Or, perhaps we should say "All of the Cheeses we Ate in Amsterdam".
We refuse to launch right into Gouda,as best as we can (although there are variances of the same). We know full well that Gouda calls Amsterdam is its home. Yet, there is a world of cheeses to explore when in the city, with, no less than hundreds of cheese shops. Good news for you, gourmand, as most offer free tastings - in not so hidden nooks and crannies.
Keep a weather eye out! There are is a deep river of cheese and the cheese-making tradition in Amsterdam that, with only a little research, shows that cheese here is an ancient and stalwart product. It has roots dating back to the 2nd century. Its traditions thread through the proud trade and expertise of its artisans.
We were lucky to have a venerable selec
tion of cheeses twice on our last trip. As you would expect in north European countries the cheeses are ubiquitous, well-developed and well-bodied. They are much like wines.
The first variety was on the dessert menu of j'Vijff Vlieghen. Luckily, it came with a small tasting menu to accompany it - served simply with a few nuts, honey and a fresh loganberry jam:
Wittle van Koning - raw cow's milk camambert maturing until it develops a strong and rustic taste
Oudwijker Stella - this red flora cheese is made from rare Dutch water buffalo.
Rouvener Extra Extra Oud - this hard goat's cheese has been manufactured since 1909, in Rouveen. It is white in color from the goat's feeding on grass.
Oudwijker Lazuli - based on the production process of Gorgonzola, but using Dutch milk and mold from Dutch soil.
The next day, we headed toward the Anne Frank house, and near to it, the Amsterdam Cheese Museum. There were more than a variety of cheeses up for grabs - simply grab a toothpick for each tasting (easily tossed in many receptacle about the store:
Jong Belegen - this was our favorite and we took a wedge for the rest of the trip - this 'young' cheese is eight to ten weeks old. It is soft and sharp.
Prima Donna is a Dutch parmesan-style, or Italian chaacteristics, made from cow's milk. The texture is firm, grainy and crumbly. It has a soft, nutty taste.
Boerenkaas is unpasteurized, raw milk from the farm's own animals - only made in small batches. There are many sweet notes, like a butterscotch with soft nuts.
Beemster Classic aged gouda-like - made from cow's milk and aged for eighteen months. The texture of this semi-hard cheese is firm, smooth and ceramy.
Old Amsterdam is a Dutch Gouda-like cheese of cow's milk, matured in three stages. Cheesemakers of Old Amsterdam use a proprietary mixture of rennet, cultures, salt and colorant - ripening the cheese in a three stage process, taking about 8 months. The cheesemakers can release or hold a batch of cheeses if it does not pass muster.
Meyer Vintage Gouda - this New Zealander cheese fof cow's milk, hard and crumbly with a nice crunch. The flavor is sharp and stays on the palate for a while. It is aged for a minium of 12 months.
What are you're 'deep cuts' of cheese when visiting Europe? Please comment, like and subscribe all things All Streets Gourmand!