The Melkbus line of cheeses represent a collaboration between Dutch cheesemaking company Uniekaas and a number of small dairy farms located outside the city of Gouda in the Netherlands.
In English the word “melkbus” translates to “milk can,” a reference to the vessel which was used in earlier times to transport fresh milk directly from the farms to the creamery for cheesemaking. Each farm was given an identification number that was stamped on top of the can. This allowed the creamery to identify where the milk came from and to return the cans to their owners for cleaning and re-use. An homage to this system, cheeses with the Melkbus name are made on single family farms and adorned with the identification numbers specific to each farm.
Recipes and methods used adhere closely to the traditions of Dutch farmhouse cheese production. Cheeses spend the first few weeks of the aging process maturing on the farms where they’re made, and then they’re transferred to De Producent, a 98-year-old aging facility located in the center of Gouda city. Here the wheels are aged in a natural environment on wooden boards until ready for sale.
Melkbus125 Winter is a traditional unpasteurized cow’s milk farmer cheese, also known as boerenkaas. This version contains a mixture of spices that are reminiscent of its namesake season. It ages for four months and is only available during the winter.
The bold spices in this cheese highlight its warm, full-bodied flavor. Cumin, Cardamom, and nutmeg flavors yield layers of butter and caramel, whose semi-sweetness is balanced with the inherent creaminess of the cheese.
Pair with a smoky stout or porter.