Today, we’re shining a spotlight on a Dutch masterpiece: Old Amsterdam Cheese. Often referred to as the ‘Golden Dutch Delight’, this cheese isn’t just a food item—it’s a testament to the Netherlands’ rich dairy heritage. Boasting a distinctive taste profile and an unmistakable golden hue, Old Amsterdam Cheese stands out in the crowded landscape of global cheeses.
Quick Facts About Old Amsterdam Cheese
|Made from||Cow’s Milk|
|Aging Time||Usually 8-10 months|
|Texture||Firm and crumbly|
|Flavor||Rich, sweet, and nutty|
|Produced by||Westland Kaasexport BV|
|Awards||Numerous, including Global Cheese Awards|
|Serving Suggestions||Pairs well with full-bodied red wines, dark beers, and robust breads|
|Storage||Refrigerate, tightly wrapped|
|Available Forms||Whole wheels, wedges, slices|
|Popular Usage||Cheese boards, sandwiches, grating over pasta|
|Unique Fact||Despite the name ‘Old’, it’s not as aged as other Gouda cheeses|
What is Old Amsterdam Cheese?
Old Amsterdam Cheese is a captivating culinary creation from the heart of Holland. This premium aged Gouda is crafted from local pasteurized cow’s milk and imported Italian cultures, resulting in a product that bears a striking resemblance to a young Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Boasting a robust flavor profile that dances between butterscotch and caramel undertones, Old Amsterdam Cheese presents a unique tasting experience. Its smooth, firm texture further accentuates its richness. This isn’t just a cheese; it’s a testament to Dutch cheesemaking artistry.
Interestingly, despite its name, Old Amsterdam Cheese isn’t as ‘old’ as one might expect. While a true old cheese typically ripens for 1-2 years, Old Amsterdam undergoes an aging process of only 8 months. This classifies it as an extra mature cheese, but not an old one by traditional standards.
Produced with an accelerated ripening process, Old Amsterdam is a factory-made Gouda that prioritizes taste over age, according to dutchamsterdam.nl. It’s a modern twist on traditional Dutch cheese, embodying a harmony of innovation and tradition.
Whether it’s served on a cheese board, melted into a sandwich, or grated over pasta, it’s sure to leave a lasting impression on your palate. Savor the taste of Old Amsterdam – a cheese that’s not that old, not from Amsterdam, but truly exceptional in every way.
What Does Old Amsterdam Cheese Taste Like?
Old Amsterdam Cheese is a remarkable fusion of flavors, offering a taste experience that is both accessible and multi-dimensional. It’s often likened to a mature cheddar due to its deep, rich taste and firm texture. This premium Gouda cheese, made from pasteurized cow’s milk, is not only easy to slice but also boasts a creamy, semi-soft texture that sets it apart from other cheeses.
It may look and taste like a mature Gouda cheese, but its texture isn’t as dry. This is due to a unique aging process that gives the cheese its distinctive characteristics. Fans of this cheese often describe it as having the rich taste of milk, butter, and caramel with the added delight of crunchy crystals.
The flavor profile of Old Amsterdam Cheese is more complex than that of regular Gouda cheese, owing to its extended aging time. This results in a bold, intense flavor that’s sure to delight cheese lovers. The cheese also has a buttery mature-aged Gouda flavor, making it a gourmet cheese of exceptionally high and consistent quality.
One of the defining features of Old Amsterdam Cheese is its characteristic black crust, a trait that has made it almost as famous and loved as Gouda cheese worldwide. Adding to its allure, the cheese exhibits a nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness and a creamy texture. It also has beautiful aging crystals that contribute to its unique taste and texture, making it very tasty, spicy, and creamy in flavor.
Old Amsterdam Cheese Tasting Notes
- Texture: Firm, slightly crumbly with a smooth finish. Contains characteristic ‘crunchy’ aging crystals.
- Color: Deep golden hue with an appealing black rind.
- Aroma: Mild, subtly sweet with hints of caramel and fresh milk.
- Taste: Rich, full-bodied flavor that blends elements of butterscotch, nuttiness, and caramel.
- Aftertaste: Lingering sweetness with a slightly salty finish.
- Feel: Gives a creamy mouthfeel despite its firm texture.
- Crystals: The presence of crunchy protein crystals due to the aging process, enhances the overall tasting experience.
- Rind: Natural, waxed rind that is typically not consumed.
10 Best Old Amsterdam Cheese Substitutes
|Aged Gouda||Netherlands||A firm, caramel-like cheese that shares a similar texture and aged profile with Old Amsterdam.||Cheese boards or grated over pasta.|
|Parmigiano-Reggiano||Italy||Hard, granular cheese with a rich, nutty flavor. It’s a good substitute due to its similar texture.||Grating over dishes or in risotto.|
|Extra Mature Cheddar||UK||Strong and tangy cheese with a firm texture. The strong flavor makes it a suitable replacement.||Sandwiches or melted in hot dishes.|
|Comte||France||A creamy, nutty cheese with a firm texture. Its complex flavor profile makes it a good alternative.||Cheese boards or in fondue.|
|Emmental||Switzerland||Known for its mild, slightly nutty flavor. The firm texture is comparable to Old Amsterdam.||Sandwiches or melted in cooking.|
|Beemster Classic||Netherlands||A Dutch hard cheese with a slightly sweet, nutty flavor. It shares a similar aging process to Old Amsterdam.||Cheese boards or sandwiches.|
|Jarlsberg||Norway||A semi-soft cheese with a mild, nutty flavor. Its versatility makes it a good substitute.||Sandwiches or melted in cooking.|
|Asiago d’allevo||Italy||A cheese with rich flavors and a crumbly texture. Its taste and texture make it a good alternative.||Grated over dishes or on cheese boards.|
|Manchego||Spain||A firm cheese with a distinctive flavor. Its nutty and caramel notes make it a good substitute.||Cheese boards or grated into salads.|
|Aged Havarti||Denmark||A semi-soft cheese with a buttery, slightly acidic flavor. It can be used as a milder substitute.||Melting over dishes or in sandwiches.|
What Pairs Well With Old Amsterdam Cheese?
Food that goes well with Old Amsterdam Cheese:
|Food Item||Category||Description||Why It Pairs Well|
|Full-bodied Red Wine||Beverage||Bold, rich wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.||The robust flavors of the wine complement the strong, nutty flavor of the cheese.|
|Dark Beer||Beverage||Stout or porter with deep, malty flavors.||The richness of the beer pairs well with the intense, caramel-like notes of the cheese.|
|Fresh Fruits||Appetizer||Apples, pears, or grapes.||The sweetness and acidity of fresh fruits balance the rich, creamy flavor of the cheese.|
|Dried Fruits & Nuts||Snack||Almonds, walnuts, dried apricots, or figs.||The crunchiness and subtle sweetness of these items contrast nicely with the cheese’s texture and flavor.|
|Robust Breads||Side||Whole grain, rye, or rustic sourdough.||The hearty flavors and textures of these breads hold up well against the firm, flavorful cheese.|
|Charcuterie||Main Course||Cured meats like prosciutto, salami, or chorizo.||The salty, savory flavors of cured meats pair excellently with the cheese’s nutty sweetness.|
|Dark Chocolate||Dessert||High-quality dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content.||The bitterness of the chocolate contrasts wonderfully with the creamy, sweet notes of the cheese.|
|Honey||Condiment||Raw, natural honey.||The sweetness of honey enhances the cheese’s caramel and butterscotch notes.|
|Olives||Appetizer||Green or black olives, preferably marinated.||Their briny, tangy flavor provides a nice counterpoint to the cheese’s rich, buttery taste.|
|Pickles||Side||Dill or sweet pickles.||The acidity and crunch from the pickles balance out the creaminess and richness of the cheese.|
Beverage that goes well with Old Amsterdam Cheese:
|Beverage||Type||Description||Why It Pairs Well|
|Full-bodied Red Wine||Alcoholic||Rich wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot with robust flavors.||The complex flavors of the wine complement the strong, nutty flavor of the cheese.|
|Dark Beer||Alcoholic||Stout or porter that have deep, malty flavors.||The richness of the beer pairs well with the intense, caramel-like notes of the cheese.|
|Chardonnay||Alcoholic||A full-bodied white wine that often has buttery and vanilla notes.||The richness of the Chardonnay matches the creamy, rich texture of the cheese.|
|Scotch Whisky||Alcoholic||Single malt or blended scotch with smoky, peaty flavors.||The smoky notes in the whisky contrast with the sweetness of the cheese, creating a balanced palate.|
|Port||Alcoholic||A sweet, red, fortified wine from Portugal.||The sweetness of port can balance the salty, nutty flavor of Old Amsterdam cheese.|
|Apple Cider||Non-Alcoholic||A beverage made from the fermented juice of apples.||The crisp acidity and natural sweetness of cider provide a refreshing contrast to the rich, creamy cheese.|
|Black Tea||Non-Alcoholic||A type of tea that is more oxidized than green, oolong, and white teas.||The tannins in black tea can cut through the richness of the cheese, cleansing the palate.|
|Coffee||Non-Alcoholic||Freshly brewed coffee, especially dark roast.||The bitterness of coffee can balance out the rich and creamy flavor of the cheese.|
|Pear Juice||Non-Alcoholic||Fresh or bottled pear juice with natural sweetness.||The sweet and slightly tart flavor of pear juice complements the nutty and caramel notes of the cheese.|
|Dry Sake||Alcoholic||A Japanese rice wine that is clean and crisp.||The lightness and subtle sweetness of sake provide a nice contrast to the rich, bold flavors of the cheese.|
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