Sometimes you’ll have to squeeze in to enter the narrow store of Verkade & Jacques. Once you’re in pick an old-fashioned number. While you wait you can marvel at the many cheeses and other delicacies on display. The longer the wait, the more difficult the choice.
“There are almost 400,” says Nellie Hannewijk with pride. “They’re mainly thermized and raw milk cheeses from artisan farms. They have a sharper flavor. Cheese from a supermarket is pasteurized, causing many flavors to be lost.”
Our store has a bit of a museum function. People can’t believe their eyes.
The buffalo cheese of a water buffalo farm in Drenthe is remarkable. And ever tasted bunker cheese? “This cheese ripens in an old bunker from World War II. The inside temperature is constant, making it ideal for the maturation process. Even old cheese retains its intense creamy taste,” she explains.
The choice of foreign cheeses is immense. “This Swiss Mont d’Or has just arrived. Look, there’s a crust of pine bark around it. Delicious as fondue. I just found the right sparkling wine to go with it.” Nellie is doing a study as viticulturist and advises wine-cheese combinations. Restaurants often ask her for advice on the composition of a cheese board.
With tourists in mind, her employees know everything about exporting cheese. “Our store has a bit of a museum function. People can’t believe their eyes. I like to persuade customers to try something different than Gouda cheese.” No room for a block of cheese in your suitcase? Verkade & Jacques also sells sandwiches.