Terschelling Schapenkaas

A hard, pasturised sheep’s cheese from Terschelling, in the Netherlands, bought from Boerenkaas.

We have a wedge of this hard sheep’s cheese. Its interior is an opaque pale creamy white, smooth-looking, and dotted with uneven little holes. Towards the rind it becomes translucent and a little darker.

It’s slightly softer than I’d imagined, looking at the solid wedge, and silky smooth. It tastes bright and tangy, and wonderfully creamy, rich and luscious; lots of yoghurty and buttery flavours and textures. There’s tinge of gentle hazelnut to it, and also an unusual blueberry aroma. The rind’s harder, quite chewy, and reminiscent of pineapple. This is a good, gentle, balanced cheese; the yoghurty bite cuts through the sweet richness of the sheep’s milk and the fruity and nutty tones are restrained and very civilised.

Oude Remeker

A raw-milk cow’s cheese from Lunteren, also in the Netherlands, and also bought from Boerenkaas.

This is a different animal, entirely. We’ve bought a similar sized and shaped wedge to the soft sheepy cheese above, but this beast of a cheese is a dark yellow-orange colour, wrapped in a deep red wax rind. It’s liberally speckled with caesin crystals almost the size of my head – huge, they are! It tastes rich and dark and dense; of coffee, and beef gravy and yeasty beer, and of the sticky sweetness of raisins, prunes and dried dates. The texture’s meltingly buttery, and slightly crumbly, and the crystals explode like popping candy under my teeth.  This cheese means business, and although I like it very much, its relentless crunch and intense taste are almost overwhelming. Too much of this and you’d need to have a quiet lie-down.