Penterman Farm - Holland's Family Cheese, LLC, Thorp, WI
We recently discovered that this small cheese factory in Thorp, WI, has the best Gouda cheese in the nation! We had to take a road trip to buy some.
Rolf Penterman and his brother emigrated here from Holland. They own and operate a huge dairy farm on the premise of the factory. Marieke Penterman, Rolf's wife, is from Holland too. She is the award winning cheese maker - in fact, she is the first woman to receive the Grand Master Cheesemaker title at the Wisconsin State Fair in 2008.
Their Gouda cheeses have won many awards; most recently, the 2013 U.S. Champion Farmstead Gouda (6-9 mos.).
I didn't know that Gouda was a town in Holland. That is where the cheese originated. Like Colby cheese - originated in Colby, WI. Marieka traveled back to the Netherlands to master the traditional methods of cheese making. Their cheeses combine fresh cow's milk and spices from the Netherlands to make products that are authentically Dutch yet made in Central Wisconsin.
Their store featured speciality items from Holland: candies, cookies, spices and mixes. A really cute little shop! Thorp, Wisconsin is very small! This dairy is in a rural area - seeing the cows that provide the milk for these cheeses was an added bonus.
We saw a sign that said Gouda with an arrow. When I signed the guest book - I was shocked by the places people had traveled from. The customer before us was from France. I guess if you are a cheese connoisseur, tasting the best cheeses from around the nation and world, you would have to come to Thorp, Wisconsin.
Neither Al nor I had ever tasted Gouda cheese - we LOVE it! They have samples of their different flavors to try before you buy. The girl in the shop was so cute and friendly. She took us back to see the aging room.
We will definately go back! Best of luck to Marieke and staff as they are making plans to move the dairy and factory "closer to town" and the highway.
Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.