I come from the UK and I like my cheese strong. Cheddar should be extra mature, and no, the orange stuff they sell in the States is not it. Stilton should be extra mouldy, camembert extra stinky. So Dutch cheese has never really been my thing, the mild versions of Edam and Gouda sold in UK supermarkets appealing only for the bright red wax that you can peel off and roll into little balls.
This all changed in an unidentified cheese shop in Amsterdam (I don’t remember where…but really, pick any) when I was handed a slice of ‘oude Gouda’ (old Gouda) to taste….and lugging souvenirs back from the Netherlands has never been the same since….
The cheese we bought tasted like…parmesan…I think that would be the best way to describe it. An earthy, Dutch version of parmesan, complete with crunchy nuggets (of salt crystals? am I imagining that?). And man was it addictive. Several large chunks purchased to take back to London rapidly became history as we sat outside a lovely canalside bar, drinking little glasses of weissbier and stuffing our faces with slice after slice of our amazing new discovery.
I’m yet to find anywhere you can get the good stuff outside the Netherlands (clever…they must keep it all for themselves), and a recent move to SE Asia means cheese in general is but a fond food memory for me at the moment. But every time I go back to the Netherlands, I know I’m heading straight for the cheese shop and the oldest, most venerable cheese they have on offer.
The older the better in Amsterdam
14 Sint Agnietenstraat
Amsterdam North Holland 1012 EG