Like many of the world’s greatest cheeses, this gouda is a collaboration between cheese maker and affineur – or oplegger as they are called in Dutch.
Cono Kaasmaker, the cheese maker, crafts fresh wheels of gouda in North Holland – a region renowned for its sea-clay fields, rich in naturally occurring sea salt that imparts a distinctive flavour to the milk of the animals that graze there. It is here, that oplegger Betty Koster of L’Amuse cheese shop hand-selects wheels for maturation.
Betty ages each wheel for a minimum of 24 months in her warm maturation rooms (+14°C.) In terms of gouda maturation, her method is unique. The higher temperature and humidity encourage complex flavours of roasted hazelnuts and dark caramel to develop whilst maintaining the moisture in the cheese. Tyrosine crystals emerge and fleck the paste, providing a satisfying crunch.
Located just outside Amsterdam, Betty and husband Martin started L’Amuse in 1989 specialising in premium local and international cheeses. The best known is the cheese that they help to create and bears their name – L’Amuse Signature Gouda.