The Dutch province of Noord-Holland is the cheese capital. Cattle breeding and dairy farming were already an important source of income for the local community back in the 15th century.
This is linked to the fact that the Noord-Holland area has lots of marshes and low-lying land. This made the region less suited to arable farming, thus increasing the importance of dairy production, and cheese in particular. At that time a number of cheese markets started up in Noord-Holland.
These included Amsterdam, Haarlem, Edam, Hoorn and of course Alkmaar. To give you an example, in 1649 an amazing 500,000 cheeses were supplied to the cheese market in Edam.
A very special quality cheese was made in the small village of Oudendijk. A painting taken from the collection in the Rijksmuseum dating from 1598 (figure 1) portrays a woman from Oudendijk. She is dressed in a traditional costume and proudly shows off her carefully made Oudendijk cheese.
On the eve of the 20th century Noord-Holland faced a shortage of workers. This was the result of the local population leaving for big cities such as Amsterdam.
In 1901 a group consisting of 9 farmers from Oudendijk decided to set up a “sweet factory”, which they called ‘Concordia'. The name literally means ‘Unity’. These farmers became so successful and proud of their cheese that in 1925 they registered ‘Oudendijk’ as an official brand.
What began as a small business operating from a simple barn grew to become an important cheese maker. Various sorts of cheese were made here and a large percentage exported to Belgium.
Gouda is an extremely popular cheese all across the world. Its success is largely due to the quality guarantee that is applied to Gouda.
Even in the late Middle Ages the town council of Gouda were already focused on the importance of consistent and guaranteed quality. This quality control, all be it even stricter, is still in place today.
Oudendijk is a cheese bearing the P.D.O. (Protected Designation of Origin) label. This label, established in 1992 by the Council of Europe, protects the special nature of this regional product and is a symbol of its unique flavour. It also means that you can be confident in the authenticity of your Oudendijk cheese.
Oudendijk is produced in an authentic and traditional way with the very best milk. And always with respect for the age-old traditions. Ripening them slowly on wooden planks gives the Oudendijk cheeses their sumptuous flavour and unique aroma.
This maturing process allows us to produce cheese in a variety of flavours and strengths. Oudendijk also has a whole range of ‘Light’ cheeses. In fact, Oudendijk has something for everyone! This unique and premium cheese is full of character and exclusively available in Belgium.
What makes Oudendijk so special? Located in the polders the small village of Oudendijk is surrounded by meadows and the maritime climate means that these meadows are surrounded by succulent grass that our cows just cannot resist.
It is these very Noord-Holland grass varieties that make the milk fat milder and sweeter than other milk in the Netherlands. This premium sweet and mild milk brings out the full and fabulous flavour of Oudendijk.