Jolanda and Gerben Bakker’s sheep dairy and farm, De Zeekraal, is on the island of Terschelling in the Wadden Sea located in the north of the Netherlands. They have a herd of about 200 milking Friesian ewes that are milked throughout the year to produce their cheeses, which range in maturity from 4 weeks to 8 months and include a cheese made with samphire, a local plant. The farm works with Waddengould, an organization that promotes local products from this region of the Netherlands, operating a shop on the property selling locally grown produce and other products. Also, the farm boasts an educational center that focuses on educating children about farming and sheep. De Zeekraal has just begun exporting its cheeses to the UK.
Terschelling Sheep Gouda is a pasteurized sheep’s milk Gouda. Aged for 4 to 6 months, the cheese has a mellow caramel-like flavor with notes of Foenegreek and nuts, which become more prominent as the cheese matures. The cheese is cooked and pressed, creating a dense paste with a smooth texture.
This cheese pairs very nicely with a fruit-forward wine such as Pinot Noir. The cheesemaker, Jolanda Bakker, suggests baking some spinach with Terschelling Gouda grated over the top. Drizzle honey over the top before serving to add an earthy sweetness to the cheese.