If you love to cook and eat various cheesy delights, you would have wondered how many types of cheeses there are, what they taste like, and what’s their texture.
Among these cheese varieties, Gouda is the one that pops up when thinking about the famous cheeses along with mozzarella, Parmesan, Cheddar.
Everyone wants to know what Gouda tastes like, what texture it has, so today, let’s cover this topic. One thing is for sure; it is one of the most popular and delectable cheeses that every cheese lover would come across one day.
What Gouda Really Is?
Gouda, or "How-da", as the locals say, is a Dutch milk cheese named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands.
It is one of the most famous cheeses in the world. Approximately 50-60% of people consume Gouda, making it an incredibly popular cheese.
What Does Gouda Taste Like?
Several factors determine the taste of Gouda, especially the ageing process it’s subject to. While it is usually nutty yet sweet and overall a mild cheese, Young Gouda is more on the mild side, whereas aged Gouda is nuttier and sharper in taste.
Traditionally, a common cheese from the Netherlands – Gouda is now prepared and sold throughout the world. Hence, geography also plays a role in the taste variety.
Age is a significant determinant in the taste of Gouda. At a young age, Gouda is creamy, soft and light yellow. Whereas a Gouda aged for four years is light brown and has a strong flavour.
Generally, Gouda has a firm yet springy texture. It carries a mildly pungent flavour that matures with ageing. Amsterdam Gouda, when aged, has a rich caramelly, buttery, milky taste.
Gouda is known for melting easily without oil separation, unlike Cheddar.
What Are The Different Types Of Gouda?
There are two types of Gouda widely available in the US- The young (jong) and the old (oud) Gouda.
Whereas in the Netherlands, due to its wide usage and local availability, there are at least six different types of Gouda available. They are categorized according to the time for which they are aged.
Young/NewGouda: aged 4 weeks
Young MaturedGouda: 8-10 weeks
MaturedGouda: 16-18 weeks
ExtraMaturedGouda: 7-8 months
Old or Fully MaturedGouda: 10-12 months
Very Old or Very Aged Gouda: over 12 months
Young Gouda has a slightly buttery, creamy feel to it as it hasn’t dehydrated yet. As the cheese ages, it loses moisture and sharpens its flavour.
Ageing is done for two reasons. First, to have a stronger taste and different varieties. Secondly, aged cheese has fewer chances of developing bacterial infection or mould as bacteria thrive on moisture and ageing dehydrates the cheese.
Certainly, ageing cheese isn’t as easy as it seems. They are aged in cellars or temperature-controlled rooms for several months and years under routine monitoring.
How And Where To Use Gouda?
With distinct flavours and diverse textures, Gouda is used in a variety of cuisines.
Generally, the Young Gouda, with a mild, buttery, sweet flavour and soft texture, are best on sandwiches or crackers.
The Older Gouda, with a strong, pungent, nutty flavour and hard texture, are great for cooking like in mac n’ cheese, with slices of bread or with wine or in soups and sauces.
Other than that, these are the types of Gouda and their best uses:
Naturally Smoked Gouda: dark beer, dark chocolate
Gourmet Dutch Gouda: dry, semi-dry wine
Frico Classic Dutch Gouda: Cheese block snacks, with port wine and strong beers
How Is Gouda Made?
Making Gouda is an art as well as a science. It requires a lot of patience. Traditionally, Dutch Women were responsible for making Gouda and passing the skill on to their daughters through generations. Following are the steps involved in the Gouda Making Process:
Start with washing the curd, that is, remove the whey formed when the cultured milk curdles and replace it with warm water. This step removes extra lactose, thereby preventing some of the lactic acid formations and, in turn, making the cheese sweeter.
Press it for several days to make it flat and round.
Plop them into brine water or salt bath.
Set the cheese out to dry.
Coat it in wax or plastic.
Have it fresh or age it for a month or a year.
How To Store Gouda?
Cheeses being alive and breathable things should not be suffocated by wrapping tightly in plastic. Instead, wrap Gouda in parchment paper, then loosely cover it in plastic. Gouda lasts for 2-3 months. Keep it in the warmest areas of your fridge, like the vegetable drawer or near the bottom. Freezing your Gouda alters its texture; hence it is not recommended unless utterly necessary.
What’s The White Stuff In My Gouda?
As Gouda ages, crunchy, white crystals may develop throughout the cheese. This is the sign of a well-aged cheese. Often confused with salt crystals formed due to brine bath, these clusters are actually bits of Tyrosine- an amino acid resulting from ageing appropriately.
Nutritional Information Of Gouda Cheese
As per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Carbohydrates: 2 g
Fibre: 0 g
Protein: 25 g
Fat: 27 g
70% Daily Value (DV) of Calcium
26% DV of Vitamin B12
26% DV of Zinc
20% DV of Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
11% DV of Vitamin A
What Are The Favourite Recipes To Cook With Gouda?
Here are a few of hot favourite recipes to cook with Gouda cheese:
Apple Gouda Hand Pies
Gouda Cheese Crisps
Zucchini Cheese Bites (use in place of cheddar)
Roasted Pepper and Gouda Grilled Cheese
Butternut Mac and Cheese (use in place of cheddar)
The Bottom Line
You really need to try various Gouda Cheeses to pick your favourite one- the one that suits your palette. But surely, it will become your go-to cheese in no time.
Gouda goes well on a cheese platter as one of the milder cheeses. You would love the combination of grapes, jam or prosciutto with Gouda.
We hope this article gives a good insight and answers all your questions related to Gouda Cheese. If you have any more food curiosities for us to explore, feel free to comment below.
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