Say cheese

Denise Kortlever, Monday, 27 January 2014

Betty Koster is the ultimate cheese expert in Holland and owner of l’Amuse, a highly recommended cheese shop with locations in Santpoort and Amsterdam. Few people are as knowledgeable and can talk as passionately about cheese as Betty. According to her, what’s so special about Dutch cheese, is that our little country has many different terroirs and it is exactly those that determine the taste. “In the Netherlands, we have mature cheeses from the Groene Hart area and sweet and creamy cheese from the province of Brabant, where the cows graze on rich grass. We have the pré-salé (saline pasture) sheep cheese from the islands of Texel and Terschelling, and also the intense and smooth dairy products from the polders of the province of Noord-Holland. A journey along some different types of cheese you definitely need to try when visiting the Netherlands:

Remeker is made by Irene and Jan Dirk van der Voort on their farm in Lunteren. They own a hundred Jersey cows that produce incredibly rich and creamy milk, which the couple then transforms into outstanding organic cheese. The raw milk is processed and then matured in their cheese warehouse, so the taste develops slowly. Remeker is matured for six months and has a buttery flavour, whilst the 18-month old variety (Oude Remeker) also delivers a pleasant crunch. ‘Oude Remeker’ (mature Remeker) was awarded the World’s Best Jersey Cheese and Best Dutch Cheese (2008).

Lady’s Blue is a blue cheese made from raw goat’s milk and named after the ‘leading lady’ of the goat herd, its coat resembling the colour of blue cheese. The cheese is produced on the Kruidenwei (‘herb meadow’) in Gelderland by couple Ayla Groenveld and Ger Entjes. Lady’s Blue cheese is both creamy and spicy, but also surprisingly easy to digest.

Le Petit Doruvael may sound French, but is really a Dutch cheese made by the Vlooswijk family on a farm in Montfoort. This unique red flora cheese – one of the very few in the Netherlands – is made from pasteurized milk and can be recognized by its orangey-red colour. Le petit Doruvael is a deliciously creamy, soft cheese and has a very pronounced, aromatic scent.