The Melkbus line of cheeses represent a collaboration between the Dutch cheesemaking company Uniekaas and a number of small family dairy farms located outside the city of Gouda in the Netherlands.
Translated to English, the name 'Melkbus' means 'Milk Can,’ and these were used in earlier times to transport fresh milk directly from the farms to the creamery for cheese making. Each farm was given an identifying number which was stamped on top of the can. This allowed the creamery to identify where the milk came from as well as ensuring that the empty cans were returned to the correct farm for cleaning and re-use.
By way of an “homage” to this system, cheeses with the Melkbus name are made on single family farms and distinguished by the addition of a number exclusively used by that farm. Recipes and methods used, adhere closely to the traditions of Dutch farmhouse cheese production and the cheeses spend the first few weeks of the aging process maturing on the farms where they are made.
Thereafter, they are transferred to “De Producent” - a 98 year old aging facility located in the center of the city of Gouda. It’s here the cheese is aged in a natural environment on wooden boards until ready for sale.
Melkbus 237 is made by hand to the traditional recipe of a Boerenkaas or Dutch “Raw Milk Farmers Cheese” which is to say, in the style of a Gouda. Hefty 26 lb wheels are matured for between 9-10 months prior to release.
The texture is dense and very firm with a golden, straw colored interior dotted with the occasional“eye” or hole and flecked with tiny white crystalline nuggets.
Flavors are smooth and rich with notes of butterscotch, sweet cream and delicate hints of Brazil nuts and dried apricots.