Made from pasteurized cow's milk, Leerdammer has a sweet, nutty, mild taste and a slightly elastic semi-hard texture with lots of holes. It has been described as a cross between Emmental and Gouda. It is aged 3-12 months.
The holes in the cheese, just like those in Emmantal, are created by bacteria. Changing the temperature, acidity, and fermentation time changes the size of the holes.
Cees Boterkooper owned a small dairy in the town of Schoonrewoerd, just outside of Leerdam, where he made Edam. Bastiaan Baars ran a cheese shop in a nearby village. The two met in 1970 and soon afterward decided to work together. They attempted to create a cheese to compete with Edam and Gouda. In 1977 the created Leerdammer. The product was launched commercially in 1984.
Where to buy
If you live in Europe, Leerdammer is quite easy to find as it is one of Europe's most commercially successful cheeses. In the United States your best bet is to look in specialty grocery stores that import from Europe.
Leerdammer is available in many other parts of the world as well. If you can't find it, you can order it online through Amazon.