Gouda is formed into large, 10- to 25-pound wheels and
covered with yellow wax rind. As it ages, the cheese takes on firm
texture, caramel color and intense flavor similar to cheddar.
Holland's most famous export,
Gouda cheese is known for its characteristic wax rind, yellow interior and mild,
nut-like flavor. It is similar to Edam cheese, but creamier in texture
due to a higher milk fat content (about 48%).
In Europe, Gouda is a favorite for breakfast, served with fresh fruit
delicious with beer
and red wine
, and particularly good for grating or melting in fondues
Gouda cheese is named after the Dutch town of Gouda. Just outside Rotterdam, farmers from
surrounding areas have brought their produce to market here for centuries. The town still has a cheese weighhouse (The
Waag) that dates back to 1668. In bygone times, this was the place
weighmasters inspected cheese prior to sale. Today, tourists of Gouda
are drawn to ceremonial weighings where they can enjoy a taste of
authentic Gouda cheese.
Varieties and Buying Tips
Gouda can be made from whole or part-skim cow's milk
anywhere from a few weeks to over a year. When young, the cheese is
soft and quite mild. Aged over a year, Gouda takes on a harder texture,
caramel color and intense flavor that is almost cheddar
cured for two years is a rare product that is prized by cheese connoisseurs.
Domestic Gouda (made in the U.S.) is rarely aged and extremely mild
flavored. Also mild is Baby Gouda, usually sold at supermarkets in
one-pound rounds covered with red wax.
Some markets may also carry specialty varieties that are smoked
or flavored with cumin seeds
, caraway, cracked pepper
or various herbs
A semi-soft cheese, Gouda may be wrapped airtight in a plastic bag or
foil and refrigerated for several weeks. Check the package for a
• Serve Gouda as a table cheese or dessert cheese.
• Pair with dark-grained breads, beer and full-bodied red wines.
• Grate and sprinkle over baked potatoes
and homemade pizzas
• Melt into a Dutch kaasdoop
(a Gouda cheese fondue
served with roasted or boiled potatoes and rye bread).
Try one of our favorite Gouda recipes:
The Original BBQ Chicken Pizza
Mac-n-Smoked Gouda with Cauliflower