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Photo Friday: De Kaaskamer Cheese Shop

As I’m sure many of you know, my family loves cheese, enthusiastically and nearly unconditionally. So it was that I flagged De Kaaskamer Cheese Shop in our guidebook on our recent trip to Amsterdam. It turned out I didn’t have to. As if by homing device, we managed to sniff out this haven of cheese (the name translates to “Cheese Chamber”) and spontaneously beeline to it almost the minute our luggage hit the floor of the hotel.

We adored much about Amsterdam, as we wandered its pretty streets and canals, admiring antiquarian books and handmade shoes, art, music, beer, and the citizens of Amsterdam themselves, most of whom seemed to roll upright and speedily on two wheels apiece, in all weather and clothing, carrying paintings, floor lamps, babies, friends, and yes, food.

In De Kaaskamer, we sampled Goudas of various ages and a delicious crunchy Beemster, which is very similar to the Saenkanter cheese that is a family favorite. The clerk told us that Gouda simply designates the “wheel” shape of the cheese, rather than a type. Gouda cheese originated from the Gouda region of the Netherlands, but apparently the name is not protected by terroir (place), and all kinds of cheeses can be referred to as Goudas. We satisfied ourselves with visions of pastoral Dutch farmland, portable cubes of wonderful 3-year Gouda, and a large baguette, and took to the Amsterdam streets.

Bonus pic: Willig Cheese Shop at Night or One Can Long

Have you seen and photographed something unusual, whimsical, beautiful, or otherwise interesting in your travels? Has anything surprised you or caused you to pause? Or have you simply experienced a small, lovely moment that you wanted to capture? If so, I hope you’ll share with us by leaving a comment with a link to your photo. I look forward to seeing it!

Photo by Susan Sachs Lipman

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Cheese of the Week: Mossfield Farm Organic Gouda


One look and you can’t fail to notice the protein crystals on this amazing cheese. It’s got them all right, and from the first bite on, the Mossfield Farm 12-month Organic Gouda has everything else one could want in a gouda-type cheese. It’s a flat-out fantastic cheese.

First, this Irish cheese has a superb, rich taste. There’s not a lot of added culture, and you can taste that, too. It’s bursting with a complex flavor that contains hints of caramel, cherry, nuts, and earth. It is tangy, with a hint of sweetness. The mouth feel is very smooth and a little buttery. And the taste just goes on and on.

Mossfield Farm engages in small production, from a single cow herd. The County Offaly farm, run by the Haslam family, has been organic for 10 years. They’ve already won a bushel of awards. They just do what they do exceedingly well.

This is a cheese to savor. I wouldn’t pair it with another cheese, or much else. It doesn’t even need a cracker. You may want to visit a grape, cherry, almond, or dried apricot between delicious bites, but you’ll be back. The strong taste and caramel overtones do beg for a big red wine, such as an oaky Zinfandel or a Cabernet. If you are a port drinker like me (or even if you’re new to port), try the Mossfield with a rich, tasty, special bottle like Dow’s 20-year Tawny.


Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman

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