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An Interview with a Cheese Maker - Landana Sheep Cheese

Posted by Beth Pollock on

I was curious about Landana Sheep Cheese when I found out it was named the Best of the Best at the World Cheese Expo in 2012. I spoke to Sharissa Nanhekhan, Marketing Coordinator at Vandersterre Holland, to get more information on the cheese that’s been described this way: “It’s not mild, it’s not strong, it’s just perfect.”


What’s the history behind Landana Cheese?

Vandersterre Holland, of which Landana is a brand, got its start in 1946. Piet van der Sterre founded his cheese store in the old centre of Bodegraven, which is about half an hour east of The Hague in the Netherlands. He built up a chain of specialty cheese shops and sold cheese under his own name, Van der Sterre.

Today, Vandersterre Groep has been transformed into a producer, wholesaler, brand distributor, exporter, service provider and packager of Dutch specialty cheese products. But the art of cheese-making has been handed down from generation to generation, and has changed very little since the company’s simple origins.


The Green Heart of Holland is well-known for its amazing cheese. Why does so much great cheese come from that area?

Overall, cheese making in the Netherlands dates back over 1600 years. The climate is perfect for dairy farming and its soil is rich with nutrients from the sea.

Nothing could be more Dutch than the Green Heart of Holland, which consists of a series of landscapes, water and cities. You’ll see farms where the clothes hang outside to dry beside a pasture of grazing sheep, with cropped willows and windmills in the background. The landscape includes many meadows and grasslands, a perfect home for the sheep.

And those Dutch sheep produce the creamiest of milk – a perfect beginning for Landana’s natural and smooth taste.

What is the production process?

Landana Sheep Cheese Mild is aged for many weeks on untreated wooden shelves in warehouses. The cheese is turned by hand until it’s aged to a high quality.


Tell us about The Best of the Best medal that Landana Sheep Cheese won in 2012.

The World Dairy Expo was held in Madison, Wisconsin that year, and we were thrilled that Landana Sheep Cheese Mild won the golden medal in North America with a score of 99.45%. It’s a semi-hard, traditionally prepared sheep’s milk cheese that we’re obviously very proud of. We were sorry we couldn’t be there in person to accept the prize! 


Thanks to Sharissa for her insights. Want to know more? Try Landana Sheep Cheese yourself!



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