Boeren-Leidse met sleutels

Photo of Boeren-Leidse met sleutels Cheese
AlexanderVanLoon / CC BY-SA 3.0
Important Facts
Country of Origin Netherlands
Specific Origin Area around the Old Rhine River, near the city of Leiden
Certification PDO (1997)
Milk Type Cow (Friesian Holstein, Meuse-Rhine-Issel, or Blaarkop cattle)
Milk Treatment Raw skim milk
Rind Painted with annatto or colored coatings
Texture Hard and salty
Flavor Sweetness from cumin seeds
Flavor Notes Cumin seeds bring sweetness to the hard and salty paste
Forms Pressed in molds with the pattern of keys, embossed into their surface
Age Best aged over six months
Rennet Type Animal rennet

About Boeren-Leidse met sleutels Cheese

Boeren-Leidse met sleutels stands as one of the Netherlands' oldest and few PDO cheeses. It features crossed key symbols on its rind, the emblem of Leiden, and cumin seeds that sweeten its hard, salty paste. Originating in the Western Netherlands, this cheese dates back to the Middle Ages. It became a byproduct of butter, valued on Dutch East India Company ships for its durability.

The cheese earned PDO status in 1997, restricting its production to the Old Rhine's vicinity, near Leiden. It uses milk from specific cattle breeds and includes a unique making process. After forming and pressing, the cheese is brined and coated for protection. Aged over six months, these cheeses range from 6 to 24 pounds.

Also known as Leyden cheese, Boeren-Leidse met sleutels is a traditional farm-made cheese. It features a crumbly texture due to its raw, semi-skimmed milk base. Aged between three to twenty-four months, its wheels are covered in a red-brown, waxed rind. As it ages, it develops a rich flavor with fruity and spicy notes.

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