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Smoked Gouda Cheese
Try a slice of smoked Gouda cheese on a burger, in grilled cheese or as a slice on a ham or turkey sandwich, in a cheese omelet and wherever your taste buds guide you. Photo courtesy iGourmet.com.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

STEPHANIE ZONIS, Contributing Editor, focuses on good foods and the people who produce them.

 

 

February 2008
Last Updated March 2012

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cheese-Butter-Yogurt

The Case For Gouda Cheese

Page 3: Gouda Flavor, Young & Aged

  • More Whey To Go columns

 

This is Page 3 of a six-page article about Gouda. Here, the flavor (taste) of Gouda cheese. Click on the black links to visit other pages.

PART 1: UNDERSTANDING GOUDA

PART 2: TASTING GOUDA

 

Aged Gouda: Complex & Caramel

Some purists who turn up their noses at young Goudas have far greater respect for the more mature relatives of the clan.

As is typical with more aged cheeses, aged Gouda tends to be harder in texture than a young Gouda; in fact, it has a texture more similar to Parmigiano-Reggiano.

The interior, or paste, is more deeply colored than that of a young Gouda; in a Gouda aged for roughly two years or longer, the paste becomes more of an amber, or yellowish-brown. The flavor is complex: intense, butterscotch-caramel, salty yet on the sweet side (it is often described as caramelized or toffee-like).

  Gouda Wheels
Gouda wheels aging on traditional wood shelves at Holland’s Family Farm.

 

Mature Goudas may be difficult to slice evenly with a knife—they frequently come apart in chunks, also similar to a Parmigiano-Reggiano. But they’re wonderful grating cheeses, and add flavor to soups, stews, cooked vegetables, rice, mashed potatoes, eggs—try it on anything you’d like to flavor with cheese. A more mature Gouda is often dipped in wax after it has finished maturing; the wax used sometimes is black, not the red or yellow used for a young Gouda (which is how you can spot them when you’re shopping).

Crystals

Aged Gouda will often contain small, crunchy white crystals (you can see them in the photo below). They are a crystallization of the amino acid, tyrosine, a result of casein (the main protein in milk). They’re perfectly fine to consume—in fact, some people purchase tyrosine supplements, which are believed to reduce stress and help with sleeping. Certain aged cheeses, like Aged Gouda, Aged Gruyère, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Piave Vecchio, will have a preponderance of them. Most cheese lovers consider the crunchy texture one of the delights of the cheese.†††

Aging Gouda

Exactly how long a Gouda should be aged for great flavor and texture is a matter of serious debate among lovers of this cheese. I’ve seen arguments for Goudas with as little as six months of aging, but there are those who insist that a Gouda isn’t truly mature unless it’s aged for at least two years. There are those who only love their Gouda aged three years and five-years, though those can be harder to find. See the two examples at the right: the five-year-old on top and the three-year-old underneath, both from cheese specialist iGourmet.com.

Remember, too, that the longer a Gouda has matured, the more you should expect to pay for it, although Gouda is less costly in general than many other cheeses. For instance:

  • A younger cow’s milk Gouda, made in The Netherlands and aged for six to nine months, runs about $8.00 per pound.
 

Aged Gouda - 5 Years
Look at the beautiful, butterscotch color of this 5-year-old Gouda (“triple aged”). You can see the tyrosine crystals dotting the paste. You can also see how the cheese flakes, rather than slices. Compare the color to the 3-year-old Beemster X.O. Gouda below (“double aged”). Both are available at iGourmet.

Beemster X.O. Gouda

  • A Gouda aged for two years is likely to run in the $12.00 to $15.00 per pound range.
  • Goudas aged for a longer time, those made from sheep’s or goat’s milk, or those manufactured by small, artisan producers can increase the price.
  • The most expensive Gouda I’ve found to date, at Ideal Cheese, is a raw milk, farm-made in the Netherlands, truffled Gouda, aged for fifteen to eighteen months. It retails for $28.00 a pound (shown in the photo at right). 
 

Truffled Gouda Cheese
Perhaps the most elegant-looking wheel of Gouda you’ll ever see, and with good cause: black truffles are added.

Now that you understand Gouda, join us in Part 2 to pair and taste the Goudas.

 

Continue To Page 4: Pairing Gouda

Go To The Article Index Above

 

CONTINUE TO PART 2:
- Food & Beverage Pairings
- Thirteen Goudas Tasted
- Have A Gouda Tasting Party

 

 

 

© Copyright 2005- 2014 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. Images are the copyright of their respective owners.

 



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