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Goudas from L'amuse

Betty Koster founded Fromagerie L’amuse in 1989 with her husband Martin. Their Amsterdam shop is a destination for cheese lovers, featuring rare, small-production Dutch gems like Wilde Weide and Terschelling. Betty’s deep, long-term connections with Dutch farmers, cheesemakers and opleggers (affineurs) has given her access to an unparalleled range of cheeses. She exports a handful to America exclusively through Essex St. Cheese.

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Fromagerie L'amuse

Betty and Martin have two retail shops in Holland. One in the city and one northwest of Amsterdam, in Ijmulden, just off the Vissershaven docks. If you happen to be around there, make sure to stop by and say hi (“hoi”).

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Betty's Finds

Betty specializes in finding small production cheese gems in Holland. We import a limited selection of her discoveries, including Nylander organic gouda, Terschelling sheep's milk gouda (sheep pictured), and the once-a-year extra-aged Brabander goat gouda blockbuster we call Black Betty.

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Opleggers

Dutch cheese affinage is managed by an oplegger who operates as a milk middle-man, buying cheese when it’s young, selling cheese when it’s older. The word comes from the Dutch verb “to lay something on a shelf,” which is a lovely understatement of the work these craftsmen cheese agers do.

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The Rewards of Risky Aging

Betty's opleggers sometimes age wheels at warmer-than-normal temperatures. It’s a high wire act of affinage, one that can produce off flavors if not done carefully.

But when it works, as it does with L’amuse Signature, it creates a cheese with a distinctive roasted hazelnut and burnt caramel flavor that retains its velvety texture.

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SIGNATURE DETAILS

Pasteurized cow’s milk

Holstein Friesian breed

Made in a cooperative dairy in Westbeemster

Aged about two years

Wheels sold as 30 lbs whole, 7 lbs quarters

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Brabander details

Pasteurized goat’s milk

Saanen breed

Made in a cooperative dairy in Zijerveld

Aged about six to nine months

Wheels sold as 20 lbs whole, 5 lbs quarters

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WILDE WEIDE DETAILS

Unpasteurized organic cow’s milk

Montbeliarde and Friesien breeds

Made on farmstead dairy in Warmond

Aged about fifteen months

Wheels sold as 25lbs whole, 6 lbs quarters