Graskaas Farmhouse 2 weeks (limited seasonal cheese!)
Graskaas is a Dutch term that literally translates to ‘grass cheese’ and is the cheese made from the first milking after cows have been led to pasture, having spent the winter indoors. This milk is rich and produces a mild-flavoured and creamy cheese. Cheese made from milk produced by cows indoors is called hooikaas, ‘hay cheese’. Meikaas, or ‘May cheese’, is similar to graskaas, but is ripened for a shorter duration. Graskaas is typically available in early summer, though an exceptionally mild spring in 1596 caused graskaas to be available at the Delft market on 28 March and has been available ever since.
The milk in the first weeks after winter still contains components of the feed that the cows received whilst indoors and therefore this milk is not used for graskaas. Only the milk from the weeks after, generally 2 to 3 weeks, is used to produce the graskaas.
Can you recall the feeling of seeing the first daffodil after a cold winter? That is how the cows on the Slob Farm feel when they can finally leave the barns after winter and have the freedom to roam about. This Graskaas from the Slob Farm is made from the unpasteurised (thermised) cow milk from the first overwintered grass that contains softer milk fats, which make this cheese taste smoother and fuller whilst retaining normal fat content. After the cutting of the first grass, the milk fats already undergo change and the typical creaminess of the graskaas at that point dissipates. The production of this cheese also employs non-animal microbial rennet, making it vegetarian.
Since this cheese is produced from the first milking after winter it is obviously considered to be a limited-edition cheese, and it is the creamiest cheese of the year.
Serving and Cooking Suggestions
● paired with a glass of rose, grassy white wines, light bodied red such as a Beaujolais, citrusy beer
● with strawberry-rhubarb jam, apples and honey-roasted peanuts
● diced on top of asparagus or combined with peas
● melted on top of a ham sandwich with some cranberry mustard
Ingredients: thermised cow milk, salt, starter culture, rennet, sodium nitrate E251
Allergens: milk protein