On Auntyuta’s recent prodding about Dutch Cheese, I rummaged through my photos of our cheese encounters while exploring Amsterdam.
Ever since the Second World War when the Netherlands suffered greatly from lack of food, the government had geared their agricultural policies towards increased production of affordable food that would also provide consistent income for the Dutch farming community. And so, the thoughtful and effective planning so characteristic of this nation came into play.
Dairy farming became such a successful leading industry that eventually, there were the environmental problems and the challenges presented by surplus production. (Could milk be to the Dutch what corn is to Americans?) Hence the birth of diversification of income-generating activities such as cheese production, yoghurt, ice cream, etc. These days, export of Dutch cheese generates about €6 billion in income annually.
We browsed around the cheese museums, sampled the Goudas and Edams. I was hoping to encounter some Parrano cheese, my go-to favorite back home, but I did not have much luck. I was told that Parrano is a type of Gouda, but with a sharper flavor.
Why is Dutch cheese so good? Perhaps it’s because they start with the iconic Holstein cows that classically grace the countryside in their traditional garb of black and white. More importantly, it’s what the cows are fed, the air they breathe, the fields they look out to as they graze all day. As they say, happy cows make for great cheese!