Artisanal Cheese: The Things No One Tells You about Cow’s Milk

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As an original supporter and participant in the farm-to-table movement, Beemster loves to educate people who desire more than just an interesting farm-to-table tale. We believe that quality artisanal cheese is built from the ground up; literally.

Beemster cows graze the nutritious grass of a pasture called the Beemster Polder. A polder is land that has been reclaimed from under water. More than 50% of Holland is below sea level and the Dutch battled flooding for centuries. In the early 1600s Dutch engineers drained the area now known as Beemster using a system of canals, dykes and windmills. Originally, the plan was to plant crops, but they found that the soil was a dense slate blue clay and crops wouldn’t grow. Only a certain, hardy grass would grow.

The grass of the Beemster Polder is uniquely rich in nutrients & minerals.

The grass of the Beemster Polder is uniquely rich in nutrients & minerals.

It turned out that after centuries of coastal flooding, the soil was exceptionally rich in nutrients and minerals. Though grain crops wouldn’t grow, the grass that grew was ideal for grazing animals. The farmers quickly learned that their cows’ milk was richer, creamier and sweeter than when they grazed in other areas.

Beemster cows consume about one hundred pounds of sweet polder grass to produce seven gallons of what is considered by many to be the finest cow’s milk in the world. Laden with the very same minerals found in polder soil, those seven gallons of milk become rich, luscious Beemster cheese.

The unique terroir of Beemster cheese can be traced back to the soil, the clay beds of the polder, the water, and even the salty breeze of the neighboring sea. It is a pedigree that you can experience in every slice of Beemster cheese. Beemster lovers taste the difference.