Betty Koster - Cheese retailer & trend watcher
Her cheese knowledge is highly revered, and she is always a welcome guest. Where there’s cheese, there’s Betty. The (un)crowned cheese queen of the Netherlands.
"My love for cheese is innate"
I've been around cheese since childhood. "Grandpa Samson" came from a large family with 16 children. That called for some old-fashioned rolling up of the sleeves. As a teenager I found myself behind the counter on the Nieuwe Groenmarkt in Haarlem. "What do you want with cheese?" My father was more into security and diplomas. He liked to keep the tempo up—literally. Even after I completed my nursing training, he kept repeating his mantra. "What do you mean, cheese is nothing? I'll show you!" Cheese became my life. It turned out I knew no bounds and enjoyed nothing more than talking about cheese and inspiring people.<br/
More than a quarter of a century ago it started on the shop floor of my Fromagerie l'Amuse, which now has locations in IJmuiden and Amsterdam. Restaurateurs complained about cheese wholesalers, so, bit by bit, we fed them real quality. Before we knew it, the name "Betty Koster" was buzzing around everywhere. And people want the things they find in restaurants at home as well. The result? We now carry no less than 400 types of cheese and operate within the Netherlands and abroad. It's our crowning glory.
"We should be prouder of our national product"
I am now a trend watcher and critic. I offer cheese courses, I am a professional juror, I organize tasting sessions, I actively participate in many trade shows and events, and I am one of the faces of Foodtube. And in between I'll suddenly be giving a workshop in the Amstel Hotel or at SAIL Amsterdam to explain to VIPs why cheese and tea are an ideal combination. No, sometimes it's not easy keeping the Koster Circus train on the rails. There's just so much to do. Stories, stories. Wonderful!
We Dutch should be prouder of our product, especially considering our improvements with red rind and special production methods, like mixing cow's and sheep's milk. Abroad, our true craft sells like hotcakes. I recognize that ambition in BOSKA. I have deep respect for the mountains of cheese that Martijn Bos and his buddies climb. It's the same as it is with me: ambition can't be suppressed. Pure quality can never be denied. Just don't think you're going to conquer the world. That world conquers you!
Betty Koster, cheese queen | www.lamuse.nl
Let yourself become enchanted by the cheese curler. It uncovers the delicious taste of Tête de Moine. This cheese isn't eaten in cubes or slices, but in paper-thin curls that melt in your mouth. Exerting slight pressure, turn the knife around and around, and the cheese curls will appear.
The secret? By curling the cheese, it comes into contact with oxygen, giving the cheese its delicate flavor.