Also referred to as Leidsche Kaas, Leidsekaas or Leiden cheese in the Netherlands, this cheese is of Dutch origin and made in the city of Leiden, which is similarly known as Leyden as well. Made from skim or whole cow's milk, it is a cheese that is flavored with caraway seeds and at times cumin seeds or cloves. The cheese is made into small round wheels approximately 14 to 16 pounds in weight and aged in both a humid and then a dry area. Covered with the traditional red coating, Leyden is a cheese that is much like many Gouda cheeses. Depending on age, it has a firm to hard texture that ranges in color from light ivory-yellow to orangish-tan. As the cheese increases in age, the flavor becomes spicier and tangier. Leyden is an excellent cheese to serve with bread, crackers, ham, and beer or a hearty red wine.
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