Cheeseland Inc. is a company that brings down specialty cheeses from Holland. We dropped in to see what they had on offer and to try out some of the cheeses.
Specialty cheese isn't commonplace here in Sri Lanka, so we were pretty interested to see just what Cheeseland Inc. had in store. First thing we need to get out of the way is that this isn't a full fledged shop. Since this is a very niche market, the transactions happen mostly through order and delivery, but if you do wish to see or sample the cheese beforehand, you can do so here. All of the cheeses are manufactured in Holland and air freighted to Sri Lanka.
They've got over 30 different specialty cheeses, both cow cheese and goat cheese with interesting variations like honey infused cheese, cheese with cumin seeds, hard cheeses as well as cheese aged up to 18 months. As you'd expect these aren't cheap ranging between Rs. 875 - Rs. 2500 for 250g, but these are far superior to any cheese that you'd find in any local super markets and perfectly complements a good bottle of wine.
The Gouda Smaakvol was the first of the cheeses we tasted. "Smaakvol" translates to "tasteful" in English, and they aren't kidding. This cheese is aged for 9 months, and it packs a real punch. It's creamy but not overly salty with a characteristic tangy pungent flavour, which is quite nice once the palate gets accustomed to it. This is apparently a common feature of most aged goudas.
The Mimolette is a much harder cheese compared to the Smaakvol, which is ironic since the name is derived from the French word molle,
meaning "soft". This is because the crust is soft when the cheese is young, but it hardens with age. It can be eaten at various stages of aging but it's mostly eaten aged past 9 months when the texture is hard. It has a characteristic deep orange-tangerine colour which in itself is quite appealing. It's mild in terms of saltiness but has a very nutty flavour which tastes very much like hazelnut.
The Leyden is easily distinguishable from the other cheeses because of the infused cumin seeds. This one has a very prominent aroma and spice due to the cumin. It would probably be an interesting addition to certain salads to add a nice contrast of flavour. If you're looking for something very much different to the norm this is the one for you.
The Edam cheese was the last one we tried. This one was the closest in taste to the local cheeses, but slightly creamier and tangy. If you're looking for a safe choice, this one is good bet since it's not pungent and the flavours aren't overstated. Another interesting fact is that Edam cheese does not spoil over time, it just hardens. It also has a significantly lower fat content than most other cheeses.
Cheese isn't very popular here in Sri Lanka but after trying out the specialty cheeses by Cheeseland Inc. we can see just how interesting they can be. Here's hoping that cheese culture in Sri Lanka picks up with time.
They deliver within Colombo city limits.