I could be researching museums or transporation options or any number of useful travel oriented subjects for my upcoming trip to Amsterdam. But instead I have gone off on a tangent researching cheese. Of course I tell myself that this is very useful information. To know a country, you must know what they eat. Right? And I certainly need to know what to eat once I'm there.
So far I have gleaned that there are many varieties of Dutch cheese - far more than just Gouda and Edam, though clearly those are the most popular. Here are my preliminary cheese notes.
Gouda starts out mild and creamy but with aging it becomes more robust. There are lots of variations and flavored versions.
Most Edam cheese has a characteristic red wax coating. It is a young cheese and is mild and smooth. Aged Edam is given a black wax coating and has a stronger flavor. You can also find herb flavored Edam in a green wax and baby Edam with an orange coating. Hmmm, maybe I should collect one in each color.
Leerdammer is a semi-hard cheese with a creamy white texture and a sweet, nutty taste.
Leyden is a flavored cheese that uses caraway, cumin and other spices during the making of the cheese.
Limburger is known for its pungent body odor smell. We might want to pass on this one.
Maasdam cheese has large holes and a mild and sweet, nutty flavor.
Roomano is the one to really keep an eye out for. It is hard to find but has a delicous aged flavor, said to have hints of butterscotch and toffee.
There are more cheeses, but just glancing at this list, I think I will have more than enough to taste and enjoy.