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Oct 29, 2001 03:25 PM

Old Amsterdam at Berkeley Bowl

  • j

This weekend i took a field trip out to Berkeley Bowl with a firend of mine to sniff the mushrooms and poke the cheeses. While there i cam across a wedge of Old Amsterdam cheese. This is possibly the best stinky firm cheese i have ever had! I became addicted to it when we were in the Netherlands last year and I am super psyched to know that i can purchase some that is almost as great here in the states. I am confused though, i was under the impression that a lot of cheeses from the Netherlands were not making it to america due to hoof and mouth and pasturization processes and all that....Is this a one shot deal, or will i be able to find this cheese again? I bought a big wedge just to be on the safe side, however, it is so good that it is almost gone!
I guess i will have to make another trip soon. Can anyone recommend a cheese comparable and tell me if i should be worried about having trouble finding it again? This is the same cheese that i was told i could not bring into germany due to hoof and mouth....
hmmmm? are they just trying to horde the best for themselves?
i wonder.
If you get a chance to pick some up, i hihgly recommend you do, and don't bother with the cracker, this cheese is best straight!

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  1. You shouldn't have any trouble getting Old Amsterdam at all. It's basically a mass produced, (and pasteurized, btw) aged Gouda, though with special cultures added to make it taste like a more aged cheese than it is. For a substitute, try an 18 month- 2 year aged gouda. For a harder and, imho, even better, if somewhat less versatile, cheese try a 3 or 4 year aged gouda. They're like candy.

    But Old Amsterdam is everywhere and I haven't heard of any shortages coming. Though you never know.

    -Gordon, who is a cheese monger at a different store.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Gordonzola

      Thanks Gordon,
      The cheese i got in the netherlands was definetely WAY nuttier and oilier, but hell, the taste is close enough and still fabulous, it is good to know i can get it any old time, i guess i just need to go to the really good cheese shops to find it, cuase this is the first grocery store i have seen that had it.
      I will start perusing the finer cheese shops, if my wallet will allow it....I have let 5 people at my work today taste my dwindlin supply and they all moaned in delight and one guy actually said it was better than sex!
      so please, i welcome any and all cheese recomnedations.
      Take care and have a great day,

      1. re: Jupiter

        i just had this aged gouda for the first time myself recently. Check the cheese counter at the Pasta Shop at Market Hall too, they generally have really fresh cut-from-the-round pieces.

        This year I have come to appreciate aged hard cheeses like this. Some other ones of similar texture and nuance, but definitely different flavors, are the aged Vella Dry Jack from Sonoma and the aged version of the classic Spanish Manchego.

        1. re: patrick

          Speaking of aged hard cheeses, I've had some wonderful old gruyere from the Pasta Shop recently. I also love old mimolette, although it is harder to find.