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  • Made from pasteurized or unpasteurized cow's, goat's or sheep's milk

  • Country of origin: Netherlands

  • Region: South Holland, Gouda

  • Family: Gouda

  • Type: semi-hard, artisan, brined, processed

  • Fat content (in dry matter): 76%

  • Fat content: 31 g/100g

  • Calcium content: 958 mg/100g

  • Texture: compact, crumbly, dense and springy

  • Rind: waxed

  • Colour: yellow

  • Flavour: creamy, full-flavored, nutty, sweet

  • Aroma: pungent

  • Vegetarian: no

  • Synonyms: Boerenkass Gouda, Graskaas Gouda, Jong Gouda

  • Alternative spellings: Goudam

Gouda, or "How-da" as the locals say, is a Dutch cheese named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands. If truth be told, it is one of the most popular cheeses in the world, accounting for 50 to 60% of the world's cheese consumption. It is a semi-hard cheese celebrated for its rich, unique flavour and smooth texture. The original cheese market in Gouda is one of the last standing commercial cheese markets in the Netherlands. Since the name is not protected, it has become a generic classification for all cheeses produced and sold under the name Gouda.

Gouda is typically made from pasteurised cow’s milk although some artisan varieties use sheep’s or goat’s milk to produce it. Boerenkaas is a typical variety of unpasteurised Gouda cheese produced by the farmers from the milk of cows grazing on the natural, low pastures of the Netherlands. There are seven different types of Gouda cheese, categorized depending on age. Graskaas is young Gouda ready to be consumed within a few weeks of production. On the other hand, is the extra-aged, Overjarig cheese which has a full-flavoured, hard, golden interior and salty flavour reminiscent of toffee. Between the spectrums is a variety of Dutch Gouda classified as per the texture and age - Jong, Jong belegen, Belegen, Extra belegen, and Oud. The waxed rind of the cheese also changes by age as soft, younger Dutch Gouda cheese is identified by yellow, orange, or red wax rinds white mature cheese has black wax coverings.

In America, smoother and less flavourful commercial Gouda is more popular than Dutch Gouda. Artisans in the Netherlands may produce Dutch Gouda using raw milk as well as pasteurised milk.  To enhance the flavour of the cheese, herbs, seasonings, and nuts are added. In the Netherlands, aged Gouda is commonly used to in soups and sauces.

Young Gouda is best paired with beer while medium-aged Gouda tastes best when paired with a fruity Riesling or Chenin Blanc. A well-aged Gouda complements wines that are deeply flavoured such as a rich Merlot or Shiraz. Gouda cheese may be grated, sliced, cubed or melted. It may be used as a table cheese or dessert cheese.

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