There is a Dutch proverb that loosely translates to “the farmer does not eat what he does not know.” Perhaps it is this adage that drives some Dutch travelers to bring along essentials, such as packets of hagelslag, when on trips far from home. But what about those who want to top their toast with cheese instead of chocolate sprinkles?
That’s where vakantiekaas, or “vacation cheese,” comes in. Vacuum-sealed and known for keeping well outside a refrigerator, the hard cow’s milk cheese is typically sold in camping-gear stores. As August is the major vacation month in the Netherlands, you can expect to see vacation cheese start appearing on shelves in July.
If you can’t track down one of the official vakantiekaas brands (some include idyllic beach scenes on their labels), don’t fret: Some Dutch cheesemongers will offer to vacuum-seal any of their offerings to turn your favorite cheese into a vakantiekaas.