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 60 of 207

CHEESE FOCUS The vast majority of Dutch Gouda is factory-made from cow's milk and con- trolled by a handful of giant cooperatives. Cono, which produces Beemster, is the smallest of these co-ops by far, with 550 farmer-members. Daphne Zepos, whose Essex Street Cheese Company, New York, imports L' Amuse Gouda and other Dutch artisanal cheeses, says Beemster pays a pre- mium for milk from pastured cows. Most Dutch dairy cows are indoors, Zepos notes. To make Gouda and Gouda-style chees- es, most cheesemakers employ a practice known as curd washing. By replacing some of the whey in the cheese vat with warm water, they remove lactose and thus the potential for lactic-acid development. The result is a sweet, mellower cheese. This curd-washing practice is not universal, notes Koster, especially for Gouda intended to be consumed young. After pressing, brining and a brief drying, wheels are coated with a breathable polymer to slow moisture loss and mini- mize external mold growth. Koster says a handful of producers are moving away from this longtime practice, but keeping the rind clean is a labor-intensive process. In contrast to the polymer, the paraffin applied to some wheels before export stops the aging process entirely. Wheels in paraffin won't improve, says Koster; they may even start to sour. Affinage: Gouda's Many Faces The aging process demonstrates the true diversity that can be found in Dutch wheels. When young, the cheeses are mild, smooth and creamy—and, frankly, not that com- pelling. At this young age (3 to 6 months) these cheeses have buttery dairy aro- mas and a pliable paste; a plug of cheese bends without breaking. The Dutch consume these young, supple cheeses daily at breakfast on a slice of whole-wheat bread, says Marieke Penterman, a Netherlands native and maker of the award-winning Marieke Gouda from Holland's Family Cheese in Thorp, Wis. For a light supper, they might have a tosti, a grilled ham and Gouda sandwich. Reflecting the key Dutch role in the and 17th spice trade in the 16th centuries, many young Gouda-style cheeses contain seasonings such as cumin, caraway, clove, fenugreek, mustard seed or nettles. A year or more of aging transforms these semisoft cheeses. The paste becomes deep gold, firm and friable, often with crunchy protein crystals. The aroma blos- soms and sweetens, suggesting butterscotch, caramel and whiskey. Exclusive importer of Lars' Own specialty products. Celebrating 15 Years! 46 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com Importing Winning Brands and Providing Exceptional Customer Service Chicago Importing Company is a family owned and operated business committed to importing fi ne food, beverages, and confectionery products from Scandinavia, Northern Europe, Spain and Chile. We are dedicated to growing the individual values of our brands while building consumer demand. 800-828-7983 . SALESCHICAGOIMPORTING.COM . WWW.CHICAGOIMPORTING.COM Summer Fancy Food Show Booth 2517 Visit us at the Summer Fancy Food Show Booth# 2517

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