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This week, we’re pleased to offer you a taste of Kasslust cheeses. We rarely have a tasting devoted to a single cheesemaker, but Kaaslust is so unusual and incredible, we thought it deserved the special focus.

Known for his unique organic cheeses, Jan Craens runs Kaaslust, a small cheese company in what was once a small farming community and colony of the Society of Benevolence in the Netherlands. The company’s logo is an illustration of the community’s founder, General Johannes van den Bosch, to pay homage to Bosch’s ideal of helping disadvantaged people to become farmers.

One can still see the signs above cottages and commercial buildings that illustrate the purpose of the community: Pray and work,” “Maallust” (joy of milling), and “Devotion.” Craens chose “Kaaslust” (joy of cheese) to put over his door.

Craens is content to keep his business small. He embraces the small scale because it allows him to try new things. “I can’t make cheap cheese for Aldi supermarkets,” he says, “but I can make more unusual kinds of cheese very well.”

Join us for this tasting of three cheeses from a single maker. All three are rare and true gifts for gourmets. Kaaslust literally means “joy of cheese” and we promise to bring  joy to your palate this weekend.

Kaaslust Buffalo Gouda - Tastings Gourmet MarketBuffalo Milk Gouda

This unusual Gouda is made from 100% water buffalo milk and has its own unique taste: buffalo milk has a natural sweetness and creaminess. Whiter than cow’s milk and rich in protein, minerals and calcium, buffalo milk makes delicious cheese that is best when young. This Gouda is aged just 4-6 weeks and is beautifully sweet, creamy, and mild.

And it’s as versatile as it is delicious. Kaaslust Buffalo Milk Gouda is also hard to get.  You owe it to yourself to swing by Tastings this Saturday to give it a try.

Origin: The Netherlands (Veenhuizen)
Producer: Kaasmakerij Kaaslust
Milk: Buffalo
Rennet type: Animal
Rind: Natural
Age: 4-6 weeks
Look: White
Feel: Creamy, smooth, soft
Smell: Lactic
Taste: Salty, creamy
Tastes good with: Eat this Yum’s bacon marmalade, red grapes, walnuts.  Try it on salads or in pasta.
Pairs well with: Pinot Grigio, Ciders, Lagers

Kaaslust Quatro - Tastings Gourmet MarketQuatro 4 Milk Cheese

It’s unusual to find a cheese made from four kinds of milk:  cow’s, goat’s, sheep’s, and buffalo.  Even more unusual is to have the milk in equal proportions:  25% of each milk type is used to create Quatro.  This creates a symphony of flavor and ensures that none of the milk types overshadow another.

This extraordinary cheese with its layers of flavor is a study in contrasts.   It is both creamy and firm. It tastes good from the moment it comes from the creamery to the moment where it is a couple of months older.  The cheese makes a lovely appetizer as well as a delicious dessert. The Dutch enjoy it on sandwiches!

Origin: The Netherlands (Veenhuizen)
Producer: Kaasmakerij Kaaslust
Milk: Cow, Sheep, Goat, Buffalo
Rennet type: Animal
Rind: Natural
Age: 2 months
Look: Ivory colored
Feel: Creamy or firm, depending on age
Smell: Milky
Taste: Creamy, lactic, sweet
Tastes good with: Baguette, charcuterie
Pairs well with: Rosé, sparkling wine

Kaaslust Brebis Peat Barn - Tastings Gourmet MarketBrebis Peat Barn Gouda

This Gouda gains its unforgettable, rich flavor as a result of being ripened between 3 and 5 months (and sometimes longer) in the peat barn.  

Made from 100% sheep’s milk, this Gouda is ripened in a peat barn at the Kaaslust dairy.  Peat was used in years past to create the walls of barns in the Netherlands, and Kaaslust’s founder thought the community barn would be ideal for aging cheese.  Peat lets air through, and so the humidity of such a barn is very high (almost 100% humidity) and the ideal environment for ripening cheese.

Origin: The Netherlands (Veenhuizen)
Producer: Kaasmakerij Kaaslust
Milk: Sheep
Rennet type: Animal
Rind: Natural
Age: 3-5 months
Look: Ivory colored with a natural rind
Feel: Firm
Smell: Sweet, earthy
Taste: Sweet, nutty, salty.  It also has the slight taste of peat and soil.
Tastes good with: Red grapes, almonds. Perfect for a salad or on a cheese plate
Pairs well with: Aperitifs, Riesling

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