We have teamed up with our buddies at Artikaas to shine a highlight on sustainability in Dutch cheesemaking, from eco-friendly dairy practices to harnessing the flavour of every season of their cheeses.
When somebody mentions the Netherlands, your thoughts might go to tulip fields, windmills, or picket sneakers. Possibly you consider canals and bikes, or maybe Van Gogh. “Going Dutch” has lengthy been synonymous with splitting a tab amongst associates. However since not less than the twelfth century, going Dutch has additionally meant a deep connection to the land—and a cheesemaking custom squarely rooted in environmental stewardship.
For over 2,000 years, dairy farmers within the Netherlands have maintained a permanent dedication to conventional strategies that put animal and land welfare on the forefront of crafting scrumptious cheese. Nowhere is that this extra obvious than within the work of Artikaas, who’ve been crafting Gouda for six generations. This firm is the joint effort of the Bouter and Anker households, who acquired their respective begins in cheesemaking in 1890 and 1963. Since becoming a member of forces in 2010, they’ve shared over 21 million kilos of Gouda with cheese lovers worldwide. They’ve instilled a way of accountability for his or her land, animals, and group into each wheel—a price that’s been synonymous with Dutch cheesemaking since day one.
“We’re deeply grateful for the sustainable and socially accountable traditions which have guided us,” says Jessica Frey, Advertising Director at Dutch Cheese Makers. “By following of their footsteps, we’re serving to preserve the fertile lands and household farms for generations.”
Gouda Goes Inexperienced
All of it begins with the grass. The Netherlands is understood for its intricate waterways. Dams, dikes, and canals stripe these reclaimed marshy lowlands, and irrespective of the time of 12 months, it might at all times rain. Dutch Holstein-Frieisian dairy cows convert the grass from that world-class pastureland into milk with unparalleled effectivity, and the Artikaas farmers deal with them like queens. The cows summer season outdoors, munching on grass all day, then relaxation in well-ventilated barns the place contemporary air and daylight abound. These cows additionally produce milk that’s naturally non-GMO, rBST hormone- and antibiotic-free.
A number of of the farmers that Artikaas companions with are additionally embracing green-minded technological developments like photo voltaic panels, automated milkers, and wellness trackers, the latter of which preserve tabs on the wants of their animals. Greater than 70 p.c of Artikaas farmers use a device referred to as KoeKompas (CowCompass—primarily a cow FitBit) that helps them monitor every animal’s wellbeing. There’s additionally a system that lets cows determine once they wish to be milked that is presently in use on 1 / 4 of the Artikaas farms (a quantity they anticipate to double within the subsequent decade).
The Kaasboerderij Verweij Farmstead, answerable for Artikaas’s Lavender and Thyme Uncooked Milk Gouda, produces sufficient photo voltaic power to energy their total operation. They usually solely use 25 p.c of what they generate, feeding the remaining (sufficient to energy 300 homes) again into the grid. On the Artikaas manufacturing unit in Heerenveen, practically 6,000 photo voltaic panels energy cheese manufacturing whereas warmth pump installations allow them to supply sure cheeses with out utilizing any fuel in any respect. They reuse two million tons of whey water (as pediatric, maternal, and sports activities medication merchandise, or to scrub their amenities) and recycle 92 p.c of the warmth launched throughout manufacturing—all of which decreases their total power use, waste, and greenhouse fuel emissions.
Sharing The Land
Past the numbers and percentages, Artikaas additionally takes a holistic method to respecting the land they make use of—land that preceded them, and that they hope will outlast them. “The chance to enhance biodiversity is true underneath our toes,” Frey says. “Dairy pastures might be nice locations to dwell for bugs, birds, and small mammals.” They advise their farmers on caring for swallows, hedgehogs, and owls, all of whom are identified to take up residence in barns and play necessary roles within the ecosystem surrounding the farms.
On this approach, Artikaas farmers and cheesemakers draw inspiration from their ancestors—the unique environmentalists, who paved the best way for sustainable cheesemaking—whereas additionally seeking to the long run. They’ve paved the best way for sustainable cheesemaking with out sacrificing high quality, from their modern First Milk Gouda that embodies spring’s younger grasses to uncooked milk wheels made utilizing solar energy power. However in addition they craft basic, salty-sweet and nutty aged Goudas which can be deeply grounded within the traditions of their lush panorama. In your plate, all of this interprets into cheese you may be ok with consuming—learn on for a couple of of our faves (plus concepts on easy methods to use them in your kitchen).
Meet Their Cheeses
Teenager First Milk Gouda
After wintering inside, cows get their first style of tender new grasses and spring wildflowers full of nutritional vitamins and minerals. This lush feed interprets to further wealthy, flavorful milk and particularly creamy cheese, excellent for melting. Strive it on this Greatest Uitsmijter (a Dutch breakfast sandwich made with ham, egg, and Gouda).
Kids Goat Gouda
This tangy one hundred pc goat’s milk Gouda begins with a devoted cooperative of dairy farmers which can be hyper-focused on the welfare of their goats, and on sustaining sustainable and eco-friendly strategies. The result’s vigorous and creamy—excellent for satisfying your snack cravings.
Hay There Uncooked Milk Gouda With Truffle
The Artikaas farmstead companions elevate their very own cows and craft their very own uncooked milk cheeses solely on their farms. The Van Blokland Farm in Biddinghuizen is one such companion, answerable for this cheese that’s made with the milk of 170 cows who spend their days grazing the fertile hills of Holland’s Flevoland. The fragile mushrooms that taste this cheese are sniffed out by truffle canine and harvested solely by hand—no machines concerned.
Classic Lot-60 Gouda
These extra-aged wheels spend 5 years on pinewood cabinets sourced from sustainable Scandinavian forest operations, which take up moisture and might be reused a number of occasions. The quintessential aged Gouda, it has wealthy, deep butterscotch flavors and a salty, crystalline construction that crackles like sweet and ought to be added to all of your cheese boards.
What are your favourite Dutch cheeses? Inform us within the feedback beneath!
Our associates at Artikaas are dedicated to the artwork of cheese—specifically the wheels of sustainably-made Dutch Gouda they have been churning out for six generations. They share their ardour for accountable land stewardship, considerate animal care, and modern cheesemaking by their spectacular assortment of cheese, from zippy Kids Chimichurri Gouda to nutty Classic Lot 18 and past. Discover out extra in regards to the artwork of Gouda right here.