Sweet, sharp, complex and even rather barnyardy… Nylander Gouda from the Netherlands:
The Nylander operation has been managed by Otto Jan Bokma and his brother in the north in Workum, Friesland. This is a new-ish cheese, a couple of years, that packs about as much flavor as a five-year gouda. It’s dense and complex, sweet-caramel, pineapple and peach… crunchy. And it has a trait I seldom get from other gouda: the lingering flavor of the barnyard: maneur, grassy, cattle… Jersey in this case, tastes much more common in some brebis and also in some washed-rind cheeses. This one really tastes of the land. Makes sense. The late Daphne Zepos wrote, upon visiting the dairy and Otto, at how rather than citing how his cheese began at the dairy, he started with the qualities of the soil and how they curate it:
Otto Jan of Nylander drove me down a dirt road to their fields to see his heifers, a handsome bunch of young Jersey cows. Slim water canals act as moats that keep the feisty girls on the right side of the road. Then we walked to the milkers’ field. Slowly, we got surrounded by a hundred cows, a relaxed, curious, pulsating mass. Wet nostrils took in our scent. Sandpapery, bluish tongues nibbled at our clothes and fingers. The cows heated the air around us. They smelled incredible, a mixture of clean hide and pollen. The power of that encounter completely influenced my visit to the dairy. – Daphne Zepos
Nylander is imported to the US via the late Zepos’ Essex Street Cheese Co. Seek it out- it’s unusual, complex and a bit sassy.
Cheese: Nylander Gouda
Where: Workum, The Netherlands
Milk Type: cow(raw)
Texture: firm, crunchy
Shape: 20-25lb wheel
Tasting notes: sweet like pineapple, caramel, tangy, barnyardy.