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Waiting for Gouda - what's your favorite?

rworange Jun 21, 2009 02:45 AM

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

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

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. scuzzo RE: rworange Jun 21, 2009 09:10 AM

    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
      chef chicklet RE: scuzzo Jun 29, 2009 12:21 PM

      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. thew RE: rworange Jun 21, 2009 09:23 AM

      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
        Paulustrious RE: thew Jun 22, 2009 06:46 AM

        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. b
        bulavinaka RE: rworange Jun 21, 2009 09:28 AM

        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.


        1 Reply
        1. re: bulavinaka
          anakalia RE: bulavinaka Jun 21, 2009 09:48 AM

          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. Caitlin McGrath RE: rworange Jun 21, 2009 11:56 AM

          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
            BobB RE: Caitlin McGrath Jun 22, 2009 08:12 AM

            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
              moh RE: Caitlin McGrath Jun 22, 2009 10:14 PM

              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. e
              ekammin RE: rworange Jun 22, 2009 11:40 AM

              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
                Cinnamon RE: ekammin Jun 22, 2009 10:18 PM

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

                1. re: Cinnamon
                  BobB RE: Cinnamon Jun 23, 2009 05:37 AM

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

                2. re: ekammin
                  Weetje RE: ekammin Jun 28, 2009 11:17 AM

                  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. j
                  jaykayen RE: rworange Jun 22, 2009 11:47 AM

                  Lamb Chopper is AMAZING.

                  1. Pata_Negra RE: rworange Jun 22, 2009 11:48 AM

                    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
                      rworange RE: Pata_Negra Jun 22, 2009 12:47 PM

                      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
                        Weetje RE: Pata_Negra Jun 28, 2009 11:25 AM

                        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
                          Paulustrious RE: Weetje Jul 1, 2009 10:11 AM

                          Almost as much fun as Scheveningen.

                          1. re: Paulustrious
                            Harters RE: Paulustrious Jul 1, 2009 02:05 PM

                            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
                              BobB RE: Harters Jul 2, 2009 07:05 AM

                              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. danhole RE: rworange Jun 22, 2009 01:01 PM

                        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
                          rworange RE: danhole Jun 22, 2009 01:25 PM

                          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
                            jumpingmonk RE: rworange Jun 22, 2009 07:04 PM

                            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
                            DonShirer RE: danhole Jun 22, 2009 07:47 PM

                            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. p
                            pacheeseguy RE: rworange Jun 23, 2009 08:53 AM

                            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
                              Ruth Lafler RE: pacheeseguy Jun 24, 2009 09:32 PM

                              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
                                emily RE: pacheeseguy Jun 27, 2009 08:41 AM

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

                                1. re: pacheeseguy
                                  Delucacheesemonger RE: pacheeseguy Jun 30, 2009 02:12 PM

                                  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
                                    Cinnamon RE: Delucacheesemonger Jun 30, 2009 05:50 PM

                                    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. c
                                  cemott3rd RE: rworange Jun 26, 2009 05:57 AM

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

                                  1. h
                                    hazelhurst RE: rworange Jun 26, 2009 07:18 AM

                                    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. ozbuc RE: rworange Jun 26, 2009 07:34 AM

                                      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.


                                      1. s
                                        soupkitten RE: rworange Jun 29, 2009 10:46 AM

                                        any of the marieke goudas, thorpe, wisconsin

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


                                        1. chef chicklet RE: rworange Jun 29, 2009 12:19 PM

                                          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. h
                                            Harters RE: rworange Jun 30, 2009 10:19 AM

                                            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
                                              rworange RE: Harters Jun 30, 2009 05:37 PM

                                              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
                                                Harters RE: rworange Jul 1, 2009 02:14 PM

                                                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. PattiCakes RE: rworange Jun 30, 2009 12:32 PM

                                              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
                                                Ruth Lafler RE: PattiCakes Jun 30, 2009 02:03 PM

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

                                                1. re: PattiCakes
                                                  Delucacheesemonger RE: PattiCakes Jun 30, 2009 02:11 PM

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

                                                  1. re: PattiCakes
                                                    chef chicklet RE: PattiCakes Jul 1, 2009 10:15 AM

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

                                                  2. rworange RE: rworange Jun 30, 2009 05:55 PM

                                                    Beemster Graskaas !!!

                                                    I'm more into the aged Gouda's, but this is excellent, very soft, rich and buttery. From the website ...

                                                    "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

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

                                                    1. funklight RE: rworange Jul 1, 2009 10:22 AM

                                                      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.

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