Other Cheeses worth Tasting

The Netherlands

JAN AND ROOS VAN SCHIE, ZWANBURGERPOLDER, ZUID-HOLLAND

Wilde Weide

A Gouda made from raw, organic Montbéliarde cow’s milk. Farmstead or Boerkaas as it is called in Dutch. From a farm on an island in a lake in South Holland, southwest of Amsterdam next to Leiden. The lake is called Laeck Zweiland and the isle Zwanburgerpolder. There are three producerns of Wilde Weide, but the cheese from Jan and Roos van Schie is the best. Pale yellow paste. A few holes that are just charming. Quite characteristic taste of nuts and milk – it is always reassuring. Creamy in the mouth as cheeses often are. The cheese is waxed, typically Duych, so cut away the rind. Is both made and aged on the farm. Goes well with fresh country bread, but is very cooking friendly as well. From omelet to pizza or fondue.
To drink: Wilde Weide is a cheese for wine lovers. Preferably, a wine from the Syrah grape and without noticeable oak. Otherwise, whites always go great, in this case French Chardonnay or European Riesling. The more mature the cheese, so also the wine.

KAASBOERDERIJ KOOPMAN, BP DE WEERE

Baby Gouda

A tasty tot this. Unpasteurized cow’s milk. Manufactured by Sjaak and Lia Koopman on a farm called Kaasboerderij Koopman located in BP De Weer. It’s just north of Amsterdam, on this sort of peninsula jutting out into the North Sea. On the farm they make 100 kg cheese every day. Sjaak takes care of the 65 cows on the farm and Lia takes care of the cheesemaking. The cheese is firm but with a certain elasticity and a few tiny holes à la Tilsiter (without further comparison). Fine fragrance of milk and a little stuffy cellar and some tulip bulb(!). The rind is musty from a long stay in a moist cellar. Cut it off. The flavor is long and intense, but quite round. Lasting long in the mouth. Good cheese this. Buy an entire cheese, it’s not that big. Decorative as well.
To drink: Much the same as the Wilde Weide above. Personally I would prefer a mature white. Good cheese requires a good wine.

BELGIUM

Le Herve du Vieux Moulin

A real stinker. From the Pays de Herve area in Belgium. made of raw cow’s milk and Vieux Moilin is the last farm dairy to use raw milk for their cheese making. Washed rind and definitely in so-called Limburger style. Strong smell but taste is mild. Formed like a dice and carefully wrapped in paper. Semi firm, compact but stillcreamy texture. Rind is soft and sticky. If you touch the cheese with your bare fingers, the smell will hang on for days. Three varieties; Doux (sweet) that also comes in an organic version and Piquant for the not so faint-hearted. The cheese has AOP protection.
To drink: Belgian cheese demands Belgian beer.

Ireland

St. Tola Log

A fairly big chèvre style cheese from Inagh Farmhouse Cheese in Co Clare, Ireland. Raw milk from their own herd of goats. White and beautiful interior with an ivory rind, very much influenced by Geotrichum. Texture is tight and creamy, a little bit on the dry side. Flavour is delicate with a hint of citrus. There is a fresh variety and a somewhat more mature one. There is also one covered in ash. Worth noticing that all cheese from this farm dairy has the name St. Tola + something, so St. Tola is not just St. Tola. As this is a big cheese, about 1 kilo, you do not have to purchase a complete one as it is sold down to quarters.
If it so happens that you find this cheese in a supermarket in Ireland or Great Britain; mind you it is most probably pasteurised. Only cheese made from their own milk and distributed through Neal’s Yard Dairy is made from raw milk.
To drink: I would choose a Sauvignon blanc, but wonder if a well chilled Guinness would pair just fine, as well.

Portugal

Portugal is a cheese heaven, especially if you are interested in ewe’s milk cheese. There is an array of artisanal cheese so just dig in. Cow’s milk cheese mostly from the Azores. You can find some fine goat’s milk cheeses as well, but a lot of goat’s milk goes into industrially manufactured cheese. Most artisanal cheese is made from raw milk and quite a few have DOP (PDO) protection. Below is a selection I highly recommend, but far from all-inclusive.

Ewe

Serra da Estrela

Made with raw ewe milk cheese (leite cru de ovelha) from the central to north of Portugal. The cheese has DOP protection. Soft and creamy after a small hour or so in room temperature. Made with vegetable rennet. Commonly regarded as Portugals best cheese. Washed rind of beige color. Cheese paste is straw colored. Comes usually in two sizes; of approximately one kg and small rounds of 250 – 300 g. Artisanal.
To drink: Whites from the Duoro and Alentejo work very well. Since we’re in Portugal, Port is a good choice as well. Works well with most cheese.

Nisa

Nisa is a raw ewe’s milk cheese (leite cru de ovelha) from the Alentejo region of Portugal. Comes in rounds from 300 g to 1,2 kg. Washed rind with a light yellow color. Made with vegetable rennet. Semi firm. Matured for about 45 days. Tasteful. Artisanal and DOP protection.
To drink: Whites from the Duoro and Alentejo work very well. Since we’re in Portugal, Port is a good choice as well. Works well with most cheese.

Serpa

Soft and creamy cheese from the Serpa mountains in the Alentejo region. Made from raw ewe’s milk (leite cru de ovelha) and matured for at least 30 days. Light yellow washed rind. Comes in rounds from 250 g to approximately one kilo. Leave in room temperature for a little while, cut the top off and eat with a spoon. Tending towards pungent style. Artisanal and DOP protection.
To drink: Whites from the Duoro and Alentejo work very well. Since we’re in Portugal, Port is a good choice as well. Works well with most cheese.

Évora

A small raw ewe’s milk cheese from the Alentejo region of Portugal. Made with vegetable rennet and matured for at least 45 days. Washed straw colored rind. Texture is semi firm. The paste has small irregular holes. Artisanal and DOP protection.
To drink: Whites from the Duoro and Alentejo work very well. Since we’re in Portugal, Port is a good choice as well. Works well with most cheese.

Azeitão

Soft raw ewe’s milk cheese from the area south of Lisbon, made with vegetable rennet as most ewe’s milk cheeses in Portugal are. Sold in rounds of approximately 250 g and wrapped in waxed paper. Washed rind and matured for minimum 20 days. Very delicate taste. Artisanal and DOP protection.
To drink: Whites from the Duoro and Alentejo work very well. Since we’re in Portugal, Port is a good choice as well as it works well with most cheese. Also try a sweet from Setúbal, it’s more or less the same region.

Terrincho Artisanal raw ewe’s milk cheese (leite cru de ovelha) made with traditional animal rennet! From the north of Portugal. Washed rind that sometimes is covered with paprika powder, especially the matured ones.This cheese may both be soft and firm. The more the cheese is matured the harder it gets so typically the paprika smeared cheeses are firm (Terrincho velho), while those with a pale yellow rind are on the soft side (Terrincho novo). Both styles have DOP protection.
To drink: Whites from the Duoro and Alentejo work very well. Since we’re in Portugal, Port is a good choice as well. Works well with most cheese.

Cow

São Jorge

A semi firm cheese from the island São Jorge in the Azores, west of Portugal. From raw cow’s milk (leite cru vaca) and DOP certified since 2006. Seems like all cow’s milk cheese worth considering in Portugal is from the Azores. Made with traditional animal rennet. Coated with paraffin. Comes as 8 – 12 kg wheels in three varieties with three, four and seven months maturity of which I have tasted the two latter. Artisanal.
To drink: My preference is white, but a good and mature red will also work well, as does Port.

Goat

Cabra Transmontano

As far as I know the only artisanal Portuguese goat’s milk cheese with DOP protection. Made from raw milk using animal rennet. Semi firm and from northern Portugal. Aged for 60 days and with a very typical taste of goat. Washed rind. White and rather compact paste but with a few “cracks”.
To drink: Since this is a goat’s milk cheese and from the north of Portugal I would try a green wine, i.e. Vinho verde. But make sure it’s not sparkling, though, not even slightly.

Sweden

ALMNÄS BRUK

Anno 1225

Swedish firm cheese that dates back to the Middle Ages. The cheese matures in moulds which are copies of the originals from the Middle Ages. Organic and raw cow’s milk cheese. Matures for five to seven months. Wonderful wonderful and colorful rind from “wild flower” bacterial cultures in the maturing cellar. Scents of cellar. Not a very intense cheese. Somewhat buttery, nice balance and long taste.
To drink: White Burgundy.

Wrångebäcksosten

A classic firm cheese made according to a recipe from the 1800s. Said to be the starting point for cheese with the fine holes that is so typical for Swedish cheese. Organic and raw from cow’s milk. Aged for 18 months before sale. This is Sweden’s oldest cheese brand.
To drink: White Burgundy.

Almnäs Tegel

A hard cheese along the style of Parmigiano Reggiano and the Swiss Sbrinz, but the color is brick red. Sweetish flavor and the texture turns creamy when you eat it. Almnäs’ best cheese in my opinion. Organic and from raw milk. Kept for a minimum of 22 months before being sold. Almnäs Bruk has for many years produced bricks, which has given its name to the cheese. The rind is stamped with the mark og a child’s foot, which used to be a trademark of Almnäs Bruk during the days of brick manufacture.
To drink: Certainly white burgundy here, too, but also red. It is of course possible to try an Amarone if that suits you, but I would prefer burgundy on the red side.

Hyby Blå

SOLDATTORPETS MEJERI, KLÅGERUP
En mild og god blåmuggost uten den bitterheten og saltheten man ofte finner i blåmuggoster. Fin syrlig smak og kremete konsistens. Ikke for heftig utviklet blåmugg, men fint fordelt. En veldig god blåmuggost, håndystet av rå kumelk fra nabogården. Kåret til Nordens ost 2016.
Å drikke til: En søt vin på den lettere siden, så som for eksempel en Jurançon. Også tyske Kabinett vil fungere flott.

Knekten

SOLDATTORPETS MEJERI
En fastost som er lagret i ca. 15 måneder, ystet av rå kumelk. Lang og rik smak med fin fruktighet og syre.
Å drikke til: En hvit fransk Chardonnay, helst fra Burgund eller Jura, Pinot Gris fra Alsace. På den røde siden, prøv gjerne en Beaujolais Cru.

Svedjan blå

SVEDJAN OST, KÅGE
Modnet mellom fem og syv måneder. En stram ost med et snev av en blanding mellom sødme og bitterhet, samt en markant, men kort, ettersmak. Kremete konsistens. Veldig fin og blå muggsetting. En fyldig ost, ikke for nybegynnere, men tvert imot en ost for de mer avanserte blåmuggostspiserne.
Å drikke til: Svedjan Blå krever søt hvit vin. Bru-Baché Jurançon La Quintessence eller en god Sauternes.

Svedjan gårdsost

SVEDJAN OST
Du har ikke smakt Västerbottenost før du har smakt denne. Grynpipig som svenskene sier. (Forholdsvis tett med små, uregelrette hull). Modnet fra ett år og oppover. Fin konsistens, passe fast, men litt kremete og saftig i munnen og med masse knusp mellom tennene. Krystaller det da. Søtlig anslag av melk i smaken. Fin gulfarge. En veldig god ost.
Å drikke til: Moden Chardonnay fra Burgund eller Jura, men også en rødvin vil fungere godt her. Gjerne Pinot Noir. Jeg har prøvt den med et glass Morgon, og det fungerte helt utmerket.

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