The most famous of Dutch cheeses, Gouda cheese is a pleasant addition to a cheese board, sandwich, and with myriad uses in the kitchen. Gouda is a versatile cheese, pliable, meltable, with a mild, milky flavor that’s a crowd pleaser. It changes as it ages, with very ‘old’ Goudas, aged sometimes 24 months, developing rich, buttery, nutty flavors with a firmer, more granular texture. So keep that in mind when buying Gouda cheese online – the older, the bolder!
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What is Gouda Cheese?
Gouda comes originally from The Netherlands or Holland. The name comes from the town of Gouda, which was the town that held the rights for trading cheese, back in the Middle Ages. Today, Gouda can come from anywhere in the world, and it refers to the recipe and process for the cheese. Unlike protected origin cheeses, Gouda doesn’t not have a denomination or protective label, so it doesn’t have to come from anywhere in particular.
How is Gouda cheese made?
Gouda starts with fresh cow’s milk, using a process of washing the curds, pressed into a circular mold, then washed with brine. It’s the aging that sets each particular Gouda apart – young, one month old Gouda cheeses are mild and mellow, while older, 12 months or more Goudas are bold, deep and complex, sometimes with caramel notes and salt crystals throughout. There’s also a very popular type of Gouda: smoked Gouda. This is a favorite! Smoked gouda is smoky and aromatic, and a great addition to a cheese board or to top a burger. We also love a great Gouda mac and cheese!
What does Gouda taste like?
Gouda in general is a buttery, mellow cheese that melts beautifully, which is why it’s often picked for mac and cheese, paninis, grilled cheese. It’s a great partner for lighter beers and goes well with wines, so it’s a very versatile cheese to keep for company. Pair Gouda with apples, charcuterie, and you can’t go wrong for a simple, delicious appetizer board.