From the peaceful pastures of North Holland comes a cheese that is so divine, its lands are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Beemster Polder is located north of Amsterdam with a history from the early 17th century. In 1612, this land was created by draining Lake Beemster to make way for agricultural land while protecting from flooding as was prone to this low-lying region.
The Dutch cheeses produced here to this day are steeped in the rich history and traditions of the land. One of the best examples of notable North Holland gouda comes from Beemster, a small family farm founded in 1901. The farm’s success was built upon that essential drainage, creating a nutrient-rich pasture that provide the cows ample feasting opportunities on the rich grass.
It takes exceptional milk to make this kind of gouda. That kind of milk can only come from cows that are well cared for, free of pesticides or artificial hormones. This gives the milk an incredible creaminess which is the basis for Beemster cheese. With artisan techniques, the top-tier milk creates a truly sensational cheese.
Deeper into the Terroir
Another point of interest for Beemster is that the soil is a unique composition. Made from slate-blue clay, the grass is far more fertile and dense in nutrients than grass in other locations. Because of the history of this land, the protection of it was of utmost importance.
While UNESCO has designated it officially, those on the farm keep up the traditions of quality. Curds are hand-stirred, the brine is traceable to the mother brine from the very beginning, and all cheeses are slowly aged in a natural way on wooden planks in stone warehouses. It’s a green and sustainable practice that incorporates modernized production while still holding true the traditional methods the elicit such heavenly taste and texture.
How to Enjoy Beemster Gouda
An hour before you plan to serve your Beemster cheese, take it from your refrigerator. Tempering is the term for this, which allows your cheese to warm up. This makes cutting effortless while letting the natural flavours of the cheese come to life. Leaving it wrapped prior to cutting it will keep the cheese in prime condition to serve, though once ready, cut what you need, removing the rind.
Beemster cheeses are best cut into rugged chunks. They’re ideal for a cheese board, snacking, or for use in cooking. With wine, dry whites like Chardonnay will pair nicely though if you prefer reads, choose a Bordeaux. When selected aged Beemster, something rich and fruitier in the way of reds will be a treat while a Riesling can offer a different feel in the way of a white wine.