Poo cheese

I love  hearing about random things people are willing to eat. Like cat poo coffee from Bali where coffee berries are eaten by an Asian Palm Civet, partially digested and then miraculously become these aromatic coffee beans when they come out the other end.

Or Casu Marzu cheese from Sardinia where they add maggots to to give it a soapy taste.

What intrigues me is how someone comes to eat such things in the first place. i.e. The set of circumstance under which someone says, “hey lets put some dead fish in the ground, dig it up after a couple of months when it’s a rotting carcass then dip it in paint stripper and Bobs’ your uncle, a delicacy”. Or catching a seagull, killing it, stuffing it in a jar with some water and then setting it out in the sun to ferment before calling it seagull wine?

I was considering these important life questions ( 🙂 ) as I rode in the pitch black at 5am this morning to the Kaasboerderij Wezenspyk owned by farmer Anton Witte. He is one of only two sheep cheese farmers on the island of Texel which, if rumour is correct, is the home of “poo cheese”.

Erwin making the sheep's cheese

For the last 30 days I have been trying to ascertain whether poo cheese really does actually exist or whether it was just one of those urban legends. Everyone on mainland Holland seemed a little bit vague on its origins and no one believed that it was being produced any more.

So Anton and his cheesemaker Erwin seemed the logical people to ask.

For the record, poo cheese does exist. It just can’t be sold for obvious reasons. But they assured me over coffee this mythical “green cheese” is real. Poo Cheese originated many many years ago when farmers used to milk sheep by hand. If a sheep got nervous it would often poo in the bucket of milk, hence flavouring the milk.  Over the years as milking cows became more popular and techniques improved poo cheese simply just phased out.

Erwin said he made some last year though just to see for himself what it was like. Apparently it gives a subtle, yet stronger taste to the cheese. “What do you mean by stronger?” I ask. “It just tastes more like sheep.”

The cheese shop

My eyes lit up when Anton said he probably has some somewhere out the back of his maturing rooms. Am I really going to be able to taste this cheese I came all the way from Australia in search of? After helping Erwin make a batch of sheep cheese sans poo, Anton gave me a tour around his farm.

They get about 20,000 tourists visiting the farm each year and have a great set up for showing tourists their cows, the milking robot and, of course, cheese making.

When we got to the storage room with hundreds of cheeses maturing in rows, Anton spoke to one of his staff asking for the “poo cheese”. THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY LEFT!!!!

Soooo disappointed. But alas it wasn’t meant to be. It just means I have to come back another time to try it. That and to compete in the prutrace and the skating race. Holland you have treated me so well. I’ll be back. xox

Anton in his shop

The cows

The beach at De Koog which I finally made it to today

Texel beer


  1. Erika says:

    Apparently most “delicacies” are born of necessity – when times are tough or famine strikes, you eat what you have to. Then, when times are good again, these things become delicacies!