The Netherlands (commonly known as Holland) is a land of milk where a large pitcher of cool, rich whole milk is not an uncommon site on the lunch table. They take great pride in their milk products and this pride is reflected in the quality of their cheese.
The Dutch cheeses we import are very different from the typical Goudas one might find in the U.S. Many of our Goudas are from single farms using the milk of their small herd of cows. One of them is a multi-award winning cheese made by a larger company that works with several farms that produce very high quality milk.
We started on our Dutch farmstead collection by bringing in an organic cheese called Veenweidekaas in 2006. In the world of Gouda, there are two primary classifications: fabriekskaas and Boerenkaas. Fabriekskass is a cheese that is manufactured in a large volume using pasteurized milk and modern aging techniques. The focus on these cheeses is consistency and up-front flavors. Boerenkaas is literally farmer’s cheese and is small scale, hand-crafted production using the raw milk of one farm. There are two additional, very specific subclassifications of Boerenkaas called Veenweidekaas and Wilde Weide Kaas both of which are from the Groene Hart or “Green Heart” region of The Netherlands. These subclassifications are reserved for those cheeses that are produced by a collection of farms who agree to use less polluting farming methods. The Wilde Weide in particular is produced using organic farming practices.