A contemporary look at Dutch cheese culture

Move over wine, there’s a new pairing sensation in town. Discover the unexpected twist reshaping Dutch cheese culture, and prepare to tantalize your taste buds like never before.

Picture this: a former British colleague, on the brink of leaving the Netherlands, always posed the same pre-departure question – “Where can I get my hands on a chunk of ‘brokkelkaas’? It’s the only souvenir I’m allowed.” Now, if that doesn’t speak volumes about the allure of Dutch cheese, what does?

A category of its own

Foreigners often peg Dutch cheese as either the (let’s be honest) slightly mundane ‘Gouda’ or the round and mild ‘Edam’. Brace yourself for a revelation: there’s a superior, more flavorful option – my personal favorite, ‘brokkelkaas,’ also known as the delectable Dutch ‘old cheese.’ This cheese isn’t bound by city or brand like Gouda or Edam; it’s a category of its own – called ‘Crumble Cheese.’

Why do I swear by this cheese, you ask? It’s the kind that demands you to sit back and savor every bite. Aged for a staggering 2-5 years, it comes at a slightly higher price point, but oh, is it worth it. The aging process transforms it into a spicy and versatile delight. As the cheese loses moisture over the years, it gains a richer taste and a robust structure. The saltier it becomes, the more it crumbles, as the salt crystallizes during the ripening process – you can even spot the salt crystals in the crumbled cheese! And when sliced, it lives up to its name, ‘brokkelkaas’ as it will crumble. You just learned a new Dutch word!

Brokkelkaas highlights!

A recent culinairy development is the cheese pairing experiences: Move over wine, there’s a new pairing sensation in town. Cheese aficionados are increasingly experimenting with unconventional pairings, marrying Dutch cheeses with unexpected companions like craft beers, artisanal chocolates, and even specialty coffees. These immersive tasting experiences elevate the enjoyment of Dutch cheese to new heights, tantalizing the taste buds with unique flavor combinations.

Vegan alternatives

And, in line with the growing demand for plant-based options, Dutch cheese-makers are venturing into the realm of dairy-free alternatives. From cashew-based Camembert to almond-based Gouda, these plant-powered cheeses offer a guilt-free indulgence for vegans and lactose-intolerant cheese enthusiasts alike.

So, next time you want to buy a piece of cheese, just say “Mag ik een stuk kaas alstublieft?”

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Written by Flowently

Published by: Flowently

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