There’s a lovely crispness to the air and the leaves are beginning to transform into an autumnal rainbow. We’ve taken the sweaters out of storage, our palettes have changed and we’re layering up. Fall is here!

With fall comes pumpkin spice season. But unlike lattes and donuts, Beemster Pumpkin Spice is savory rather than sweet. It’s a different and truly delicious way to savor the flavors of autumn. 

In case you’re thinking “what in the world is pumpkin spice cheese?” - and you may be thinking that exactly. It is hotly debated all over the internet, with both sides equally passionate and no middle of the road! But, let us explain. It all starts with young Beemster cheese, handcrafted in the North Holland countryside. It begins with rich, creamy milk from happy and healthy cows who graze freely on green pastures.

Mixed right into the cheese is an irresistible blend of pumpkin pie spices—cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and ginger. There’s also a hint of pepper, cloves, and fragrant anise.

Aged for just about a month, the result is a buttery, semi-soft wheel redolent with the warm aromas of fall. The flavors shine against the backdrop of such a mild, milky cheese. Beemster Pumpkin Spice is made only seasonally by Beemster’s farmer-owned cooperative.

Snacks, Sides & Meals with Beemster Pumpkin Spice

This is a limited-time offering, so it would be a good move to bring some Beemster Pumpkin Spice home while it’s still available. It’s the perfect after-school snack, served alongside crisp apples, slices of smoky ham and Marcona almonds. For the grownup version, pair the treats with a glass of Chardonnay, a juicy Malbec, or a funky farmhouse cider.

But Beemster Pumpkin Spice may be at its best when it’s melted to gooey perfection. It’s the ideal way to start a cool autumn day, melted on a hearty slice of fruit-nut bread. It makes a mean grilled cheese sandwich on cinnamon raisin bread, especially with a dollop of chutney or a spoonful of cranberry sauce. The cheese is a perfect foil for butternut squash—just melt it over roasted slices for a satisfying fall side dish. Grate it over pumpkin ravioli or sweet potato gnocchi. Make an autumn mac and cheese with Beemster Pumpkin Spice, bacon, and kale.

So What’s the Deal with Pumpkin Spice?

Spoiler alert: there's no actual pumpkin in pumpkin spice, just like there are no apples in apple pie spice. On its own, pumpkin doesn’t taste like much—besides the mellow, earthy flavor of squash itself. It’s that familiar symphony of spices — cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves — that get credit for imparting that wonderful autumnal warmth. The one that calls to mind falling leaves and cozy sweaters.

In ancient Indian medicine, called Ayurveda, spices are either warming or cooling. You know a warm spice when you smell it wafting through the house or taste it in a sumptuous hot soup. It’s deep, rich, and well, warm. In contrast, think of cooling, refreshing spices like mint and dill.

Warm spices like ginger, allspice, cardamom, and cloves make plenty of appearances in both sweet dishes (spice cookies or pumpkin pie) and savory treats (Beemster Pumpkin Spice) this season.

Warm spices have health benefits too, particularly in the impending winter sickness season. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial superpowers, and can help increase circulation. Ginger aids digestion, is invigorating, and can help treat colds. Nutmeg promotes peaceful rest, and may help clear skin and strengthen the immune system. All of these flavors are delicious, and we hope you enjoy them to the fullest this season.

Intrigued and looking for culinary inspiration? We’ve got ideas for you!