch apple syrup and stored in old peat shed.

The result is a cheese with a purple-brown or dark red crust, a crumbly white inside, and a fruity, smoked taste. Picobello is a raw milk organic aged goat cheese that comes from Heeze. Meanwhile, Machedoux is a light and sweet raw goat’s milk cheese that originates from the Province of Groningen. Organic Rouvener goat cheese when aged has a distinctive caramel aroma and nutty taste.

  1. Beemsterkaas

Beemsterkaas is a famous cheese in the Netherlands that originates from the northern part of the Netherlands. Although this area is not as famous as Gouda for producing cheese, Beemster cheese is very popular all over the world. This cheese is produced slightly southeast of Alkmaar in the Beemster Polder area.

This cheese is made in much the same way as gouda, but not gouda. The taste of this cheese is unique because of its unique soil, which is clay from dried seawater. All cheeses are produced by hand. Cheese farmers have formed a group to ensure that the price of cheese remains good and easy to find in supermarkets or cheese shops.

  1. Boeren-Leidse met Sleutels

Also known as boeren leidenkaas, this traditional semi-hard farm cheese from the gouda family is produced in the vast Leiden area of ​​South Holland Province. Boeren-leidse met sleutels is one of the three most famous kinds of cheese in the Netherlands that is topped with quite aromatic cumin seeds. As for the taste, it ranges from fruit to nuts.

According to the judges in the 2010 Dutch Artisanal Contest, where the cheese came out as the main award winner, boeren-leidse met sleutels have a mouth-watering taste, very seductive with lavender and topped with walnuts and with a bitter almond flavor.

This cheese ripens for 3 to 24 months and as it ages it is more suitable for grating. As a table cheese, boeren-leidse met sleutels go well with everything from beer to aromatic wine. As for the kitchen, this cheese adds a nutty flavor to salads, soups, and vegetable dishes.

  1. Limburger Kaas

Different from most famous cheeses in the Netherlands, once cooked, the Kaas limbburger produces a strong aroma. Despite the strong smell, it is quite light and has a creamy texture comparable to Belgian Herve or French Munster.

The cheese was originally made in the 19th century in the Duchy of Limburg, an area that is now part of Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Generally, this cheese is eaten with hard brown bread and onions.

It turns out that not only Edam cheese, which is a famous cheese product from the Netherlands. Other variants are no less famous in the world. Some cheeses are made from cow’s milk and some are made from goat’s milk.

Are you interested in trying the various variants of the famous cheese in the Netherlands? Which cheese do you think is unique and would you like to try it?