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Pronounce "Gouda", Please.

I always hear "gew-duh", but it's "how-duh", right?

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  1. depends if youre speaking english or dutch

    39 Replies
    1. re: thew

      Eh. I don't say "mer-laht" when I want a glass of red just because I'm speaking English.

      1. re: invinotheresverde

        You also don't ask for "un verre de vin." You observe the local custom.

        1. re: invinotheresverde

          I've always heard it pronounced How-duh, and I'm right here in America speaking English along with the cheesemonger.

          1. re: mamachef

            In all my decades of cheese-buying here in the US (and we buy and consume lots and lots and lots of cheese) I've never once heard it any other way then goo-da.

                1. re: ferret

                  Agree completely. We eat LOTS of cheese; if I ever went into a shop where I buy cheese and asked for "howduh," I'd be met with blank looks.

                  1. re: ferret

                    never heard of the How-duh pronunciation. live and learn.

                  2. re: mamachef

                    I had a friend who pronounced it that way, but in a very pompous "I'm more authentic than thou" way.

                  3. re: invinotheresverde

                    You don't say "mer-laht" because the person you're talking to most likely won't understand what you're referring to. Same goes for "how-duh". It really depends on your communicative goal: Are you trying to say something about cheese, or something about yourself?

                      1. re: DeppityDawg

                        I've said mer-laht to refer to merlot plenty of times and no one seems to have an issue. I guess the question on my mind is why we pronounce some thing the way the do in france (merlot, lingerie) and not other (paris), and still not other things from other countries (gouda).

                        And like others have pointed out, I've heard lots of people call it how-duh.

                        It's acceptable for one word to have two different but nontheless correct pronounciations. Gouda seems to be one of them.

                        1. re: joonjoon

                          It is an interesting question, and it's very hard to discern a pattern. Lingerie is sort of a bad example, because English speakers like myself usually say lon-jer-ay (I actually say "underwear," but whatever), when the French pronunciation is lan-jer-ee. And I pronounce the "s" in Paris, except when I'm talking about a French thing with Paris in the title, like Paris Match.

                          1. re: small h

                            I say "goo-dah," and I also have a Grandpa who orders "mer-laht" every time we go out to dinner. I never thought we had much in common until reading this thread. Now I'm finding out that we are indeed cut from the same cloth. He'll get a kick out of this.

                      2. re: invinotheresverde

                        do as you wish, however the name f the cheese in english is not howdah (or chowdah with a gutteral h sound as in the dutch) but goodah. things have different names in different languages. when i'm speaking english i call my home town new york and my country the united states.. if im speaking spanish i say nueva york and estados unidos.

                        and merlot is not called merlaht in english, it is called merloh, so your example does not hold up.

                        1. re: thew

                          Because I'd be pronouncing it French style.

                          Not trying to argue. Just curious to see how everyone pronounces gouda.

                          1. re: invinotheresverde

                            i understand. but "merloh" is the name of the wine in english, as well as french. however gouda is not pronounced the same in english and dutch

                            1. re: thew

                              But that's the question. Is it or isn't it?

                              1. re: invinotheresverde

                                no, it's the answer. it is pronounced one way in dutch and differently in english. and differently from either in german, as well, apparently

                                1. re: thew

                                  I'm not so sure it is, though. There are some posters on the thread who have only heard it "how-duh",some who have only heard it "gew-duh" and some who have heard it both. Kind of makesme think there's not one definitive answer.

                              2. re: thew

                                I can't imagine that you would ask for "Cam - en - BERT" cheese, when ordering a camenbert so why is there a problem using the native pronounciation for Gouda? What am I missing?

                                1. re: Sherri

                                  What you're missing is that if you want to be understood you should use what's customary and familiar to whomever you're addressing. Most people in the US say GOO-da and CAM-em-bare. DeppityDawg put it quite succinctly upthread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7842...

                                  P.S. It's CameMbert, not CameNbert

                                  1. re: BobB

                                    Thanks for pointing out the typo, BobB.

                                2. re: thew

                                  The Dutch pronunciation of "g" like in "gouda" is more like "KHOW-duh" where the "g" is a back-of-the-throat scraping, like you'd hear in Yiddish words like "chazerai" or "chutzpah". (Pronouncing it as "HOOTS-puh", instead of "KHOOTS-puh" immediately tags you as a goy.)

                                  It's the same as Van Gogh, which is actually pronounced like "Fen KHOKH" in Dutch, as their "v" is pronounced like our "f".

                                  Mr Taster

                              3. re: thew

                                Thew - Thanks - I was starting to doubt my pronunciation.

                              4. re: invinotheresverde

                                Many years ago, I told my date I thought a Médoc would go well with our meal, properly pronouncing the final "c." I have forgotten his name, but I still remember his supercilious, "May-doe, my dear." I guess there's such a thing as trying too hard.

                                1. re: Mona Williams

                                  You know, even if he had been correct, that would have been the last date for me.

                                  1. re: Mona Williams

                                    I love when people correct your accurate pronunciation with a wrong one.

                                    1. re: wekick

                                      I got this the other day when I asked someone at a restaurant about pasta fah-joh-lee. The guy looked at me quizzically and said "you mean pasta fazool?"

                                      Yeah, that.

                                      1. re: joonjoon

                                        or someone saying gym-let when taking my order for a gimlet.

                                        1. re: joonjoon

                                          "Pasta fazool" is, IIRC, the sort of American-Sicilian pronunciation, like saying "Capeesh" instead of... however you pronounce it really! ;)

                                          1. re: joonjoon

                                            That one struck me to the first time I heard it. Very typical in the Northeastern USA Italian communities.

                                            They also like to drop the gender suffix sometimes. One hears them ordering "mozzarell," "proscuitt," etc., at the deli. I don't think they say "spaghett," though...

                                            1. re: Bada Bing

                                              It drives my Italian teacher crazy about the dropped vowels at the end of the word with the Italian Americans in the class.

                                              1. re: Bada Bing

                                                Nope, all pasta becomes "macaroni".

                                              2. re: joonjoon

                                                so that's how it's pronounced.... thanks jj

                                              3. re: wekick

                                                Another one--In the late eighties, I took a job in the kitchen of a trendy restaurant. The chef told me there was going to be a new kind of bread on the menu--something called foe-ka-seeya. I had just come back from a month in Italy, where I had eaten a lot of focaccia. When I murmured the correct pronunciation, I was brushed off with, "Well, there are different ways to say it." Yeah, but not anymore.

                                                1. re: Mona Williams

                                                  While we may have finally learned the correct pronunciation of focaccia, many Americans still pronounce bruschetta "brush-etta" rather than "bruce-ketta."

                                                2. re: wekick

                                                  "Pro-skew-toe" was one of my favorites. X-D

                                          2. If you're referring to it in the normal world, then gew-duh is just fine. Looking to the Dutch for guidance on pronunciation is like asking my cat (and I don't even have a cat).

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: ferret

                                              As my friend says, the problem is that the Dutch can't say "g." :>)

                                            2. A German co-worker of mine pronounces it as gow-da.

                                              Dictionary.com has both pronunciations:


                                              I pronounce it yummy. :)

                                              3 Replies
                                                1. re: Chris VR

                                                  Thank you Chris VR for this link...Cool! I'm going back now to learn some new words. :)

                                                  1. re: eatswjoy

                                                    I'm in the gow-duh camp too, possibly from my days in the cheese shop (cue Monty Python).

                                              1. My Dutch friends taught us to say "how-duh" but if I ask for "how-duh" at my local cheese shop, they look at me with a blank stare. "Goo-duh" gets me what I want.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Sherri

                                                  My mother is Dutch and says goo-duh, because that's how people in Canada tend to say it. When she came to Canada it was all about fitting in. She also stopped going by her Dutch nickname, Joke, for obvious reasons.

                                                  1. re: Sooeygun

                                                    I say Goo-da too. In fact, there was a recent Canadian commercial for cheese that had a boy sent to the store for some goo-da.

                                                2. I'm in the how-da camp.

                                                  1. Either way is good-a enough for me.

                                                    1. i think goo-duh, gow-duh, how-duh, and chxow-duh (sound of bringing up phlegm/hairball) are all considered acceptable, with goo-duh being considered most common, and hairball noise considered somewhat pretentious for english speakers. how-duh is a little more what i hear in my own circle, unless the speaker is a continental european, in which case it's more likely to be gow-duh.

                                                      1. In Germany, it's pronounced gow-duh. But afaik, the Dutch actually pronounce it hoo-duh with a rather guttural first h.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                          Dutch is a lot like German as a language but it makes much higher use of the gutteral consant sounds. That's why a German would naturally say "Gow-dah" and a Dutch something closer to "xhow-dah." Even within Hooland or Germany, there can be significant pronunciation differences every 30 miles or so down the train tracks.

                                                          1. re: Bada Bing

                                                            Yep. I can understand most Dutch written down, but rather prefer conversing with them in English.

                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                              But if you speak with them in English, you lose so much of that lilting Dutch cadence. I have to confess that I still laugh every time I see Hape Kerkeling's impression of Queen Beatrix.

                                                              1. re: JungMann

                                                                Just saw this now, JM. That is truly one of Hape's funniest bits.

                                                        2. Wow, you really get an education on these boards! I have never heard or said anything but goo-da (as in no thanks, I don't care for any goo-da). I guess I should have known there was another way to say it that was closer to the native name.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Isolda

                                                            Isolda, I never knew either until I read another thread on this a couple/few months ago. I spent the day hooting "HOWDUH! HOODUH!" at my cats.

                                                            They were un-impressed, until I fed them some (un-imported, un-smoked, easily pronounceable) string cheese.

                                                            I'm staying with goo-da. :)

                                                          2. Our new puppy is a Dutch Kooikerhondje. Try to pronounce that! Sometimes the pursuit of the authentic ends in a rendering of the absurd. There is no way I will ever be able to render an accurate pronunciation of this word (and I'm something of a linguist). Stick with what's acceptable where you live (e.g., "goodah" in the U.S.)

                                                            10 Replies
                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                              Ah, but mamachef lives in the US and has neverr heard anything but "how-duh". Interesting...

                                                              1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                Not to diss mama, but I've lived all over the US and NEVER heard "how-duh." Maybe I live in the Twilight Zone.

                                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                                  Why in the world would I feel dissed by you never having heard a word being pronounced one way or another? It's not as though you're calling me a liar; just describing that your experience differs from mine. No biggie.
                                                                  It may well have to do with a few things. I too have lived all over the US, but my three major frames of reference, when I was old enough to purchase my own food, are:
                                                                  1. Mendocino
                                                                  2. Sonoma county
                                                                  3. Berkeley
                                                                  Regions all known to be food-conscious and fairly knowledgeable. These places are where I heard that pronunciation. Since I know zero Dutch, I surely can't make any claims as to correct or incorrect pronunciations, and I never did that; I merely stated what was stated to me, which was what I accepted and now use. And that's about it.

                                                                  1. re: mamachef

                                                                    Well now, that explains it. All those places are known to house freaks and geeks.

                                                                    I'm kidding. I too have have lived in all of the above, but strangely, have never heard the how-duh pronounciation.

                                                                    1. re: rabaja

                                                                      well no wonder, i grew up across the border in Oakland.

                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                        Hi rabaja! No problema, I can totally own my freakish geekness : )

                                                                      2. re: mamachef

                                                                        I went to Cal, and at the co-op, it was goo-da, but that was quite a long time ago.

                                                                        1. re: pikawicca

                                                                          Would be amusing if our paths had crossed at the Co-op unbeknownst. That's one store I can still visualize lo these many years later.

                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                            It was certainly a unique food zone.

                                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                                              That it was. Excellent time to have lived there.

                                                                  1. I pronounce it "Gouda"

                                                                    1. This is funny! I say "how-duh," but only in a fake-hipster "Tar-zhay" sense. In fact, I say it like thew says, chhhhow-duh. I have no idea where I picked this up. Gouda is one of the first cheeses I remember trying, back in the 60s. Gouda and Edam in the red wax. Just call me Hans Brinker, I guess.

                                                                      1. I've only heard gew duh so that's how I say it. I also say the Americanized eye-key-uh and not the swedish i-kay -uh for IKEA. But then again, if I'm speaking American English, I tend to say words the Americanized way, eg. double entendre isn't doobl ehn tahn dr. If I'm speaking french, it is.

                                                                        1. I have to ask my cheesemonger for "Goo-dah" or he'll tell me i'm in the wrong country.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                            I love that you have a cheesemonger. I wish I lived close enough to one to have one.

                                                                          2. I studied Dutch, but I know no one will understand me if I say hchowdah, even here in New Amsterdam. It always sends a twinge down my spine, much like when I hear people correct me by saying "chipolte."

                                                                            1. It pronounced the way it looks: Goooodah. If you ask for how-dah you'll get a seat that's placed on the back of an elephant.

                                                                              1. "How-duh" is fine if you speak dutch, or if the people in your area with whom you discuss these things readily understand 'how-duh' to mean gouda.

                                                                                If neither of those two conditions apply and a person still insists on calling it 'how-duh,' they are being pedantic.

                                                                                1. In the UK it is always 'gow-da'

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Peg

                                                                                    This is getting too too funny. I swear, next time I'm buying cheese I'm just going to point and ask for that there red wax-wrapped Dutch cheese, and forget about the pronunciation, as it appears nobody really has any definitive answers. :)

                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                      Then you'd get edam (eeee-dam) - gouda has yellow wax.

                                                                                      1. re: Peg

                                                                                        Chortle: thanks for catching that Peg.

                                                                                      2. re: mamachef

                                                                                        Next time, point at the one with the black wax. Mmmmmmm!

                                                                                    2. How-duh heck do I pronounce it? Goo-duh, but thanks to this thread, I know of the alternate pronunciation

                                                                                      What's the old phrase about when in Rome...or maybe in this case, when in Amsterdam...

                                                                                      1. Gew-duh for me. The ONLY time I've heard how-duh was at a class taught by Max McCalman. And I don't think my friends and family would know what how-duh meant.

                                                                                        1. Ok, in standard Amurkan English, it's GOO-da (or whatever IPA phonemes for that you'd prefer).

                                                                                          It's only with the advent of cheese books and fancier forms of Gouda that the more Dutch-like (it's not quite authentic) pronunciation has been making inroads among foodie-types.

                                                                                          So, I won't correct someone who uses the other pronunciation, but I will stick to standard Amurkan usage in Amurka, by and large.

                                                                                          The opposite of this may be observed in "endive". The formerly standard pronunciation in Amurka was more like the French - but the food was normally eaten mostly by folks who knew that (it's what I learned 40 years ago and my peers that knew of it if they weren't calling chickory, which was a generic term for any slightly bitter longish thin green, including dandelions); as the food became more commonly available, a more "Amurkan" pronunciation has gradually displaced it for dominance.

                                                                                          So, as was said before, it depends on whether you want to communicate about the food or about yourself. If the former, go with whatever the standard pronunciation is where you are; if the latter, go for broke.

                                                                                          23 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Karl S

                                                                                            Endive is one where I hesitate on how to pronounce it. That and "empire waist."

                                                                                            1. re: chowser

                                                                                              I believe the waist was a Deuxieme Empire thing so you can French it up (or not, I usually don't).
                                                                                              I also say endive like dive in the water.

                                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                i like being Frenchy whenever i can, so i always try to say ahn-deev and ahm-peer. Just gives my whole day a little more je ne sais quoi.

                                                                                            2. re: Karl S

                                                                                              please at least consider the fact that in some areas of "amurka," people were familiar with this cheese before now. like, the places where gouda is made, right here in this country. i don't particularly care how someone in florida or brooklyn pronounces the word, and don't regard those folks as the authorities (in either cheese or linguistics), over the rural wisconsin farmer who actually makes the cheese.

                                                                                              there is more than one acceptable pronunciation of the word, and the reverse snobbery of insisting that everyone should only use the lowest common denominator/george w bush pronunciation of words/names-- as many folks in this thread advocate-- is imo just as bad as the viewpoint of those that would insist that people should shellac the word with such fake overwrought hyper-"foreign" accents that it renders the term unintelligible to folks they presumably are trying to communicate with.

                                                                                              i find when people express themselves honestly and unpretentiously they have a better chance of being understood, no matter what their accent-- it's when they either put on pretentious airs, or self-consciously dumb-down their speech patterns, that it's unbecoming, and people get into communication problems.

                                                                                              1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                There is more than one acceptable pronunciation of the word, but that doesn't mean that all of these pronunciations are equally appropriate in every situation. And as far as I can tell, no one in this thread has insisted that everyone should "dumb down" their pronunciation. I don't consider "goo-duh" to be a dumber pronunciation than "how-duh". Do you?

                                                                                                The OP's question was "I always hear X, but it's Y, right?" It turns out that this was not an accurate description of the facts (she later wrote "I hear many people say Y"), but the point is that in a situation where most people use and recognize X, you have to have a very good reason to choose Y instead.

                                                                                                1. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                  Yes, in the OP, I should have said, "I hear most" instead of "always".

                                                                                                  Gouda reminds me of bruschetta. I say "broo-skett-uh", but more often hear "broo-shett-uh".

                                                                                                  1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                    Broo-schett-uh is just mispronunciation, like jew-lery or nook-u-ler.

                                                                                                    1. re: ferret

                                                                                                      Broo-shet-uh is how it's commonly understood to be pronounced among most people I know. If you grew up saying broo-shet-uh, everyone around you says broo-shet-uh, and the people serving and making it say broo-shet-uh, it's not a mispronunciation anymore.

                                                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                        Hmm. I could be wrong, but I think you're in a pretty small minority...And I don't think a minority trumps a majority of Americans who accept the Italian pronunciation of "broosketta." It's not quite the same as this gouda/howdah thing, where the alternations seem to be widespread.

                                                                                                        Then again, I have to admit it's one of those things that makes me cringe when I hear a server in an Italian restaurant say it. So I am a cranky stickler in this case, and totally dock points (not tip, of course, just mentally). Same with "a panini" or "a biscotti." I try to be reasonable though—I don't expect Americans to say "pizze" rather than "pizzas." It's all a question of context.

                                                                                                        Count me among those who've never heard "howdah" in their lives, and I've lived all over the country—Oklahoma, Los Angeles, Iowa, Boston, Denver. But you learn something new every day, I guess...

                                                                                                        1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                          A minority pronunciation certainly trumps majority pronunciation when you are speaking in and among that minority.

                                                                                                          'Correct' pronunciation has not the tiniest bit to do with history or etymology. It's a matter of what's understood by you and the people you're communicating with. That's it.

                                                                                                          1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                            I live in a heavily Italian part of the country (New England) and have heard very few people pronounce bruschetta properly, including when I lived in Eyetie-dominant Providence. I'm not sure the proper pronunciation is more common. Same with gyro. Almost always said incorrectly.

                                                                                                            1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                              gyro is not pronounced incorrectly. that si the correct pronunciation, in english. it would be wrong in greece however

                                                                                                              1. re: thew

                                                                                                                Because people said it incorrectly until it stuck? I say it the traditional way and I'm not Greek.

                                                                                                                1. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                  "Because people said it incorrectly until it stuck?"


                                                                                                                  Exactly. Or said it 'incorrectly' until that came to be understood as how the word is pronounced. That's the evolution and differentiation of language for ya. It's the same process by which we have arrived at the overwhelming majority of the English words and pronunciations we use today.

                                                                                                              2. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                                Hmm, I still don't know. I also lived in Boston and I heard more people than not pronounce it properly. And the fact that you're using the words "properly"/"incorrectly" at all suggests you may agree with me that "broo-SHED-a" still isn't widely accepted. By comparison, "maraSHEENoh" which acc to Italian rules should be "mAHraSKEENoh"—I'll give you that one.

                                                                                                                1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                  hate marasheeno. what's weird is that both words are pronounced with the EXACT SAME sk-sound. sch is pronounced sk in Italian. how is that so difficult?

                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                    Agreed. I get that it takes some getting used to—it's counterintuitive for Americans to see an "h" as in "chi" or "che" and pronounce it as "k," then NOT see as an "h" as in "ci" or "ce" and PRONOUNCE the "h" sound. Still, agreed—it's not that hard. If you know "zucchini" is "zoo-KEE-nee," how can you not get that "gnocchi" is "GNOH-kee," not "GNOH-chee"?

                                                                                                                    1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                      I think it would be pretty easy not to "get" for anyone who grew up speaking English, a language with no particular phonetic consistency. You get burned pretty frequently by assuming that if you know how to pronounce a letter combination in one word, you'll know it in another. I mean, you would think if you can pronounce "boot" you'd be able to figure out "book," and if you know "though," adding a single letter to make "thought" should be straightforward. But that's not the case. I know how to pronounce zucchini and gnocchi, but I wouldn't bat an eye if you told me that the cch in one of the was a /ch/, or a /sh/, or who knows what.

                                                                                                            2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                                                              I must be old -- I was already grown up before I heard of bruschetta.

                                                                                                          2. re: invinotheresverde

                                                                                                            Even worse: brush-ET-a (as in, say it like it looks)

                                                                                                          3. re: DeppityDawg

                                                                                                            are we reading the same thread? there are lots of posts on that do insist on the goo-duh pronunciation in strong terms-- elephant bottoms and getting thrown out of the cheese shop, etc. i never realized that the dutch (and attitudes toward the language) were so despised. but then again i've actually seen and spoken to dutch people. . .

                                                                                                            i could not agree more with the broo-skett-uh/broo-shet-uh parallel. it should be noted that dialects, and a person's vocabulary and how a person pronounces any particular word is about where they are from. i don't think a guy who says "pasta fazool" doesn't know what pasta e fagiole is-- i think he knows exactly what it is, he just pronounces it differently than someone from emilia romagna. some words become dialect markers because of whole communities saying them the same way. i think "goo-duh" is the result of a lot of people sounding it out on paper the way sesame street instructs, rather than hearing the term first, and then the pronunciation reinforces itself in areas without dutch culture or cheese culture. in my little area of the world there is a town named "new prague"-- when my father moved into this area from chicago he asked for directions, pronouncing it the same as the european capital. nobody knew what he was talking about, the natives had taken to pronouncing "prague" to rhyme with "vague"-- with a very long, midwestern aaay sound. understandable on one level, ridonkulous on another. as someone else pointed out in this thread, welcome to pronunciation in english. we could go on and on about english words/rules that make no sense. i, for one, still think that since mice is the plural of mouse, that it would make sense for hice to be the plural of house. and spice is not the plural of spouse, it's a whole nother subject entirely. i seriously feel terrible for anyone learning esl.

                                                                                                            1. re: soupkitten

                                                                                                              Maybe we are not reading the same thread. But I think probably we just don't read the same way. Despising the Dutch and their language? Where in the world did you get that?

                                                                                                              When you say "cookie", "cruller", "waffle", "brandy", "coleslaw", "gin", etc. using familiar English pronunciation, is it out of reverse snobbery, or just because you hate Dutch people?

                                                                                                      2. I've only heard goo-dah. But I'm not a cheese connoisseur.

                                                                                                        1. I always think of it as "how" - but then I travel to the Netherlands and Dutch speaking Belguim quite often. But it's more gutteral than "how" - almost like clearing your throat while you speak.

                                                                                                          Dunno whether that pronounciation would be understood where I live as I've never asked for it - I find it a bland tasteless cheese, much preferring Leerdammer or Passendale if I have to eat Dutch (or Dutch style) cheese, say for breakfas

                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                            True, young gouda is boringly bland, but when well-aged it's one of the tastiest hard cheeses on the planet. Try a two-year-old boerenkaas (farmhouse) gouda - it'll wake up your tastebuds in no time!

                                                                                                            1. re: BobB

                                                                                                              It's rare to come across anything other than young Dutch cheese where I am (or, indeed, in the Netherlands).

                                                                                                              We do see "Old Amsterdam" from time to time in specialist cheese shops - that's an 18 month one that isnt too bad - although I'd never choose it for taste over a decent cheddar aged the same period.

                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                It's rare in the Netherlands? That's odd—I see 2-3-year-aged gouda in cheese shops all the time. Is it one of those things they're more likely to export than keep at home, like Irish potcheen?

                                                                                                                1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                  I think that's possibly the case. Although, even then, not everywhere will be an export market.

                                                                                                                  Here in the UK, Dutch cheese is generally regarded as being mild - for children or folk who don't really like "proper" cheese. I really only ever eat it for breakfast as I might in the Netherlands or in Dutch speaking Flanders.

                                                                                                          2. I pronounce it delicious and will say whatever I have to to get someone to give me some.


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                                                                                                            1. Goo-da or how-da. If you want to appear to be an elite, foodie cheese snob who likes to alienate others, go with how-da, Otherwise, stick with goo-da.

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                                                                                                              1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                Thanks. I'll stick with how-da, then.

                                                                                                                1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                  not jumping to any baseless conclusions, i see.

                                                                                                                2. I usually say "Goo-da". The only time I was in the Netherlands and heard it pronounced, people called it "Goudse Kaas".

                                                                                                                  1. Never heard anything but 'goo-da' until now.

                                                                                                                    1. The way I see it we have half the board going with we don't care how you say it in the old country, this is America and we will pronounce it however we please. The other half wants to show how sophisticated they are by going with the pronunciation found at the point of origin.

                                                                                                                      Have I got this about right?

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                                                                                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                            interesting thread....dictionary.com gives two pronunciations...
                                                                                                                            GOOday or GOWday.....have a listen..


                                                                                                                              1. re: ilovesummer

                                                                                                                                Doesn't it sound like there's an "r" at the end, too. Gow der (like chowder), or goo der.

                                                                                                                                1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                  Chowhound does it again. Nearly 120 replies on how to pronounce a single word. On my 10 year anniversary with this site (not to the day, just the year), through all the growing pains, I'm still in love.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                                                                                    I was guilty of starting one about "bain marie" and learned my lesson quickly.

                                                                                                                                    I wonder if gowder or goo der should have that uplift in the every other syllable, as in,"My name' is In guh'."

                                                                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                                                                      IMy comment was meant in jest, people. Carry on.

                                                                                                                              1. re: brentk

                                                                                                                                brentk, also don't assume that everyone writing on this board is from the US.

                                                                                                                                As for Gouda, the proper pronunciation includes a sound not found in English, so it isn't surprising that English-speakers pronounce it phonetically.

                                                                                                                                That is not the case for Merlot, though obviously the R, the vowel length and stress are different from the French. I pronounce the name of that wine slightly differently in English and in French (languages I have spoken since childhood).

                                                                                                                                There are some names of foods I have learnt in French or Italian, not having the faintest idea how anglophones pronounced it. The anglo pronunciation of bruschetta - a food I had first eaten in Italy, before it became trendy in the English-speaking countries - floored me at first. That has nothing to do with pretension.

                                                                                                                                1. re: brentk

                                                                                                                                  Nope, you forgot the tiny percentage of us who admit to being completely ignorant. But in my case, it doesn't matter. I dislike gouda, so will have the Stilton instead, thanks. I'm pretty sure I pronounce that one correctly.

                                                                                                                                2. My Dutch friend Marian always pronounced it "cowda" so that is what I call it.

                                                                                                                                  1. Wow! Very long topic and very interesting.....

                                                                                                                                    Cheese: I've had some semi-professional experience in the US cheese world and had never (in my life) heard it pronounced How-dah until just the other day on a TV show about cheesemaking. And then it was explained as how it would be said in Holland. Even a European who started a nearby cheese dairy specializing in Gouda didn't say it that way when he was explaining and selling his product.

                                                                                                                                    Wine: 35 years of wine experience, the last 10 or so professionally, and I've NEVER heard anyone say Mer-Laht................ ever. At least not anyone who spoke English or French.

                                                                                                                                    1. well, a foreigner might ask how to pronounce butter. In English English it's butter but in American English it's budder! Can American's pronounce the letter t in the middle of a word? Can the Brits pronounce the letter r at the end of a word? Look how wh is pronounced by Scots and some American Southerners. It's back to tomaydo/tomahto.

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                                                                                                                                      1. re: smartie

                                                                                                                                        not all Americans, those of us on the left coast (and beyond) find much to be amused by from those in the northeast and south. and they are no doubt amused by us

                                                                                                                                      2. A Dutch friend told me a few years ago that Gouda has become a highly populated suburb and that cheese isn't being made there any more. Still, the name sticks.

                                                                                                                                        1. I have never heard anything but goo-dah either. Lots and lots of examples like this as mentioned upthread. The one that used to bother me being from the west is people who pronounce jalapeno like hala-peen-oh instead of hala-pain-yo. I think the former is an east coast thing. I have become more tolerant over the years.

                                                                                                                                          1. Well, at least the town in the Netherlands is pronounced with a very gutteral "jch-ow da." In 1966 visited a friend's "Dutch family" there from her high school student exchange days. It was an amazing meal of many kinds of dairy and wonderful hospitality.

                                                                                                                                            1. Here's Merriam-Webster's answer:


                                                                                                                                              (how duh)

                                                                                                                                              I had never heard anything but "goo-da" myself, but I'm willing to learn.

                                                                                                                                              As an aside, you wouldn't believe how long it took us to get the cabby to take us to the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. He was North African, (and a cabbie!), but pronounced van Gogh as "vin Hoche". It actually sounded like he was spitting at us!

                                                                                                                                              1. Google translate says:


                                                                                                                                                Old thread, but I checked Google translate (with pronunciation) and it came up with this Dutch pronunciation that has a slightly guttural start (like the ch in German ich). I simplified it to hoo (pronounced like the question who but with gutteral start), and accent is on last syllable.


                                                                                                                                                I didn't see this pronunciation mentioned anywhere in this thread. Is Google correct? I'm wondering what else might be amiss with Google.

                                                                                                                                                Personally I'm a GOOdah ("ah" as in dart or sigh of relief) user, and I do speak some German. Being an obsessive type, I also listened to Google translate pronunciations of Gouda in several other languages.

                                                                                                                                                No surprise. They all sound different! Local usage depends on the locale and native language pronunciation paradigms.

                                                                                                                                                What did surprise me was the Google "English" pronunciation. It sounded like a machine translation and came out as GOW-dah. Would that be British English?

                                                                                                                                                Never heard it that way in Los Angeles.

                                                                                                                                                Bottom line, you can't go wrong when you use local pronunciation. At least you'll be understood, and can avoid being perceived as a pretentious twerp. Exceptions will be made for non-native speakers who use their own cultural language pronunciation eccentricities.

                                                                                                                                                I had to post this because an acquaintance tried to make me feel like a dufus when I said GOOdah. He corrected my pronunciation with HOWdah as being correct pronunciation. FYI, I go nuts when I hear eXpresso (I've never seen an X in espresso, tho it might put you in the express lane), or nucular (That's NEW-klee-urr), and admit to finding brewsKettah preferable to brewshettah. Let's not forget aluminium vs. aluminum, although this one does have language based origins.

                                                                                                                                                Bombay (US) & Mumbai, provolone(US-silent e) & provolonay (Ital),

                                                                                                                                                Some local usage customs are acceptable, while others are in flux or just plain wrong.

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                                                                                                                                                1. re: literati

                                                                                                                                                  The correct pronunciation is not 'Gew-duh' or 'Howdah.
                                                                                                                                                  It's 'Gouh (as in Ouh!) dah.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                    Actually, no. The first sound isn't silent by any measure.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                      Actually you didn't actually read my post. The 'G' is NOT silent.
                                                                                                                                                      Gouh dah. The 'oug' part is pronounced as 'OW!!!, as in some one just punched you in the nose.
                                                                                                                                                      G, as in GUN 'ouh' as in OW!
                                                                                                                                                      Like 'Cow' with a G instead of a C.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                        As several upthread, me included, we'd disagree with your pronunciation, as spoken by Dutch or Flemish speakers. It simply isnt a hard "G" as you suggest.

                                                                                                                                                        Of course, you may be entirely correct about how it's generally pronounced wherever you are in the world.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                          I buy 'Gouh dah' from a Dutch family owned deli. They are from Holland. I pronounce it the way they do. Good enough for me.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                            Next time you're in the deli, ask them how they'd pronounce it if they were in the Netherlands, not wherever you are in the world


                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                              As has been reiterated in this (now over 3 years old) thread, I am sure there are regional varieties to the pronunciation of the word gouda. I've so far not heard your pronunciation in Amsterdam or Maastricht, two of the cities I've visited most frequently in my life.

                                                                                                                                                              And really, who freaking cares? It's GOWDA in Germany, it's goo-duh in the US -- but most of all, it can be a really good cheese. Whatever.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                            Nope. Not in the Netherlands. Not even close.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Gob-smacking that, three years after the OP, folk are still discussing the "correct" pronounciation and bringing nothing new to the discussion which was pretty much determined back in 2011. As in, that Dutch speakers will pronounce the name of their town and cheese one way and that English speakers usually pronounce it another. Pretty much as they do with Van Gogh.

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                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                        Speaking of Van Gogh, lend me your ear for a minute.......


                                                                                                                                                      2. For 3 years now this thread has been debated. I think we can all put this to rest now. For those who haven't figured it out yet, the K is silent.

                                                                                                                                                        1. In America we say "gew-duh", the common and accepted pronunciation. If you want to come off as a cheese snob you can say "how-duh" but most will have to interpret what you are saying.

                                                                                                                                                          1. It depends upon how one pronounces geoduck...

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                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pedalfaster

                                                                                                                                                              I just asked the owner of the Dutch deli here how 'Gouda' is pronounced in the Netherlands.
                                                                                                                                                              She said it's pronounced "Howda'. The 'G' is silent.
                                                                                                                                                              "Howda" as in 'Howdy partner' except the y is pronounced 'a', as in 'A boat load of lemons'. No a 'hard 'a', rather a soft 'a'.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                                How as in the English h, or more pronounced? Because as many, many, many, many people have said on this thread, the Dutch sound is more like someone clearing their throat than just a regular "h" in hello. Or howdy.

                                                                                                                                                                More like cccccchhhhhhowdy.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                  Ya she did sort of make a 'clearing the throat' H.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                    That's how I'm going to do it next time at the deli counter;

                                                                                                                                                                    "Gimme a half pound of that {{extra flemmy}} Cccccchhhhhhouda cheese please"

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                      Might not wanna stand too close to the counter, then '-D

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Puffin3

                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for that, Puffin. We now agree that, in its native land, the "G" isnt pronouced as a "G".

                                                                                                                                                                    As lingua and others indicate, the Dutch "G" is quite similar to clearing your throat. So much so that a Belgian friend, who speaks the local dialect of Dutch, says that it (Flemish), really should be Phlegmish.

                                                                                                                                                                    Regional accents and emphasis often affect exactly how a word is pronounced. In my own country, southerners will usually have a long, soft "a" , while for northerners, it's short and hard. I presume there will be similar distinctions in Dutch between, say, folk in Flanders and those in Friesland in the north of the Netherlands.

                                                                                                                                                                    As for how foreigners might pronounce it, I suspect few give a shit one way or the other. Where I am, it's generally pronounced Gow-dah and I imagine that,as others have commented, I would get some strange looks if I tried to pronounce as I might in the Netherlands. That said, I also don't pronounce Paris as Paree. Nor do I call Italy's capital Roma. Etc.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Years ago I worked for a Dutchman who corrected my pronunciation of Gouda, Van Gogh, and Mauve.

                                                                                                                                                                  However, living here in US, folks look at me kinda sideways if I use the unfamiliar Dutch pronunciation.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. Hot damn. Can't wait to go into my deli and say: "I'd like howda on my panino." Could get deported to New Jersey for that.