In a spectacular North Sea bog-draining engineering feat 400 years ago, the Beemster Polder was the first large-scale land reclamation project in the Netherlands. Sitting 20 feet below sea level, the pasturelands on this 200 square mile area in North Holland are famous for having a unique nutrient and mineral enriched soil that produces incredibly fertile, lush grass. As a result, the milk from happy Beemster cows that graze freely on the polder has a distinctively buttery texture and especially sweet flavor.
In 1901 a polder farm cooperative was formed and all-natural, gouda-style Beemster cheeses, made from secret, traditional Dutch recipes- and solely from the co-op’s milk- were created to immediate success. Today the Beemster Polder is a UNESCO World Heritage site and Beemster cheeses have won top honors in competitions around the world for their exceptionally smooth and divinely creamy taste and texture.
Extra Aged Beemster is matured in a strictly regulated, temperature and humidity controlled, 26-month (minimum) process. The extra aging, coupled with using such high-quality, select milk and employing supreme cheese-making techniques handed down from generation to generation, produces complete gratification. Hard and brittle in texture, the deep pumpkin colored paste, flecked with tiny, white protein crystals and a few very small “eyes,” is somehow still delightfully, mouth-coating creamy. The cheese’s amazing depth of concentrated almond-nutty and grassy flavors is elevated even further by the butterscotch and mellow-malty notes that are also echoed in the cheese’s welcoming aroma.
Beemster cheese-makers have mastered a complex equation for creating Extra Aged Beemster, but thankfully enjoying it is quite simple.
Application: Great with a wide variety of fresh fruit, notably apples and apricots, and a range of breads, Extra Aged Beemster also goes well with almonds, olives, dark chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Grate it on anything calling for grated cheese, shave it on salads, soups and chicken dishes, or make awesome grilled sandwiches.
Pairing: A dry white wine works especially well; try an un-oaked California Chardonnay or a White Burgundy. For a red preference, a Merlot or a vintage port make fine combinations. Complex hand crafted Ales are a can’t miss pairing.
Fig & Almond Fruit Paste by Valley Produce Company
Product Details: #217993 | 12/2.6 oz
Fig & Almond Fruit Pyramids are a product of Australia’s own Valley Produce Company. Each pyramid is made with fresh, local Yarra Valley William (see above) black mission figs, caramelized and slow cooked to excellence in small batches to develop a rich, sweet flavor. Valley Produce Company then combines the mildly sweet fruit with freshly roasted and crushed almonds for added body and flavor.
Located in the Yarra Valley region of Victoria, Valley Produce Company is one of Australia’s most passionate and respected gourmet food companies. Each award-winning Valley Produce Company Fruit Pyramid contains over one pound of reduced fruit and has a 15-month shelf life. Fruit Pyramids require no refrigeration, even after opening, and will last as long as the date code specifies in ambient temperatures. There are no added colors or flavors and all pyramids are wheat and gluten-free.