HomeFoodHow This Dutch Cheesemaker is Making Their Gouda Sustainably

How This Dutch Cheesemaker is Making Their Gouda Sustainably

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We have teamed up with our friends 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. Perhaps you consider canals and bikes, or maybe Van Gogh. “Going Dutch” has lengthy been synonymous with splitting a tab amongst mates. However since at the very least 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 an everlasting 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 obtained 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 neighborhood into each wheel—a worth 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 and marketing Director at Dutch Cheese Makers. “By following of their footsteps, we’re serving to preserve the fertile lands and household farms for generations.”

Picture by Artikaas

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 yr, it may all the time 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 exterior, 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, computerized 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 instrument known as KoeKompas (CowCompass—basically a cow FitBit) that helps them monitor every animal’s wellbeing. There’s additionally a system that lets cows determine after they wish to be milked that is at present in use on 1 / 4 of the Artikaas farms (a quantity they count on to double within the subsequent decade).

Picture by Artikaas

The Kaasboerderij Verweij Farmstead, accountable for Artikaas’s Lavender and Thyme Uncooked Milk Gouda, produces sufficient photo voltaic power to energy their total operation. And so they solely use 25 p.c of what they generate, feeding the remainder (sufficient to energy 300 homes) again into the grid. On the Artikaas manufacturing facility in Heerenveen, almost 6,000 photo voltaic panels energy cheese manufacturing whereas warmth pump installations allow them to provide sure cheeses with out utilizing any gasoline in any respect. They reuse two million tons of whey water (as pediatric, maternal, and sports activities drugs merchandise, or to scrub their amenities) and recycle 92 p.c of the warmth launched throughout manufacturing—all of which decreases their general power use, waste, and greenhouse gasoline 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 beneath our toes,” Frey says. “Dairy pastures may be nice locations to reside for bugs, birds, and small mammals.” They advise their farmers on caring for swallows, hedgehogs, and owls, all of whom are recognized to take up residence in barns and play essential roles within the ecosystem surrounding the farms.

On this means, Artikaas farmers and cheesemakers draw inspiration from their ancestors—the unique environmentalists, who paved the best way for sustainable cheesemaking—whereas additionally trying to the long run. They’ve paved the best way for sustainable cheesemaking with out sacrificing high quality, from their progressive First Milk Gouda that embodies spring’s younger grasses to uncooked milk wheels made utilizing solar energy power. However additionally they craft basic, salty-sweet and nutty aged Goudas which might 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 number of of our faves (plus concepts on tips on how to use them in your kitchen).

Picture by Artikaas

Meet Their Cheeses

Teenager First Milk Gouda

After wintering inside, cows get their first style of tender new grasses and spring wildflowers filled with nutritional vitamins and minerals. This lush feed interprets to additional wealthy, flavorful milk and particularly creamy cheese, excellent for melting. Strive it on this Finest Uitsmijter (a Dutch breakfast sandwich made with ham, egg, and Gouda).

Children Goat Gouda

This tangy one hundred pc goat’s milk Gouda begins with a devoted cooperative of dairy farmers which might 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 completely on their farms. The Van Blokland Farm in Biddinghuizen is one such accomplice, accountable 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 completely 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 may 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 must be added to all of your cheese boards.



What are your favourite Dutch cheeses? Inform us within the feedback under!

Our mates at Artikaas are dedicated to the artwork of cheese—particularly 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 progressive cheesemaking via their spectacular assortment of cheese, from zippy Children Chimichurri Gouda to nutty Classic Lot 18 and past. Discover out extra concerning the artwork of Gouda right here.

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