Behind the scenes: Holland cheese trail

Hit the North has a thing about cheese. In fact, the more potent, smelly and ripe the better.

I’ve been trying for ages to get an idea off the ground about Dutch cheese. Not the plastic-tasting Edam from my local supermarket but real, artisan Dutch cheese, the likes of which would give the French a run for their roquefort.

This week, I finally made it, following an unofficial cheese trail from Gouda to Friesland with the help of guide Kees Kaldenbach.

I was trying to get an angle on the way cheese making keeps the rural traditions of Holland alive – something we often miss amongst the cliched images of clogs and windmills.

It’s about trying to find a new way to look at a familiar destination, something I hope makes some of my stories stand apart.

My time in North Holland this week also led to think about how Holland is not seen as a food destination. Yet surely there are some interesting chefs and restaurateurs out there?

Maybe, like the cheese makers, people keeping alive the village recipes and farming favourites? I’d love to know if anyone has any suggestions or links.

My story will run in the Daily Express in a few weeks time. Meanwhile, here are some images from the trip.

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