Specialty Food Magazine

JUL-AUG 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 56 of 207

CHEESE FOCUS Dutch Treats The ubiquity of one variation of Gouda in the U.S. has belied the exquisite variety that can be found among Dutch cheeses. BY JANET FLETCHER T he bland, red-waxed baby Gouda that signifies Dutch cheese to many Americans has created challenges for artisanal Gouda to make inroads stateside. In recent years, how- ever, high-quality wheels from the Netherlands seem to occupy ever more space at specialty cheese counters, and retailers report strong inter- est in these aged—sometimes super-aged—Dutch exports. Knowing more about these beauties should help cheese-department staff merchandise and sell them more effectively. "The regular red-wax young Gouda business is predominantly flat," says Steve Margarites, president of Best Cheese Corporation, an importer of Dutch cheeses. "What's growing is the demand for hard cheeses of different ages." Some marketers seek to distance these hard Dutch cheeses from Gouda, in part because of the latter's commodity connotations. Instead, import- ers market their Gouda-style Dutch cheeses under brand names, such as Prima Donna, Ewephoria and Beemster. (Here, the term "Gouda-style cheese" refers to all the Dutch wheels with a familial resemblance. They range widely in size, but all Gouda-style cheeses have characteristic rounded edges and flat faces.) PHOTO: STOCKFOOD 42 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com

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