March 2014 will see the next instalment of the world Championship Cheese Contest, which is held every 2 years in Madison, Wisconsin, USA.
The current champion from 2012 is the Dutch Vermeer, which was selected by the international panel of judges made up of expert cheese tasters who voted this Netherland entry as number 1 in all the world, beating over 2000 other entries to the top spot.
The Dutch Vermeer is a Gouda-style cheese that is semi-soft and made with reduced fat. The near perfect cheese scored 98.73 out of a possible 100. However, the competition was tough with the Swiss runner up scoring just 0.18 points fewer than the Vermeer.
Overall, the Netherlands took home 4 gold medals.
In honour of this achievement and to celebrate the next contest we take a look at our favourite Dutch cheeses and suggest some delicious meal ideas.
Far and away the most popular of all Dutch cheeses, it is said to account for 50% of Holland’s cheese production. If you like a good, strong cheese then the older the Gouda, the better. Overall though, the flavour is palatable and somewhat mild so it suits everyone.
Top Taste: Chicken and Mushroom pot pies with smoked Gouda crust.
A real mellow yellow cheese with slightly less fat than Gouda, this cheese features an iconic red (non-edible) wax jacket that was originally added in the 14th century to make the cheese last longer.
Top Taste: Edam and Basil Cheese Soufflé
More widely known by its various popular brand names, Maasdam is a deliciously delicate flavour that is perfect for simple yet scrumptious sandwiches and is very similar to the Swiss Emmental with the iconic holes. Teamed with Parma ham and a crunchy baguette, it’s ideal for a quick lunch on the go.
Top Taste: Crab, spinach and Maasdam calzone
If all you want to do now is eat some Edam and gobble down some Gouda then why not head across the pond and sample the real deal. Amsterdam is famous for many things and its cheese shops are one of those. Sample a selection of everything this award winning cheese making country has to offer and cook up some cheesy treats with what you discover, but don’t forget to share your tips online.
If, like a strong aged cheese, you like to take time over things then why not enjoy a leisurely ferry ride across the North Sea, or if you just can’t wait then hop on a plane and you can be there in roughly an hour. Airlines like Jet2.com offer great deals with regular flight times so you won’t have to wait too long. Easy Cheesy.