Dutch cheese is among the most popular and beloved cheeses in the World, known for its rich, creamy textures and bold, savory flavors. With a long history of cheese-making, the Netherlands has developed a diverse range of cheeses that are enjoyed both domestically and internationally.
Today, we’ll e exploring the top 10 Dutch kinds of cheese, including their origin, flavors, and usage in both traditional Dutch cuisine and international dishes. Let’s dig in.
Top 10 Best Dutch Cheeses, Origin, and Flavours
The Netherlands is renowned for its wide variety of cheeses, unique and delicious varieties passed down through generations. To help you explore the best of Dutch cheeses, we’ve highlighted a list of the top 10 Dutch kinds of cheese.
Gouda tops the list of our top 10 Dutch kinds of cheese. It’s a semi-hard cheese known for its creamy texture and mild, nutty flavor. It is made from cow’s milk and is typically aged for several months, which gives it a slightly firmer texture and a more robust flavor.
Gouda is used in many traditional and international dishes as well. It is commonly served as a table cheese or grated over bread and crackers. It is also used in various dishes, including stamppot (a Dutch mashed potato dish), soups, and sandwiches.
Edam is a semi-hard Dutch cheese known for its distinctive red wax coating and mild, slightly salty flavor. It is named after the town of Edam in the Netherlands, where it has been produced since the 14th century.
Edam is made from cow’s milk and typically ages for several weeks to several months, depending on the desired flavor and texture. The cheese develops a firm, slightly crumbly texture and a tangy, nutty flavor during aging.
It is commonly used in various dishes, including grilled cheese sandwiches, omelets, and cheese plates. Edam is also often used in cheese balls and cheese dips, and its distinctive red wax coating makes it an attractive addition to any cheese plate.
Leidsekaas is a semi-hard cheese that originated in the Dutch city of Leiden. It is also known as Leiden cheese or Leyden cheese.
The cheese was originally made with low-fat milk and seasoned with caraway seeds and cumin, readily available herbs in the region. The spices added flavor to the cheese and helped to preserve it.
Today, Leidsekaas is still made using the traditional recipe, and it is one of the few Dutch kinds of cheese that are still made with raw milk.
The cheese is typically aged for a few months, during which time it develops a slightly tangy and nutty flavor. The cheese has a yellow interior with a natural rind often coated in red wax.
Leidsekaas is a versatile cheese that can be used in many ways. It is often eaten as a snack or as part of a cheese platter. The cheese also melts well and is often used in dishes such as grilled cheese sandwiches or baked dishes like quiches and gratins.
This cheese is also popular in traditional Dutch dishes such as stamppot, a dish made with mashed potatoes and vegetables, and Hutspot, a stew made with root vegetables.
Geitenkaas, also known as Dutch goat cheese, is made from goat’s milk originating from the Netherlands. The cheese is still produced using traditional methods, with the milk being curdled using rennet and then aged for several weeks or even months.
Many different types of Geitenkaas range from soft and creamy to hard and crumbly. Some varieties are aged with herbs; others are coated in ash or herbs. The flavor of Geitenkaas is often described as tangy and slightly sweet, with a distinct goat milk flavor.
Geitenkaas is a versatile cheese that can be used in many ways. It is often used in salads, pizzas or flatbreads, and sandwiches. Cheese is also commonly used as a topping for crackers or a snack.
The soft varieties of Geitenkaas can be spread on toast or used as a vegetable dip. Harder varieties of Geitenkaas can be grated and used in recipes like pasta or as a substitute for Parmesan cheese.
In addition to its use in cooking, Geitenkaas is also known for its nutritional benefits. It is high in protein and lower in fat than many other types of cheese, making it a good choice for those looking for a healthier cheese option.
5. Texelse Schapenkaas
Texelse Schapenkaas is a type of Dutch cheese made from sheep’s milk. It is produced on the island of Texel, located in the northern part of the Netherlands. The island has a long tradition of sheep farming, and Texelse Schapenkaas has been produced there for centuries.
Texelse Schapenkaas is a hard cheese typically aged for several months to develop its distinctive flavor. It has a slightly salty and nutty taste, and its texture is firm and crumbly.
The cheese can vary in color from white to yellow, depending on the age and the specific production methods used.
Texelse Schapenkaas is a versatile cheese that can be used in various dishes. It can be grated or shredded and used as a topping for salads, soups, and pasta dishes. It is also a popular cheese for snacking and can be enjoyed alone or with crackers or bread.
Texelse Schapenkaas pairs well with various wines, including reds and whites.
Another Dutch that makes it to the top 10 Dutch cheeses list is Boerenkaas. Boerenkaas is a Dutch cheese made from raw, unpasteurized cow’s milk. “boerenkaas” translates to “farmer’s cheese,” traditionally made on small farms throughout the Netherlands.
Boerenkaas has a rich, creamy flavor with a slightly nutty undertone. It is usually aged for several months, which gives it a firm, crumbly texture. Boerenkaas is often used in sandwiches, salads, and as a snack with crackers or bread. It can also be melted over dishes like pizza or used in fondues.
Graskaas is a seasonal Dutch cheese produced in the spring, typically from late March to mid-June. The name “graskaas” translates to “grass cheese,” made from the milk of cows that have just started grazing on fresh spring grass.
Because graskaas is a seasonal cheese, it is only available for a limited time each year. Its limited availability and unique flavor have made it a highly prized and sought-after cheese in the Netherlands and beyond.
Graskaas have a mild, creamy flavor with a slightly tangy, grassy undertone. It is usually aged for only a few weeks, which gives it a soft, supple texture. Graskaas are often enjoyed as a snack or used in sandwiches, salads, or melted over dishes like vegetables or potatoes.
Beemsterkaas is a premium Dutch cheese named after the Beemster polder, a region in the Netherlands where it is traditionally produced. Beemsterkaas is made from high-quality, pasteurized cow’s milk and is known for its rich, complex flavor and crumbly texture.
Beemsterkaas is typically aged for a minimum of 18 months, which gives it a deep, complex flavor with notes of caramel, nuts, and butterscotch.
It has a crumbly texture similar to Gouda and is often used as a grating cheese in dishes like pasta, risotto, and salads. Beemsterkaas can also be enjoyed as a snack, paired with fruit or crackers.
Beemsterkaas is also produced in several other flavors, including mild, mature, and extra-aged varieties. Each variety has its unique flavor and texture, but all are made with the same commitment to quality and tradition that has made Beemsterkaas a beloved Dutch cheese.
Rookkaas is a type of Dutch cheese known for its distinctive smoky flavor. It is also sometimes called “smoked cheese” or “smoked Gouda,” although it is not made using Gouda cheese.
The cheese is typically made using cow’s milk, curdled, and then pressed into molds. After this, the cheese is smoked over beechwood chips, which gives it its distinctive flavor.
Rookkaas can be eaten independently or used as an ingredient in various dishes. It is often grated and used as a topping for soups, salads, and pasta dishes. It is also frequently used as a sandwich filling or melted on top of burgers or other meats. Additionally, it pairs well with a variety of wines and beers.
10. Prima Donna
Prima Donna is a semi-hard Dutch cheese known for its nutty and creamy flavor. It is a relatively new cheese developed in the Netherlands in the 1990s. Prima Donna is typically made using a blend of cow’s milk and a small amount of sheep’s milk, which gives it its unique flavor.
One unique characteristic of Prima Donna is that it comes in several different varieties, each with its flavor profile.
For example, Prima Donna maturo is aged 12-18 months and has a more intense flavor, while Prima Donna forte is aged 20-24 months and has an even stronger flavor. This makes it a great cheese for experimenting with in the kitchen and trying different flavor combinations.
Dutch cheese is some of the best in the world. There is a huge variety of Dutch cheeses with unique flavor and texture characteristics, making them perfect for any occasion.
Whether you are looking for a mild, creamy cheese to spread on crackers or an aged, hard cheese to grate onto pasta, there’s a cheese for everyone.