The Boerenkaas STG is a hard or semi-hard farm cheese made with raw cow's, goat's, sheep's or buffalo's milk.
The tradition territory of Boerenkaas TSG cover about the whole area of the Netherlands.
At least half of the milk used for production must come from animal's bread on the farm where the cheese is processed. Other additions are permitted with milk coming from a maximum of two other dairies. The raw milk is coagulated through the addition of calf rennet at a temperature of about 30°C within 40 hours of milking. A culture of lactic acid bacteria is used to obtain the acidification. The mixture of milk and rennet is cut, mixed and left to partially drain, and then washed with hot water. At this point the mass is transferred into the appropriate drums where it is pressed. The casein label with the name of the cheese is applied during pressing, possibly accompanied by the type of milk used. With the pressing completed, the cheese is placed in brine and then seasoned. The ripening continues at the farm for at least 13 days at a temperature of at least 12°C, and continues in a special room on the farm or in the ripening stores of the whole saters, for a period ranging from a few weeks to over a year, until the cheese has acquired its characteristic flavour.
Appearance and Flavour
Boerenkaas STG has a different form, flavour and texture depending on the type of milk used and the specific ingredients that can be added (cumin, other seeds, herbs and spices). The cheeses have a specific name depending on the composition. The Goudse, the Leidse and Edammer Boerenkaas STG are made from cow's milk. The former has a cylindrical form with rounded trim, yellow-white rind, a firm to soft texture and regular holes. The second has nearly the same shape but with angular trim and red-brown colored rind. The last has a spherical or loaf form and yellow-white rind, both with a firm to hard consistency, small and uniform holes. The Boerenkaas STG, made from goat's, buffalo's or sheep's milk, has in most cases a white rind, a firm to soft and supple texture, and regular holes.
The origins of Boerenkaas STG lies within the Dutch dairy farm tradition, being the place chosen for the processing of milk up until the end of the 19th century, when the industrial production was launched in 1874. However, to maintain the typical flavour of the cheese, the artisanal transformation of raw milk is still practiced in the farms today. The law of 1982 on dairy products permits the transformation of cow's milk as well as sheep's, goat's and buffalo's milk and to produce cheese with a lower fat content.
Boerenkaas STG should be stored in a food container or in its wrapper in a cool place or in the less cold compartment of the refrigerator. Ideal eaten alone accompanied by a slice of good bread, or as a filling for dainty sandwiches, it can also be used in the preparation of many recipes, from original desserts to cheese based dishes.
The product is sold as Goudse Boerenkaas STG (also herbal), Leidse Boerenkaas STG and STG Edammer Boerenkaas (all three from cow's milk), or Boerenkaas STG based on goat's, sheep's or buffalo's milk. It is marketed in a whole form or in slices.
The typical full, strong and spicy flavour of Boerenkaas STG is due to the artisanal processing method which, combined with the presence of milk's natural enzymes and bacteria that forms during and after milking, gives the cheese a flavour that is clearly recognizable compared to factory cheese.