What is Maasdammer?
Maasdammer is a semi-hard cheese that originally comes from Maasdam in the Netherlands and is mainly distinguished by its very large maturing holes and bright yellow colour. Its flavour can be aromatically mild with a subtle nutty taste and it is usually made from pasteurised cow’s milk. Maasdammer is a relatively young type of cheese that only emerged at the end of the 1980s. Back then it was supposed to combine the qualities of Emmental with its large holes and mild Gouda, which quickly made it a bestseller. As it is not classified as an Emmental cheese, or a butter cheese or Gouda, it was given the name Maasdammer. Originally, Maasdammer was wheel-shaped but in the meantime it is produced in blocks too and sold in every possible variation. Maasdammer’s ideal maturing time is 4-6 weeks, only then does it become a firm, gold or bright yellow cheese with the popular holes.
That is why Maasdammer has large holes.
You can’t miss Maasdammer cheese. Its many large holes immediately catch your eye. But how are these extremely distinctive holes in Maasdammer actually made? So-called propionic acid fermentation is responsible for the holes. The cheesemaker adds the carbon dioxide producing propinonic acid bacteria to the milk during the cheesemaking process. The resulting carbon dioxide does not immediately escape from the cheese wheel during maturing and therefore makes hollow spaces or holes form in the cheese. The size and number of the holes depends on both the number of bacteria and the storage temperature as well as the storage time. As Maasdammer matures at about 20 degrees Celsius, it has many, large holes as an end product (similar to Emmental).
This is the best way to eat Maasdammer.
It is ideal for a cheese roll or sandwiches as it goes really well with cold meats. Maasdammer is also perfect as classic cheese cubes though. Add a glass of wine and simply indulge. It is also find more and more fans in cooking too though, as grated Maasdammer is ideal for oven-baked and gratin dishes. Maasdammer is also perfect when melted, although it does sometimes have long fibres when heated up. It is deal for a savoury breakfast and is also a real treat on a cheese platter. It even gives delicious salads a tasty touch. A tip: It is best to remove Maasdammer from the fridge half an hour before slicing it. This allows it to release all its wonderful flavour.
Maasdammer from GOLDSTEIG is called Almdammer.
Maasdammer is very similar in taste to Emmental and is smooth like Gouda. The aromatically mild Almdammer with smooth consistency from Goldsteig is also a typical Maasdammer. It is not made in Holland though but in Bavaria. The large maturing holes and wonderful yellow colour are typical for this Bavarian Maasdammer. The Almdammer’s flavour is aromatically mild with a certain nutty taste. Almdammer is therefore the perfect Bavarian alternative to Dutch Maasdammer. The two holey cheeses Almdammer and Maasdammer are made from pasteurised cow’s milk. By the way, Maasdammer is also called Bergumer or Hollandse Gatenkaas in Holland.