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From Gouda

Gouda farmers cheese herbs

How to recognise Gouda Farmers Cheese

How do you recognise a good Gouda farmers cheese?  There is Gouda factory cheese and farmer’s cheese. This is how you know the difference.

Gouda Farmer’s Cheese vs Factory Cheese

Some call it Guda, others call it Howda. The Gouda cheese is world-famous. There is a factory version and a handmade version. What are the differences? Factory cheese. It gives me the chills. Dutch farmer’s cheese definitely has my preference. Like with many crafts, the authentic cheese-making is an art. The main difference between a Dutch factory cheese and a farmer’s cheese is the milk used in the cheese making.  Due to food safety requirements cheese factories use pasteurised milk. The cheese farmer makes the farmhouse cheese from very, very fresh milk. Early morning the dairy farmer collects the milk from the cow and  immediately uses it for cheese making. A real – Gouda- farmer’s cheese is made from raw, non- pasteurised milk. Some cheese farmers choose to heat the milk slightly to make sure their cheeses maintain the unique characteristics of the farm, but also have a more uniform taste.

Hatches in the floor for ventilation cheese warehouse

Pure Taste of Gouda Farmers Cheese

Every Gouda farmers cheese has an unique taste. Multiple aspects influence the taste of the typical Dutch hard cheese.  The milk obtains its taste from the grass the cows eat, the area they live in. Gouda cheese is not made in Gouda city, but in the surroundings. Besides the grass of the pastures, the cows eat different herbs. The slightest climate difference in the Dutch countryside effects  the taste of the cheese.  Other than the milk, every cheese maker has a different recipe.  After the cheese making the cheese farmer let’s the cheese ripen. Where the cheese ripening takes place and for how long also makes a difference to the taste of the delicious Dutch cheese.

Farmers Cheese stamp
This stamp indicates farmer’s cheese is made from raw milk (rauwe melk in Dutch)

Gouda cheese labels and stamps

Cheese makers all around the world can produce and sell Gouda cheese. Only in 2010 the term cheese made in Holland received a protected EU status. Only Gouda cheese made from 100% Dutch milk produced by Dutch cows, following a Dutch recipe & ripened according to Dutch standard can be called ‘Gouda Holland Cheese‘. You can recognise this cheese from the stamp.

Did you know you can also see the difference between a Gouda farmers cheese and a factory cheese from the stamp? The stamp on a Gouda factory cheese is round, whereas the stamp on a Gouda farmer’s cheese has the shape of a barrel. The stamp of a farmer’s cheese tells you if the cheese is made from raw milk or warmed ( thermerised) milk.


Soon on Verita’s Visit Holland: Cheese cities in the Green Heart of Holland

In the surroundings of Gouda, in the midst of the Dutch countryside, a cheese maker rises early in the morning. She makes her Holland farmer’s cheese, the authentic Gouda, from fresh milk. She pours the milk in a cheese vat, adds some special ingredients and the magic begins…


Cycling to a Gouda cheese farm on a Saturday

Visit to Gouda Cheese Farms

The Dutch cheese platter for every meal


From 16th century Gouda cartoons to modern Zwolle stained glass superheroes

Today’s journey from 16th century Gouda cartoons to modern Zwolle stained glass superheroes starts in Leiden. For a team activity during the Leidens Ontzet I was looking for unique places and objects. Research brought me in the St John of Gouda. There was a huge stained glass window depicting the Relief of Leiden. Why it was there and not in Leiden I will tell you later. For now picture yourself in the St John and think of a comic book.

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August Events in the Netherlands

Summer in Holland is fantastic. Long, colourful days with nice temperatures and a good amount of sunshine ( most of the time at least).   Whether you like music, food or flowers, t here’s always something to do. Most of the time you can even combine all of your interests, passions and hobbies by going to one place or even one festival. In the post  Summer Festival Hopping you could already read about my favourite festivals in the province South Holland. Now, to make sure you won’t miss out on some typical Dutch activities during your Holland holiday I wanted to highlight some August events in the Netherlands that Verita’s Visit organises themed food & flowers.

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Team building event in Gouda area

The 7th of June was going to be the day.  The team building event in Gouda area. I was going to meet a group of 17 people from an international company at their office in Bodegraven for a bike- & boat tour with game elements. And then it started to rain. Windspeed 6. The long predicted storm happened on the day I was most looking forward to. Emma, who managed the event from client’s side, emailed me the day before and suggested to move  this team building event to the 20th of June. For this event we quickly made other arrangements.

Brewing a company outing

It was great to organise two team building events in Gouda area for the same international company. I was in close contact with Emma and kept communicating with the other organisations. The bike- and boat tour was a dream event and even when everything had to be changed lastminute for the event on the 7th my heart was beating faster.  I have so many ideas and at the moment I have the change to use my creativity and get a green light I just let myself go. Emma suggested a brewery tour for the 7th, which I had in mind as well. After that she thought a city walk through Gouda would be nice as the rain would clear in the late afternoon/ early evening. So, very lastminute I made the arrangements and they had a fun and informative company outing.

Video made by participant

Building a team in the Dutch Wetlands

Then the 20th of June came. Together with Lisette, the event planner and jack-of-all-trade at Watersnip, I had planned out the team building activity on the water. The 33 participants of the international company would be doing a rowing competition and if they had some sailing experience do some sailing game as well. The teams had all be given colourful shirts by my client and soon showed their practical, social and/ or leadership skills. As images speak a thousand words, here is a selection of the pictures I took of the team building event in Gouda area.

Dear participants, dear Lisette, Emma & Kellie, thank you all for this colourful day!

Long distance bike tour The Hague-Zwolle-Lunteren

Was this a Holland cycle holiday? A long distance bike tour? A cycling adventure? I’m not quite sure how to call my 6 day journey by bike from Rijswijk (The Hague) to Zwolle & Lunteren. It was a challenge, something I had wanted to do for a long time, but somehow didn’t dare. Would I be able to pull it off? Cycle 200 kilometre on my regular city bike all alone? What if something would happen enroute? I was clearly waiting for a sign. Thé sign.

Delftse Hout: this is where I learned how to cycle


The foreign Velo-citizens who inspired me

The sign came during Velocity, the conference on cycling, cycles, cyclists – where else?-. I met American, English, Belgian who covered amazing distances by bike with the Velocity conference in Nijmegen as final destination. They told me what they saw on their bike ride; the brass bands of the small town communities, the typical Dutch traditional festivals, the new cycle and pedestrian bridge in Utrecht. They were so relaxed, made a long distance cycle tour seem so easy.  All my ‘what ifs’ disappeared in thin air.

Long distance bike tour Netherlands

The week after, adrenaline ran through my veins. I wanted to make a long distance bike tour. At that very moment. If I would wait, I would postpone and everyone knows what happens if you postpone things. The weather was fantastic, for a full week. High temperatures, lots of sun. Quite exceptional for the Netherlands. Plus, I already had a destination: Zwolle. I had to be in the Hanseatic city on Friday for an inspiration day for event managers organised by Congresregio Zwolle. This was thé moment. The light for my longest cycle tour turned green!

Rottemeren, windmills of Zevenhuizen


The Dutch cycle adventure begins

The cycle route from Rijswijk to Gouda was familiar and a piece of cake. Or should I say: piece of cucumber, cherry tomatoes and loads of cherries? Let me explain. Around the Rottemeren, the lakes near Rotterdam, you’ll find greenhouses growing fruit & vegetables. Several greenhouses have placed vending machines in front of their doors. This way you can buy delicious cherries & strawberries and fresh cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes enroute for a great picnic.

Fruit/ Vegetable vending machine near Rottemeren Rotterdam

Wake me up for a local product

You can wake me up in the middle of the night for a visit to a miller, a farmer or a fruit/ vegetable grower. The very reason for making the detour via the Rottemeren was to visit the cherry grower Jomajole in Moerkapelle. Passing through the centre of this town I was happily surprised to find a Farmershop selling local cheese, juices, jams, fruit & vegetables. Of course they had cherries, but I already had my mind set on a visit to the cherry farm.

Jomajole is a big greenhouse. To be honest I was expecting a garden full of cherry trees, but once I entered the greenhouse I felt like I was in the garden of Eden. Besides different types of cherries, Jomajole also grows peaches, figs and other fruit. Just looking at all those different fruit trees made my mouth water. So I bought some 500 grams of cherries and had a little picnic.


The cycle route Moerkapelle – Gouda via Waddinxveen is a bit disappointing. I love cycling throught the Dutch countryside and enjoy the silence, but around Waddinxveen are just roads, traffic and lots of noise. Was quite happy to reach Gouda, sit down in a lovely park near the train station and have my favourite stroopwafels. – Sorry, ate them all before I even thought of taking a picture-.

Spoon bill & heron near Moerkapelle


At Gouda train station I parked my bike, hopped into a train back home and smiled. I was already looking forward to the next day.