Behind an island house in the village of Rijpwetering, Holland, cheesemaker Marije Van der Poel makes a daily quota of 15 wheels of aged artisanal Gouda, pronounced ghow-duh with a guttural ‘h’ sound. In this Insider video, Claudia Romeo visits the 100-year-old family farm, where they still use the time-honored wooden cheese molds of their grandparents’ era.
Every year, 650 million kilos of Gouda cheese is produced in the Netherlands. Most of it is produced industrially, using pasteurized milk, but there are 280 farmers across the country still making raw-milk boerenkaas, or farmer’s cheese. And there are only two farms that take their cheese to the next level, making Boeren Goudse Oplegkaas, or aged artisanal Gouda, a special type of raw-milk farmhouse cheese that must weigh at least 20 kilograms, must age at least two years, and can be made only in the summer with cattle grazing in the Green Heart region, between the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Utrecht.
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