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Say cheese, in Chinese or Dutch, please

By Donna Mah  (China Daily)

10:56, July 02, 2012

An impressive selection of cheeses to satisfy any customer. (China Daily/Donna Mah)

Cheese, glorious cheese. Some people love it and can't imagine life without it, while others, well, they're perfectly happy living their cheese-free lives.

Will cheese become the "next big thing" - like coffee and wine - to be adopted by the Chinese?

Well, a new cheese store recently launched in Hong Kong is betting that with more education, China will become a large market for its large wheels of Dutch cheese from the Netherlands.

The pilot store called The Dutch Cheese and More, is a small, modern-looking retail outlet situated on Queen's Road Central, next to a traditional Chinese herbalist shop and near family-run stationery and curious shops.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Robert Schuddeboom, consul general of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Hong Kong said: "When people think of the Netherlands, they usually think of tulips, windmills and soccer and now they will also know that the Netherlands produces lots of delicious Dutch cheese."

Many people are aware that the Netherlands is rich in fresh produce and is a major producer of milk and dairy products, including some famous Dutch cheeses. With the melamine milk debacle in the recent past, perhaps imported milk and cheese will appeal to the masses.

So, what is Dutch cheese? Well, in general, Dutch cheeses are firm cheeses with textures that range from soft and smooth to hard and a bit crunchy.

Young cheeses are usually milder in flavor and the aged cheeses are more pungent and peppered with small crunchy salt crystals from the aging process and loss of moisture.

The Dutch Cheese and More sells a selection of aged, mature, young Gouda and farm cheese made with natural, untreated milk, plus specialty cheeses (goat, pesto, chili).

The cheese is cut from large wheels using a large cheese cutting blade, which brought a smile to many of the Dutch at the opening. The authentic presentation reminded many of "home".

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