Discover Benelux & France | Issue 15 | March 2015

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Discover Benelux | Food Feature | Henri Willig

Cheese perfection – how it’s made First, the milk is heated up to 30 degrees Celsius. Next, a bacterial culture and rennet are added to thicken the milk, turning it into a pudding-like substance. With big knives the mixture is broken up so it separates into liquid whey and solid curds. The whey is drained and the curds (about 10 per cent of the total) are pressed into cheese moulds for 30 to 45 minutes where they get their typical round shape. The cheeses are then transported from the dairy to the Henri Willig warehouse via a salt bath. Their miniature, 400 gram cheeses stay in there for around 12 hours. To seal-in the delicate flavour and prepare them for transport, the cheeses are coated with paraffin – each type of cheese has its own colour. After maturing for 3.5 weeks, the cheeses are ready to taste.

Another new type Henri Willig introduced is a mix of cow’s and sheep’s milk. “This one is less outspoken as a typical sheep’s cheese but still has that characteristic flavour. It takes a lot of technique to produce mixed cheeses, so they are quite rare,” Wiebe says.

A dairy in action To learn more about cheese and the delicate cheese making process, people can visit the Henri Willig dairies the Jacobs Hoeve, the Alida Hoeve and the Catharina Hoeve, all three at less than half an hour’s drive north of Amsterdam. Open daily, entry to the cheese dairies is free of charge and a member of staff will explain in detail how cheese is made.

out some of our cheese at the end of it, you can of course visit the shop next to the dairy.” The Jacobs Hoeve in Katwoude, the Alida Hoeve in Volendam and Catharina Hoeve located at the windmill village ‘Zaanse Schans’ are open daily from 9am to 6pm; for more information visit the website.

“We will give you a personal tour around the dairy where you can see how cheese is actually made,” Wiebe comments. “We offer a professional demonstration and we can explain the cheese making process in 12 different languages. If you want to try

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