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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.