Gouda, L’Amuse Brabander, S/O ~20# $/#
6-9 months aged. Brabander goat’s milk gouda is made in the Brabant region in the south of the Netherlands from the pasteurized milk of Saanen goats. The wheels are aged for around six months under the direction of Betty Koster who runs Fromagerie L’amuse, Amsterdam’s best cheese shop. What’s especially interesting about the aging of these wheels is that it’s done in a facility that has very little climate control, like cheese rooms used to be. For a few days in the summer they might turn on the air conditioning to keep it from overheating, but otherwise the cheese is allowed to mature at whatever seasonal conditions happen to blow through the windows. The old-school environmentally-low-impact aging makes cheese that has seasonality and takes a careful palate to master.
And that’s what really interests us—the flavor. It’s outstanding. The taste is sweet with long, deep notes of caramel as well as some bright notes and hints of grass and hay. It’s buttery and tastes fresh, in spite of its age. Brabander is great for a cheese tray or for grilled cheese sandwiches. Cut it in cubes and toss with fresh greens, toasted nuts and slices of apple.