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Waiting for Gouda - what's your favorite?

This store I was in today had over a dozen varieties of Gouda. Turns out that Gouda can be made with cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, or goat’s milk. It can be various ages from the young cheeses usually with red and yellow wax exteriors to aged goudas, sometimes with black wax that are aged five years or more. Of course there's smoked gouda. There's gouda with stuff in it like herbs, flaxseed (vlaskaas), spices, nuts ...etc, etc

There have been some good Chowhound discussions in the past that have introduced me to the joy of super-aged gouda
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/301926
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/301980
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/387186

I found this excellent article with everything you want to know about Gouda, history, how it is made, what to pair it with and the result of tasting 13 types
http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main...

That article says that the REAL pronunciation is "GAOW-duh" unlike the American “GOO-duh.”

So do you have some favorite variety or specific artisan brand?

How do you like to to eat your Gouda and with what? What is your favorite beverage pairing?

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  1. I really like aged Gouda. The Old Amsterdam Gouda from Trader Joe's is quite good at a fair price.

    1 Reply
    1. re: scuzzo

      I like this one too, it's pretty decent, and not bad price. Well at least it wasn't, I haven't purchased extravagant cheeses in awhile. darn it.

    2. the g in dutch is more like howda, with a raspy h sound

      i like it made from goat milk

      1 Reply
      1. re: thew

        That G is hard to translate into North American. For our UK and Eastern Canadian readers, it is somewhat similar to the ch in the Scottish word loch as spoken by a Glaswegian, but with a bit of 'g' thrown in for good measure.

        As Caitlan says below, the old (oude in Dutch) makes a good substitute for parmesan. Unfortunately it is no cheaper. Some of these are so crystaline that many people would find the texture unpleasant when eaten as a lump of cheese.

        Since the OP asked the question, mine would be extra belegen (aged / mature).

        I lived in the Netherlands and was determined to learn enough Dutch to survive. On one of my first forays to the deli counter there was some ham with a price on it and the type of meat - smickelhoek. So I asked "Een ons smickel hoek, alst u blijft" - 100 grams of ham please. She looked at me as though I was an idiot. I repeated it, more slowly and louder. The lass was obviously having problems with my accent. So we reverted to point and pick. She duly wrapped it up, put it on the counter, pointed at it and said "Ham".

        The next day I discovered I was asking for 100 grams of delicatessen counter.

      2. I just had some Beemster Gras Kaas Gouda last week. This gouda has a very creamy taste and mouthfeel - it's aged for only one month. Just slightly nutty in taste, it was a perfect way to greet summer. It went well with fresh fruit, fresh sausages, bread and a slightly sweet vouvray.

        http://www.igourmet.com/reviews/pwr/p...

        1 Reply
        1. re: bulavinaka

          Here in France I grabbed a gouda the other week made with "orties," which I had no translation for. Came home and googled it to find they are "stinging nettles."
          It tasted amazing! Definitely my fav. gouda.

          Other than that, I've also really liked the ones made from goat milk.

        2. My farvorite is boerenkaas (the name means farmer cheese). It's a raw cows'-milk cheese, that's aged a minimum of a few months, but I recommend getting at least a 2-year-old version, and I've had a 5-year-old one that was amazing. These aged ones develop strong caramel notes and the salty crystals that create intense bursts of flavor (as in Parmigiano Reggiano). I'm not a huge fan of gouda in general, but I like the aged ones, and love the older boerenkaas.

          Here's a link with some info on boerenkaas: http://books.google.com/books?id=zv3g...

          2 Replies
          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            I love aged gouda - up to a point. I like it to be still chewable.

            I have a friend who's a real fanatic, he used to smuggle aged boerenkaas into the US 20 years ago when it was impossible to find here. I still remember the time he decided that since it tasted better the older it was, he was going to age one of the ones he brought back even longer. Unfortunately, a kitchen cupboard in Boston is not the best place to age a cheese. When he finally brought it out at a party a year or so later, it was so hard he couldn't cut it! He finally managed to crack a piece off with a hatchet - it was still tasty grated, but impossible to eat otherwise.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              Caitlin, I am with you completely withe the aged boerenkaas! I love those salty crystals. This cheese is one of my favorite breakfast cheeses, served with a good crusty artisanal bread smeared with really good french butter, and served with stone fruits like cherries, plums, apricots. Such a lovely way to start the day.

            2. As to the right way to prnounce the name of ths cheeese - the Dutch "g" is is a gutteral, throat sound, making the word more like "ch-OO-dah"

              Still, that doesn't bother me as much as people who call the mid-Eastern chick-pea dish "CHUM-muss" instad of "ho-MOOSE".

              3 Replies
              1. re: ekammin

                Getting too close to "chowdah" - never try ordering gouda with an authentic accent in Boston unless you want the clammy soup.

                1. re: Cinnamon

                  Yes, good old Boston - the only place in the world where cheddar rhymes with feta. ;-)

                2. re: ekammin

                  LBR (love being right:) as I have learned it Chumus is [HUM-us] more correctly the H is ch as in Bach. FMPOV (from my point of view) [hoe-MOOSE] sounds silly.

                  And I speak Dutch (poorly: maar wil ik graag een gesprek hebben) and [HOW-duh} is how it is, again more correctly the H is ch as in Bach.

                  None of them bother me, the older I am the more amuseder I get.

                  How did I lose weight in Netherland, eating ruggesbrod, butter and cheese or salami for breakfast daily? Maybe it was the koffie.

                3. Lamb Chopper is AMAZING.

                  1. actually, so far all the phonetic spellings seen here are still not correct but enjoy the cheese in any case. i guess you just have to hear the horrendous 'g' properly pronounced.

                    [ironically i prefer foreign cheeses...]

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Pata_Negra

                      I just thought it was funny since I'm still slightly annoyed to learn recently we've all been pronouncing Godot wrong all these years ... and I guess you could interpret that Beckett play as waiting for the big cheese. The title of the post was going to be something like "It's all Gouda"

                      So ... what's Gouda with this cheese? Wines, beers, fruits, breads, preparations?

                      1. re: Pata_Negra

                        ah yes, the [chkay]-sound. (that was ch-as-in-Bach). It's not so strong in the south of the Netherlans, where they also use the French "R".

                        Sometimes the g sounds like k, others like that ch I mentioned (definitely not ch-as-church).
                        Here's one to try 'van Gogh', say [fahn Hawk] then "ch" the H-sound. Yes, that's really it.

                        Another 'graag' (it means approximately "gladly", a way of accepting, or showing pleasure)
                        say [kraahk] but "ch" BOTH the "K's".

                        Enough fun for the back of your tongue.

                        1. re: Weetje

                          Almost as much fun as Scheveningen.

                          1. re: Paulustrious

                            May be an urban myth, but isn't pronounciation of the town the way the Dutch spotted German spies in WW2?

                            Keeping it on-topic for food, it's some years since i took the tram there but I recall eating good herring on the sea front.

                            Or, as I would say to friends in northern Belgium who speak their dialect of Dutch, they should really call it phlegmish.

                            1. re: Harters

                              I have a British friend who like to say that Dutch isn't a language, it's a throat disease. But he's monolingual, what does he know? ;-)

                      2. Well, I just learned that I don't know enough about gouda! Love the smoked with a brown waxy rind, and just plain old gouda, but other than that I haven't tasted enough varieties. Now if I could find a place that would lay them all out in a row so I could really taste all of them I would be a happy camper!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: danhole

                          Don't know the Houston cheese scene, but a Whole Foods with a good cheese department should have a few different types and at least in the SF Bay Area they will give you tastes of the cheese. Do try to find one of those aged Goudas though ... they are lovely.

                          I'm looking forward to trying the goat's milk version I saw at a store near me.

                          1. re: rworange

                            To divide them up

                            With cow's milk goudas, I tend to go super aged. If it's less than 6 years old, I usally just walk on by. My ideal cow gouda (on those rare ocassions when I can find one that meets these standards) 12+year old, is about the same shade of brown as Gejost about 50% tyrosine nodules and is so geolictically hard and brittle that the easist way to "cut it" is to hit it with the meat tenderizer and let it shatter.

                            With goat, I tend to go pretty young as aged goat goudas a a little salty for me. I've tried an awful of goat gouda brands as they tend digest a little easier for me (I may love the tastes of the above gouda but it's awfully hard on my stomach) so far my b7rand of choice is Frico's Belle Blanche, which I can get from my local supermarket (but it has to be the version with the semicircular labe that comes pre wrapped in the cryoplastic, the cut in store version with the rectanguar label tastes off and chemically to me)

                            With Gouda's French cousin, Mimolette (most Cheese historians now beieve that Mimolette's origins are the result of Norman Cheesemakers attempting to re-create Gouda and Edam locally, after one of the 16th century trade minsters banned the importation of Foreign Cheese. Apart from the annato coloring, Mimolette and Edam have almost identical recipes (and indeed some Mimolette is in fact made in Holland) and Edam today is basically Gouda made with partly skimmed milk.) I tend to like it very young, as aged mimolette usually becomes to bitter for my taste. This means that I eat Mimolette farily infrequently, as practically all of the Mimolette that arrives in this country is way too aged for my taste.)

                          2. re: danhole

                            Tried the smoked variety recently--tasted ok at first, but the flavor cloyed on me before I finished the 1/3 lb chunk. Prefer the aged or even the regular variety.

                          3. I sell cheese (retail) for a living, and my best selling cheese is Cypress Grove's Midnight Moon.
                            Fantastic goat milk cheese from Holland. Outsells all my other cheeses.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: pacheeseguy

                              There's also a Dutch gouda-style sheep's milk cheese called Ewephoria. Parrano, which is usually available at Trader Joe's, is also a type of gouda with a little bit of age. I think they are also carrying Old Amsterdam, which is aged 18 months.

                              I think my favorite aged gouda is Saenkanter, which is aged 3-5 years.

                              1. re: pacheeseguy

                                I LOVE Midnight Moon -- such a great tasting cheese.

                                1. re: pacheeseguy

                                  Mary Keuhn from Cypress sends her goat milk to Holland, the cheese is made there, and returned to US. Agree, best goat gouda there is

                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                    Oh goodie, another obsessive-about-the-ingredients proprietor. I think I'm going to start collecting these kinds of little tidbits. (On the L.A. board there is one Mexican seafood joint where the owner's family members drive to Tijuana and take a bus 24 hours ONE WAY to Mazatlan to shop for, buy, and transport back the best shrimp they can find. It's head and shoulders above all other shrimp I've had in L.A.)

                                2. Gouda Komijn Kaas extra belegen de lekkerest! Well aged Ggow-da cheese with cumin seeds is my favorite!

                                  1. Try Taylor Farm in Vermont--they have a website, I think. I went out there a few years ago and bought a ton of stuff, gave it to friends in the restaurant business, and two of them ate the entire sample in one sitting. Someone..maybe the New York times?--did a piece on Taylor farms a few years ago. It's a good product and the folks out there are doing the Lord's work when it comes to responsible farming.

                                    1. Out here in Southern California we have Winchester Farms which makes the boere kaas style of gouda. They have a variety of goudas including their King Tut which is aged for five years.

                                      http://www.winchestercheese.com/

                                      1. any of the marieke goudas, thorpe, wisconsin

                                        particularly the unusual fenugreek gouda, but the regular & smoked varieties are great too.

                                        http://www.hollandsfamilycheese.com/

                                        1. I just love aged gouda. I just was introduced to really nice gouda about a year ago and it ran about $17 lb. But a small hunk did last me quite a while. My favorite way to eat it was just to nibble on it, break a piece off and nibble delicious. A glass of merlot which I rarely drink, and it;s really heavenly... I believe that the last one I bought was Prima Donna.

                                          1. Generally speaking, I don't like Dutch cheese, finding it rather bland in taste in its natural state (and I don't like any cheese that has added flavourings). Old Amsterdam is probbaly best of a bad bunch. If I had to choose a mild Dutch cheese, I'd always go for Edam over Gouda.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Harters

                                              Have you tried the aged Goudas? It is a totally different cheese By aged I mean at a minimum of 5 years.

                                              1. re: rworange

                                                Other than Old Amsterdam, we don't really see any other aged Dutch cheese on sale here. And even that's not common. We just don't regard the Dutch cheese as being very good.

                                                We have a Christmas market in the city and there's usually a cheese stall from the Netherlands. They occasionally have something aged but it's not something I would particularly look out for.

                                                Actually, I don't think I recall ever seeing any cheese aged more than three years (that was a Lancashire FWIW)

                                            2. There is an Italian specialty shop here in Philly called DiBruno's. They carry an aged gouda called Prima Donna that my husband would probably kill for. For the longest time I thought it was a Parmagiana (well, it's from an Italian store....) until I finally read the label & discovered it was a gouda. Coulda knocked me over with a pepperoni!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: PattiCakes

                                                Yes, a super-aged gouda resembles parmagiano -- slightly smoother, and less granular, but definitely similar.

                                                1. re: PattiCakes

                                                  Old Amsterdam was the original of these 18 month goudas, others are Primadonna, Van Gogh, Old Masters, and many others

                                                  1. re: PattiCakes

                                                    Yes indeed, it does taste like parm. I love this cheese!

                                                  2. Beemster Graskaas !!!

                                                    I'm more into the aged Gouda's, but this is excellent, very soft, rich and buttery. From the website ...
                                                    http://www.beemster.us/en-US/the-chee...

                                                    "The milk given by the cows of the Beemster polder during the fist weeks of spring grazing, is the creamiest milk of the year. This is the milk used to create the special edition Beemster Graskaas. During this limited period, enough milk is collected to craft only 2,000 wheels of this unique cheese. Graskaas is made in the beginning of April by master cheese makers utilizing techniques dating back to 1901, and then aged for one month before its debut at the Spring Cheese Festival. "

                                                    Speaking of young Gouda's Benning young goat Gouda which is only aged five weeks is a wonderful creamy, mild cheese. It is very delicate, almost melting in the mouth.

                                                    Here's a recipe for it from Food and Wine for Risotto with Bitter Greens and Goat Gouda Cheese
                                                    http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ri...

                                                    For those in the SF Bay Area, both Goudas are available at the Pasta Shop.

                                                    1. I like this stuff called Noordlander. It's 3+ years old, orange (almost the color of Mimolette), breaks off in shards, and has all the nice little crunchy salt crystals you want. The flavor is sweet, caramel-toffee, salty and nutty. It's great with apples, pears and smokey porters.
                                                      I think the dutch pronunciation is something more like 'howda', but I'm no stickler.