Irene Hoeve history

The Irene Hoeve Cheese farm has been built almost two centuries ago. It has always been a cheese farm.

In 1986 the farm has been rebuilt on the old foundation and in exactly the same style as before, the famous "stolp".

The farm has been been doing cheese and clogmaking demonstrations ever since.

Cheese making

We make cheese approximately three times a week; usually on tuesday, wednesday and thursday. We make exactly as much cheese as we expect to sell later.

When we are making cheese, we fill the tub with 400 liter fresh milk from the Katwoude village. This is just enough to produce 40 kg of cheese. We only make artisanal cheese, this implies that the milk is raw and everything in the process is done by hand.

We fill the tub with milk just before opening the shop at 9am. Around 1pm the cheese is already under the press.

Because we make cheese in small amounts we can afford to try and experiment by adding new ingredients every now and then. If you have a brilliant idea for a cheese that has not been discovered yet, we are more than interested!

Gouda cheese

Gouda cheese is one of the most famous cheese sorts, it has got the shape of a wheel and fat percentage of 48%.

Nowadays the cheese market in Gouda is being held once a week, mostly for tourists.

Gouda cheese is sold in other countries by the same name, because the name and the shape of a cheese are not protected. The graphical representation of "Gouda Holland" is since 2010 protected by the European Comission. The cheese with this logo is made in Holland using Dutch milk only.

We make Gouda cheese using milk from Katwoude. During the process the milk is separated into solid curds and liquid whey. Usually this is done by acidifying (souring) the milk and adding rennet. With 10 liters of milk you can produce 1kg of cheese.

Cheese contains vitamins A, B and D. In contrast to other cheeses Gouda cheese also contains vitamin B12.

Cheese is being produced in holland since the prehistory. In his book "La bello Gallico" Julius Caesar writes about the Dutch making cheese. Ever since the Dark Ages the cheese is exported abroad. And since the famous Golden Age, Dutch cheese is really known for the fine taste.


Katwoude history

Katwoude is a small village located on the coast of the Ijsselmeer and is part of the municipality of Waterland.

Before 1991 Katwoude was a separate municipality, with around 250 inhabitants in total. At the time it was the smalles municipality of the Netherlands.

The name of the village has its origins in a myth, in which a forest is owned by a cat. The rumoured forest has been chopped down, and the cat is still on the wanted list.

Katwoude has it's own windmill, called "The Kathammer". The windmill is supposed to pump the water from the Katwoude polder to the Ijsselmeer.

On a sunny day it is recommended to take a walk on the dike with the best view you can get on the Ijsselmeer and Monnickendam.