Gouda, L’Amuse Rispens, ~10# $/#
6-9 months aged. Jacob Rispens shepherds 300 Lacaune sheep, which is precisely 73 more individuals than live in Morra, the town he calls home. It’s in the far north of the Netherlands, not far from the barrier islands that protect the province of Friesland from the icy North Sea.
The sheep’s fat-rich milk is made into compact 10 inch wheels of cheese under the guidance of Betty Koster of L’amuse, a name you might be familiar with if you’re a regular reader of this catalog. Betty and her husband Martin have been at the center of much of the best Dutch cheese for the last two decades. We rely on their guidance when we’re seeking good gouda. And they have steered us right here. This is a brand new cheese, and it’s amazing.
Most gouda is made from cow’s milk, a bit is made from goat, and almost none from sheep, so not only is this a delicious find, it’s a rare one. It’s got sweet, soft aromas of buttermilk and dry hay. A flavor that, I swear, is just like salted caramel.
Shave some over your next batch of roasted vegetables. Grate a snowdrift of it on some pasta. And of course, it’s a treat eaten on its own, at room temperature, alongside a crisp apple and a handful of nuts.