Cheese is one of those foods that different countries produce worldwide in their own way.
You will find cheese of various kinds when you visit dairy shops.
If you happen to be in the Netherlands, you will find everyone raving about gouda cheese.
This particular cheese is a mainstay in many kitchens worldwide.
In fact, some favor gouda cheese over goat cheese, cheddar, etc.
But have you ever tried it? What does Gouda cheese taste like? And will you like it?
If you are thinking about hitting the supermarket for some Gouda, you’re at the right place.
Today, we will learn everything about its taste, how you can cook with it, etc.
Let’s hop into it.
What is Gouda Cheese?
Gouda cheese is native to the Netherlands.
This cheese gets its name from the city of Gouda, where traders sold it heavily during the middle ages.
Made from unpasteurized cow’s milk, Gouda cheese undergoes a lengthy aging process.
The cheese becomes stronger in flavor as it ages.
Anywhere between 3 months to 2 years is enough time to get it ready.
Gouda cheese has a protective yellow top layer and a round shape, which gives it that distinct look.
This yellow wax coating prevents the cheese from getting dry.
It also serves as a barrier to birds and flies.
Gouda cheese has been around since the 12th century making it one of the oldest cheese varieties still produced worldwide.
Nowadays, the name Gouda means any cheese made using similar techniques or recipes.
They are mass-produced in various countries, including the United States, Italy, etc.
However, the Netherlands still reigns as the champion producer of Gouda cheese.
What Does Gouda Cheese Taste Like?
Gouda cheese undergoes a complex aging process which gives it its distinct flavor.
And to make it more confusing, there are various types of Gouda cheese, each with a different taste chart.
But in general, Gouda cheese tastes sweet and nutty with a hint of caramel and butter.
As it ages, these flavors become stronger.
The aging process plays a big role in the final flavors.
Fresh Gouda has a softer texture and mild taste.
As it matures, it becomes firmer and develops an orange hue.
It also differs slightly in taste with a more butterscotch-like flavor.
The sweeter taste of Gouda cheese comes from its making process.
The cheesemakers remove excess lactose by washing the curdled milk.
As a result, we get less acidic juices and more sweetness.
Smoked Gouda is another variety that has hardcore Gouda fans divided.
While some enjoy the smoky essences, others do not enjoy it as much.
They are a staple with bread, eggs, and ham.
You can also get other types like bacon, fenugreek, and truffle Gouda.
As their names suggest, these Gouda varieties have different flavors.
They also differ slightly in texture and color.
Gouda cheese has a similar taste to England’s beloved cheddar cheese.
They also undergo the same recipe and aging period.
However, there are some differences between the two.
Gouda cheese tastes sweeter than cheddar cheese.
Cheddar also has a more firm texture and less fat content.
Nonetheless, you can use it as a substitute.
Edam is another similar-tasting cheese to Gouda.
Both kinds of cheese have the same origin and similar textures, and nutty flavors.
How to Eat and Serve Gouda Cheese?
Now comes the interesting part.
Yes, the serving and eating.
There are so many ways you can add Gouda cheese to your list.
Your first move is to include it in your next cheese board.
Why not? Adding Gouda cheese will offer variety and a switch from regular Cheddar or Fontina cheese.
Matured Gouda cheese is also a perfect pair with bread or biscuits.
Slice them like Canadian bacon, slip them under your sandwiches and enjoy.
You can also add cucumbers and olives for a mix of fresh and nutty flavors.
Another perfect use for Gouda is with mac and cheese or casseroles.
Despite the hard texture, it melts fast.
You can combine several kinds of cheese for a bit of fun.
And who could forget salads? Yes, these Dutch wheels of goodness are perfect seasonings for your next veggie or fruit salad.
You can also grate some into your bowl of trail mix to intensify the nutty and fruity flavors.
You can also experiment with Gouda cheese while making savory dishes.
A hint of these Dutch baddies on your next pepperoni pizza recipe or chicken soup sounds like a delicious treat.
If you want to pair Gouda with wine, go ahead.
These treats go perfectly with both white and red wine.
The nutty and fruity flavors are a perfect combo.
Gouda is high in sodium which can trigger heart conditions.
So, it would be best to have it occasionally.
If you suffer from migraines, milk allergies, or high blood pressure, Gouda is not a good option.
How to Buy Gouda Cheese?
Buying Gouda cheese has become easier these days, especially with the rise in online shopping.
In the old days, it was hard to obtain them because they were produced only in the Netherlands.
But various manufacturers worldwide produce Gouda on a large scale these days.
You can get them easily in your local supermarket.
But if that’s not accessible, google “Gouda cheese online,” and voila.
Remember that everything that says “Gouda” on the label is not strictly the traditional Gouda.
As we mentioned earlier, this term holds a different meaning nowadays.
If you want the genuine Dutch Gouda, read the product description carefully or buy it off the shelf at the grocery store.
Here are a few pointers to watch out for while buying Gouda cheese:
- Like all cheese, Gouda will eventually spoil over time. Watch out for the expiry date.
- If your Gouda is something other than mustard yellow or orange, avoid it. Expired Gouda will have a rotten discoloration.
- Sniff the cheese. If it smells foul, this is a sign of the Gouda going bad.
- If your Gouda has molds on both the exterior and interior surfaces, you know what to do.
Gouda cheese has undoubtedly earned a reputation as one of the most loved cheeses in the world.
And why not? They are pioneers in the cheese realm, as are their makers.
People love them for their versatility.
They taste pleasingly sweet during the first stages and bolder with maturity.
Thus, it offers variety for both sweet and sour taste buds.
The name “Gouda” has somehow lost its value, with namesakes trying to imitate them.
But true Gouda lovers appreciate their value.
We hope you choose the best Gouda and join the wagon.
If you haven’t already tried this fabulous cheese, you’re missing out.
Make Gouda cheese a must-buy on your next grocery list.