Genever is also known as Holland gin.
There's nothing like absorbing a region with your taste buds and, on Avalon Waterways' unusual cruise to Friesland in Northern Holland, we spent a morning sampling local cheese and Genever, also known as Holland gin.
Passengers argued about what Genever tasted like in the same vein as families dispute which parent a child most resembles, but the truth is that young Genever has little if any taste, similar to vodka. There is a hint of the scent of juniper in it but, mainly, taste is supplied by whatever people mix with it or eat with it. The Frisians seem to universally prefer the brand Beerenburg – not beer, but Genever with herbs added. The old Genever tastes quite a bit like whiskey, as it is often aged in wood.
While there was much discussion about the taste of Genever, there was very little talk about what the cheeses tasted like – just sounds of pleasure. Friesland has earned worldwide awards for its cheeses – nutty Gouda, clove cheese, sheep’s milk cheese and more. The rich and textured cheese varieties of Edam, which is also known for its cheeses, sent passengers to the city’s shops on shore to buy pounds of their favorites and have them sent home.
Guest blog written by cruise editor Marilyn Green