Holland’s Family Cheese: Marieke Goudas
By Marcella Wright, ACS CCP™
In 2013, Marieke Penterman’s “Marieke Gouda” won Grand Champion at the US Cheese Championship. This award came less than five years after she made her first wheel of Gouda on her farm in Wisconsin. Although not the first nor the last award, no doubt it was one of the highlights of her young Cheesemaker career. And this past month, Marieke won another prestigious award, “2015 Wisconsin Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year.”
Marieke was born and raised on a cow dairy farm in the Netherlands. She had planned to become a veterinarian, however, to quote John Lennon, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” During an internship in Canada, Marieke met her husband and while dating, his family bought a farm in Thorp, Wisconsin. The rest is cheesemaking history. (To learn more about Marieke and her life as a Cheesemaker and Farmer, please read my recent “Virtual Q&A with Marieke Penterman.”)
As a thank you for featuring her in my 2015 Cheese Professionals’ Project, Marieke sent me wedges of two of her Goudas; her six-month aged Marieke Gouda and her Marieke Gouda with Cumin. I paired both with Valley Fig’s Orchard Choice Port Wine Fig Spread. This spread was sent to me as part of Valley Fig’s February “Spread the Love” Campaign. Sometimes I get lucky with gifts from manufacturers but they all understand that I print my opinions and they hold no sway over those comments.
Because Marieke was so generous with the sizes of the samples she sent (each were over one pound) I have been able to create a cheese board and make grilled cheese sammies… with enough left over to make a mac ‘n cheese and a yet-to-plan Mexican dish using the Cumin flavored Gouda.
Both of these raw milk Goudas are young (in the 4 to 6 month range) and are creamy and mild. The paste is ever-so-slightly spongy, making it perfect for melting.
The Young Gouda is milky and nutty with a hint of sweetness as its final note. We paired it with local (NE Georgia-local) Blue Haven Sourwood Honey and California Port Wine Fig Spread. Both accentuated the sweet notes.
The Cumin Flavored Gouda is a seasonal offering and begs me to use some to make a chicken dish with a Mexican flair. The cumin is noticeable but not over-powering. With the honey, the contrast in flavors is interesting and satisfying.
I also made grilled cheese sammies with the Young Gouda… bam… perfectly melted to become gooey and ooey… again, paired with the Fig Spread and a few grapes; perfect lunch. I used about 4 ounces of shredded Gouda for each sandwich.
You can purchase Marieke’s Goudas at her website.
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