A piece of history
Cheese has been produced in the Netherlands since prehistorical
times. The provinces of Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland, and Friesland
were best suited for dairy farming because of their wet soil. Until the nineteenth century, cheese was produced on farms; farmers specialised
in dairying in order to supply city inhabitants.
From the Middle Ages, Dutch cheese was shipped abroad, and during the Golden Age, the Netherlands had a reputation as a country of cheese.
A quality mark for Dutch cheese was established; the correct percentage
of fat in cheese was particularly noted. This has applied since 1913.
The Dutch Dairy Bureau deals with the promotion of Dutch cheese.
A logo was designed especially for this, depicting a girl in
traditional costume. The girl in this costume was also used
in real life: from 1961, she was named Frau Antje in Germany.
From that day on, Frau Antje has been a celebrity, appearing in
advertising campaigns and at important events.
It is clear that the Netherlands evolved into one of the largest
cheese-producing countries in Europe. Over 674,000 kilos are
produced and cheese is exported to 130 countries,
mostly to Germany despite the fact that Germany is Europe’s
largest cheese-producing country (about 1.85 million metric tons).