Cheese of the Month February 2013: Remeker from the van de Voort family in Lunteren/NL

This a monthly series which I have been publishing for years. You can subscribe here, to get the latest cheese delivered directly on to your screen.

I was really happy to see Jan Dirk van de Voort again at the Cheese Berlin fair in November. I met him during my extensive research trip on Gouda in 2009 (read more about it in Effilee #13). Actually, to mention him together with what at least in Germany is mostly used as a vague collective term for firm cheese of the unexciting kind is not doing him any favour. The Remeker cheese he is producing near Utrecht in the western part of the Netherlands belongs to a completely different class. This is due to several factors. First, his cows are lovely light brown Jerseys who give spectacularly rich milk. Second, the ladies are kept (although this is hardly the right word – they are more looked after) following strict biodynamic principles. And third: Jan Dirk is a very gifted cheesemaker.

Jan DirkHis Remeker is firm yet creamy and tastes very full without sticking to your tongue. They say too high a fat content makes for cheese that doesn’t age well. Really? Aged Remeker develops those nice little crunchy crystals which on the palate feel like small fireworks. The only problem is that there is never enough old stuff to export much… I took these pictures during my visit, when Jan Dirk started to switch from conventional plasticky coating to rubbing his cheeses with ghee instead and using rings with the Remeker name in place of the traditional Gouda moulds.

Remeker

In the meantime it has become quite clear that the cheeses rubbed with ghee (which is homemade – where is Jersey milk, there is fat) age quite differently.  They develop less caramel aroma, taste fresher, more lively but also more discreet – a completely different and highly original cheese which reminds me of dried yellow fruit.

Where to buy Remeker? Best is to get in touch with Jan Dirk; you’ll find the man himself and his cows at the De Groote Voort farm, Postweg 110 in 6741 Lunteren/NL which also has a farm shop.

This a monthly series which I have been publishing for years. You can subscribe here, to get the latest cheese delivered directly on to your screen.

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