The Lady and I agree that most reduced-fat cheeses also suffer from reduced taste; but not BeemsterLite. You’d never know it has 50% less fat than a regular Gouda… seriously this is a very tasty cheese.

The Lady brought a wedge home and I had to fight The Man paw-to-paw and if it weren’t for that opposable thumb “edge” I would have gotten more than a half share.

This cheese is nutty and sweet with a hint of the floral. Aged five months, BeemsterLite is a perfect cheese for those interested in taking a bit of fat out of their diet without any loss of flavor and enjoyment. The Lady served this tasty Gouda with a schmear of Vintner’s Kitchen’s Marionberry and Port Jam… as you might expect, it was yummy; The Man swooned.

This cheese has 90 calories per ounce as opposed to 120-130 in fattier cheeses. 50 of those calories are “fat calories”.

On a personal note, I imagine it is fun to live in the Beemster Polder; a place I have requested for my next assignment in the event The Brain re-deploys me in a future life. I hear that the Mighty Mike Tyson and Honorable Hemingway are frolicking there now and enjoying every day hanging out with the blue cows and chasing the blue mice… 

I give BeemsterLite 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: On a cheese board, you can “wow” your guests. This cheese would be great in a fondue and also make a lower caloric grilled cheese sandwich. It’s a versatile cheese… you can do most anything with it and it’ll be a hit!!

Wine Pairing: The Lady loves her reds and went with 14 Hands Hot to Trot.

Beer Pairing: The Man chose Thomas Hooker Munich Style Golden Lager.

Source: Those blue contented cows that frolic in the Beemster Polder.

XO, Classic, Vlaskaas, Farmer’s Choice, and Beemster Lite are naturally Lactose-Free

The Lady and I are partial to Beemster Cheese and its US Marketing Teamof Michael, Bridgett and Bob. Recently Michael and Bob visited The Lady’s Kiosk and shared with her the new marketing strategy the company developed to further grow their image.

The three men appearing in the campaign photo are three generations of Beemster Dairy Farmers who live in the Beemster Polder and are members of the Beemster Co-Op: all continuing the Beemster tradition by making cheese with the same high standards and passion that sets the Beemster “bar” so high.

American consumers want to know “the story” of the specialty cheeses they buy and take home to enjoy with family and friends. (The Lady has made telling “the story” part of her every day in the cheesemines.) Beemster labels now open and reseal. Inside each label is the Beemster “story” explaining where the cheese comes from and what makes it unique. We all like to share the stories we learn with those we know and like. (That pretty much sums up the theme of this blog… I like to share the cheese stories I have rattling around in my cheesy brain…)

Beemster is now offering a “100% Money Back Guarantee” on all their cheeses. Folks, naturally, are reluctant, especially in this economy, to spend a little extra on a specialty cheese if they haven’t had a chance to try it. (That won’t happen at The Lady’s kiosk, as she tells all her customers, “If we cut it and wrap it, you can sample it”.) But not all cheese shops are created the same and now Beemster will guarantee that you are satisfied with your purchase, or they will refund your purchase price.

Also, to further assist their customers, Beemster is adding the “Lactose-Free” label to their cheeses that are aged more than five months. Most customers don’t realize that aged cheeses are usually lactose-free (such as Parmesans and most Alpine-style cheeses).

Lastly, Beemster recognizes that people are more likely to stand behind a product that has been around for a while; traditionally crafted that has been handed down through history and generations.

The Lady and I give our own kudos to Beemster and wish them great success with their new campaign.

It’s hard to believe The Lady and I have been on our cheese adventure for a little more than two years. It’s been a great time; we’ve learned a lot about cheese (but so much more to learn…) and we’ve met lots of other great cheese nurds… to cap the two-year journey, we spent last week at the American Cheese Society Conference in Seattle and loved every minute of it, rubbing elbows with all the Cheese Swells.

On our one year anniversary we listed the top ten pages on our blog and you can read that page by clicking here.

We thought we’d also do a top ten at the end of year two and here it is:

  1. Le Cendrillon Wins Best Cheese in the World (The Lady and I tasted this last week and we’ll write a review in the next few days…)
  2. 2.       The Beemster Cheese Family
  3. 3.       Beer, Cheese and Food Pairings Chart
  4. 4.       Index of Cheese Reviews
  5. 5.       Hard Italian Cheeses
  6. 6.       Cheese and Wine Pairings Chart
  7. 7.       Ilchester’s Applewood Smoky Cheddar
  8. 8.       Cahill’s Original Irish Porter Cheese
  9. 9.       Dessert Cheese – White Stilton with Fruit
  10. 10.   French Brie

The Lady and I thank you for your visits and support as we continue our cheese journey into the future…

This will come as no secret to my loyal readers and fans…The Lady has found another aged gouda that she and I love… Beemster Classic.

Beemster makes several excellent cheeses and many are favorites around the manse: Vlaskaas, XO, Mustard and Graskaas to name a few.

The Lady was out spying (one of her favorite pastimes) and found a wedge of Beemster Classic on a competitor’s cheese island. She snapped it up ‘cause she knew that her favorite Feline Foodie (that would be me) would love this cheese… she was right…

The Beemster Polder is home to pesticide-free grass that derives much of its special qualities from the mineral-rich blue sea clay. This is what foodies like to call “terroir”; especially the ones of European descent… what… I lived in Europe in a previous “life”… I can use the term terroir with the best of them…

The good folks living in the Netherlands consider Beemster Classic to be the “signature” Dutch cheese. Its complex taste comes from being naturally aged in cheese warehouses for a minimum of eighteen months. This cheese is made by the CONO Kaasmakers under the banner of Beemster. CONO is a sustainable dairy co-op located in the Beemster Polder.

The cheese is a caramel color with a butterscotch nuttiness and a sweet finish. The Lady served it with Sesmark Sesame Thins.

I give Beemster Classic 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: Grated or cubed, it’s a winner. We had it as an appetizer but The Lady and The Man discussed how delish this cheese would be as the main cheese in au gratin potatoes… I’m pretty sure that’s a soon-to-be dish here at the manse.

Wine Suggestion: The Lady recommends merlot and as you might recall her favorite is 14 Hands Merlot.

Beer Suggestion: A Belgium Dubbel.

Source: Pasteurized Cow Milk

October signifies a time for individuals and products alike to rally in the fight against breast cancer by going pink. Beemster, the only official cheese sponsor, will be going pink for the second year in a row by partnering with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to help raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.

It’s time to toast your wine glasses to this empowering movement while pairing your cheese accordingly!

The limited edition Pink Ribbon Vlaskaas cheese will be available from September 15 through October 31, and for every pound sold, Beemster, will donate 50¢ to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure. After donating $23,308 in 2009, the Gourmet Dutch company is pledging a minimum of $25,000 in 2010 and has set a goal of $40,000.

For more information about Beemster Cheese, please visit their website .

The Death of Velveeta

April 21, 2010

(The Lady originally wrote this for the American Cheese Society Blog. You can read other ACS Member blog postings at: http://americancheesesociety.blogspot.com/ )

I work as a Cheese Steward and one of the best parts of the job is working with customers; especially the youngs ones who are our next generation of “foodies”. I have met several who have left fond memories behind for me.

Mason and his parents were regulars in the first cheese kiosk where I worked and Mason was the cheese hound in the family. His parents let him sample and make the cheese choices every week. It was quite interesting to watch his reactions to the various cheeses he sampled. This kid had fearless tastebuds. One of his favorites was Rembrandt Aged Gouda and he proudly told me that he had asked Santa for a light saber and a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano. On another occasion, his mom stopped by to buy Pecorino Romano becasue it was featured in a recipe on the Food Channel and Mason decided that was what he wanted for dinner. But my favorite memory of Mason happened when he decided he wanted to check out the Bries. We started with Fromager d’Affinois, then moved on the Brie de Nangis. Next we tried St. Albray and ended with Le Chatelaine. After a thoughtful moment, Mason chose the St. Albray. As he sat in the child seat of the food basket, I decided to ask the burning question, “Mason, how old are you?” He proudly replied, “Two and a half.” I looked at his father who shregged and said, “He also likes caviar.” Definitely a budding foodie.

Another young patron is Chadd, whose favorite cheeses are the blues; the stronger, the better. When he stops at the kiosk, I always ask him to try a new cheese and give me his opinions. For a sixteen year old, his palate is quite sophisticated. He knows what he likes and why; but he can also articulate quite well why he doesn’t like a certain cheese. A recent email from him inquired if I knew where he might buy fresh goat milk. He had decided to make his own fresh chevre.

Last week I was assisting a mother in putting together a cheese platter for her twelve year old’s slumber party. The daughter had requested cheese for snacking rather than junk food… my kind of kid. We began with Fromager d’Affinois, added Smoked Applewood Cheddar and a wedge of Beemster Vlaskaas. For the blue, we went with Oregonzola. As we were wrapping up our transaction, the mother stopped, looked at me sternly and said, “By the way, I don’t like you.” I was stunned… I thought things were going so well… then she laughed and added, “A few weeks back, you gave my daughter a sample of Humboldt Fog and ever since, it’s been ‘No more Velveeta in this house, Mom'”. We added a wedge of Humboldt to the selections.

Hollandse Best Cream Gouda

February 27, 2010

This cheese was another wedge The Lady picked up at Whole Foods recently. I did my “due-diligence” researching this cheese and found very little about it on the web. “Hollandse Best Cream” was the name on the WF price tag and my taste buds confirmed that it is a gouda; but finding more information has been tough. I would welcome any information any of my readers might know and contribute. (Comment below.)

A young Gouda from Holland made using animal rennet according to the tag (included for my vegetarian fans), this cheese is creamy and nutty with a hint of sweetness. It reminds me of Beemster’s Farmer’s Choice and like that cheese, I think kids would love this cheese.

The texture is creamy and its color in a nice buttery yellow. This is a cheese that I think is quite versatile and would be universally liked cheese.

I give Hollandse Best Cream Gouda 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).

Serving Suggestions: This is a versatile cheese that is great on a cheese board with grapes and pears. It should melt well and make a nice addition to a grilled cheese or a mac n cheese.

Wine Pairing: I would pair this with a nice bowl of whipping cream but The Lady thinks it would go better with a nice Beaujolais. It would not stand up to a big cab or even a robust merlot.

Beer pairing: The Lady’s bro-in-law, Mike, suggests Bud Light

Source: Cows’ Milk