Old Amsterdam is a special kind Gouda cheese... Made from cow's milk - everything buyers and sellers know about it. The main secret is in the leaven, the keys to the secret are kept by the descendants of the Westland family.
History of creation
The family of cheese makers, in particular the son of the founder of the cheese dynasty Lambert Westland from Huizen, is considered the creator of Old Amsterdam cheese. From childhood, Lambert knew and loved the taste of cheese brought by his mother from Jordan. It was there that the roots of his family were located. In the imported product, the natural salty taste gave an unexpectedly spicy combination with the sweet taste of Dutch cow milk.
Having learned the basics of cheese making, Lambert Westland set out to create the perfect family product that would be admired by commoners and kings alike. The path to triumph was not easy, but in the end, a coveted specimen appears in the family. He became known all over the world as "Old Amsterdam".
Here's a play on words: Old has a double meaning. The cheese is classified as old because of its maturation, which lasts more than a year. The very process of "aging" is divided into three stages, the intricacies of which cheesemakers do not cover.
Holland's business card
The official presentation of Old Amsterdam cheese in the Netherlands dates back to 1985. The Westland family has spared no expense in magazine and TV commercials, proving that the recipes for this exquisite product have not changed since its inception. The cheese has become truly stellar, receiving more international awards than any other famous Dutch cheese.
Old Amsterdam has become the hallmark of the Netherlands.
Like other seasoned Dutch cheeses Gouda, traditionally the head of Old Amsterdam, is given a semi-solid cylindrical shape for easy storage and transport. During aging, crispy white crystals appear in the body of the cheese, due to which the product is classified as "noble". The deep caramel color and small holes called eyes distinguish the cheese from other varieties.
What is the zest of cheese? Without revealing the main secret, the Westlands referred to the fact that lactic acid bacteria give the taste of an old mature product, but how the delicate and oily consistency of the hard head remains is still shrouded in mystery. When old Amsterdam reaches a year old, a bright nutty aroma is added to its sweet-salty bouquet.
How "Old Amsterdam" is served in its homeland
If the owners prepare a "cheese plate" which is fashionable today, then Old Amsterdam is always located in the very center. Fruits and nuts adorn the flavor of the cheese. therefore Old Amsterdam is served with additions:
- Unsweetened pears;
- A tart red wine grape.
In addition, plates with pieces of freshly baked rolls, crackers, and fruit mustard are placed separately. The latter includes orange jam with zest. Italian merlot and cabernet, as well as young Bordeaux are served as wines for Old Amsterdam.
Before cutting, the knife is dipped in hot water - this makes it easier to cut the cheese into bars or chunks. For optimal cutting of cheese, special knives or guillotines are used. The latter themselves are interesting souvenirs that are good in addition to the main gift - a piece or a head of cheese.
Where to buy "Old Amsterdam", the price of cheese
In the capital itself, it is better to buy cheese at the Cheese Museum (Address: Prinsengracht 112, 1015), as well as in the specialized stores Reypenaer Cheese Tasting Room. There the circles will be cut into pieces according to your wishes. Ready-made packages are also waiting for you on the shelves, a piece of 450 g costs about 15 euros. There are also smaller cuts.
Online stores also sell real cheese both in heads and in individual packaged pieces of 450 g, 150 g and 90 g. A piece of 450 g will cost you 13 euros, including all transportation taxes.
It is best to buy cheese from trusted sellers online, as there are so many fakes of natural "Old Amsterdam" in the world.
Health Benefits of Old Amsterdam
- Like any cheese product, "Amsterdam" rich in calcium and proteins.
- Besides, linoleic acid is present in the cheese , which protects the body from atherosclerosis, heart and vascular diseases.
- According to the latest research, the sphingolipids (Greek sphingolipids) contained in the "Old Amsterdam", which are present in the cells of the nervous tissue and the brain, help prevent cancer.
- Dutch dentists believe that Cheese eaten as a dessert prevents tooth decay.
- You can also reassure those for whom lactose is contraindicated: mature cheeses such as Old Amsterdam contain minimal amounts of lactose.
Storage and use
To prevent drying out, Old Amsterdam should be refrigerated in its original sealed packaging. Before serving, it is taken out of the cold for an hour and allowed to "warm up" at room temperature.
The pieces remaining after cutting are wrapped in waxed or parchment paper. As a last resort, put in resealable plastic bags. Place the remaining cheese in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator.
Dessert with cheese
Sweet Mille-Feuille is one of the most popular culinary recipes with Old Amsterdam cheese.
Sounds intriguing: "Sweet Mille-Feuille with Old Amsterdam". Translated into Russian, the closest meaning is the name of the cake "Napoleon". Here is a kind of dessert offered by Dutch chefs.
- 2 pears;
- 2 apples;
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- half honeydew melon;
- 250g strawberries;
- 250 g gooseberries;
- 250 g of any cream with sourness;
- 2 tablespoons of honey;
- Fresh black pepper;
- 300 g of "Old Amsterdam".
Washed and dried apples with pears cut into very small slices and pour over with lemon juice. Cut the melon across into half a centimeter thick circles. Cut the strawberries and gooseberries in half. Pour the whipped cream, honey and fresh black pepper sauce over the fruit. Use a glass to cut slices from a layer of cheese a third of a centimeter thick.
You can use four cheese slices and one melon slices per serving. Put each piece of cheese on a separate plate and pour the fruit and berry mixture over it. Repeat alternating layers of cheese and fruit twice, then lay a piece of melon, followed by another layer of cheese. Finish each serving with a fruit layer, topped with cheese.