Gouda (Beemster X-O)
The milk for production of Beemster comes from the quiet, canal-lined pastures of North Holland. This remarkable landscape, referred to locally as "polders," is located 20 ft. below sea level. It was reclaimed from the North Sea in 1612, and due to its excellent, alluvial soil and great pasture, quickly became inhabited by farmers and their dairy cattle, rapidly gaining notoriety for its high quality milk.
Today Beemster cheeses are made using the original techniques employed by the founders of the dairy co-op. The cheesemakers at Beemster are all local residents of the "polder," and the majority have been fortunate enough to learn their cheesemaking techniques from previous generations.
As such, the recipe for Beemster has been handed down since 1901. Cheeses are produced from first class milk sourced from local herds of cows that graze on the Beemster "polder."
Matured for 26 months, Beemster X-O- has a deep amber-colored paste and a firm, slightly flaky texture with occasional "eyes" or holes.
Flavors are of butterscotch and grass with notes of whisky and almonds.