Cheesy Business


Cheesy Business

After Wilbert's first blog; "Why you can't buy sustainable food", his second article is ready to be enjoyed! Wilbert works at Youth Food Movement and blogs on He shares the importance of food and knowing where your meals came from with us monthly.

I am sure all of you Dutchies have eaten aged cheese. Aged cheese is crumbling, and you will find crystals of minerals in it. Aged cheese ripes for at least 10 months; the more the better. But this delicacy comes with a problem: it is hard to cut it in neat cubes, as we like to eat it on birthdays.

At least, that was the case, because someone had an idea: let's create a cheese that tastes like an aged cheese, yet is easy to chop. A new cheese was born. A cheese that is not old, and that is not from Amsterdam; nevertheless, it was called “Old Amsterdam".

Customers went crazy for this cheese. Finally, they were able to serve aged cheese during birthdays that wasn't crumbly. The fact that this cheese tastes and lookes like old cheese because of added coloring and salt was no part of the marketing campaign that pitched this cheese. The campaign - loaded with black and white images - linked an authentic, Dutch and cheesy image to the cheese.

Up to this day, Old Amsterdam is a very popular cheese.

Around me, people find the food they stuff into their mouth of increasing importance. Therefore, ease of use should become less important. Let's eat cheese that isn't tailored to the wishes of consumers. Eat cheese that is made in a way that is focused on making the best cheese around!

In that way we celebrate the producers and farmers, as well as the cow.

I know a cheese through which you can do that. It is called Olde Remeker, and it is a cheese that celebrates both the cows and the cheesemakers. This documentary was made about the farm. The way the farmers live together with the cows - the horned ladies - is stunning.

The taste is so good: some time ago, I was cooking for a wedding. I bought this cheese, but served another cheese. This cheese belonged in my fridge.

Don't let marketing fool you. Choose taste before image.

Photography: Amanda Drost