Farm cheese or ‘Boerenkaas’ is a unique product. It is made with farm fresh milk, which contains taste giving bacteria, giving the cheese it’s unusual flavour. The character of the cheese differs from farm to farm; type of grass, the breed of cow and the manufacturing process can all be tasted in the different cheese.
Cheese making is an old craft, which is still done on the farm. It is a tradition that is usually passed on from mother to daughter and as a result there have been very few changes in the process throughout the centuries.
The cheese making process is still based on the principal that solids have to be separated from liquids. Although the process has not been modernized, technology now assists with the heavier work. For instance heavy buckets of milk no longer have to be poured into the tub; rather milk is pumped from the cooling tank into the tub. However, the work of filling the molds with curd, salting the cheese after pressing, and care of the cheese after making them, still has to be done by hand.
At the Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij, Boerenkaas is made on a small scale according to Dutch traditions. For every kilogram of cheese, 10 litres of milk (supplied from neighbouring farms) is used. Annelies uses traditional Dutch recipes and her range consists of more than 30 different cheese at present. Just to name a few; Gouda in different stages of maturity, cumin or Leidse kass, stinging nettle cheese, garlic & onion cheese, pepper cheese, feta, herb feta, cheese spread, nut cheese and Italian herb cheese. The cheese is matured in large walk in fridges adjoining the “kaasmakerij’. Most cheese are sold on the farm.