Maasdam cheese is a Dutch cheese in a Swiss-style. Made from cow's milk, it is aged for at least 4 weeks. It ripens faster than other Dutch cheeses. Maasdam has internal holes from the ripening process, and a smooth yellow rind. Sometimes it is waxed like Gouda. The cheese was created to compete with the popular Swiss Emmental by being less expensive and quicker to produce. In the process of making a cheese with the same general components as Swiss cheeses, the Dutch ended up with a cheese that is nutty and sweet, but softer than Emmental due to a higher moisture content.
The style was introduced in 1984 by the Baars company as the trademarked Leerdammer cheese, though it is now made by other Dutch companies under the name Maasdam.