Gouda Cheese - Cheese Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

Gouda is semi-soft when young and transforms into a hard cheese when aged. Authentic Dutch Gouda is one of the world's greatest, and most popular cheeses. Gouda Cheese accounts for over half of all cheese production from Holland. The cheese is named after the town of Gouda in the Netherlands. Hundreds of years ago, the town of Gouda was the center of the local cheese trade, and on a weekly basis, farmers from neighboring towns would meet at the "Waag", or weigh house, where their cheeses would be weighed before being sold. Recently, the "Waag' was converted into a museum and re-opened to tourists during the summer months to exhibit Gouda's age old cheese traditions.

Young Gouda, typically aged between one and three months, is sweet creamy and mild, and is often packaged in a red wax rind. Cured Gouda is aged from four to nine months and becomes a bit firmer and sharper. Aged Gouda is aged for ten to 14 months and is sharper still with a medium-hard texture. Extra Aged Gouda is aged for 18 months or more and has a complex sharpness with a distinct butterscotch sweetness, accompanied by crunchy, white tyrosine crystals.

Aonther variety of Gouda is Baby Gouda, a young Dutch Gouda formed in cute 8 ounce wheels. It is called Baby Gouda because of its small shape, not because it is intended for toddlers, although they may love it too! Flavored Goudas are made with herbs, pepper, garlic or nuts. Smoked Gouda is made by smoking the cheese over hickory chips in brick ovens. Goat Gouda is tangier in flavor and bright white in color due to the inclusion of goat's milk instead of traditional cow's milk. Goat Gouda from Holland is increasing in popularity, especially among those with lactose intolerance.

Boerenkaas is what the Dutch call their prized raw, unpasteurized, farmhouse Gouda Cheese. This Farmer Gouda has an abundance of natural flavor, thanks to the rich grasses that grow in the low pastures of The Netherlands. In the US, Gouda Cheese is famous for its festive red wax rind, but in Holland almost all Gouda sold is enrobed with a more subtle yellow wax rind. A black rind usually designates an Aged Gouda and a white wax is typically used for Goat Gouda, but in today's market pretty much all of the colors of the rainbow are being used.

Gouda Cheese from Holland may be grated, shredded, sliced or melted. Dutch Gouda is perfect as both a table and dessert cheese, and excellent when paired with fruits and wine or beer.

When searching for Gouda Cheese online, look no further than igourmet.com.