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Gouda - May 2013 Cheese of the Month

Gouda has been made in the Dutch town of Gouda since the 6th century, and it is Holland's most famous cheese. It's uses are typically sandwiches and desserts and wine tastings. It ranges from young and creamy to aged with a crystalline crunch. Not just a cow cheese, goats and sheep are in on the action. And in Holland where they smoke anything, gouda is no exception.
Share with us your favorite goudas and how you use this Dutch treat.
Veggo the cheese mouse

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  1. There is currently a very good thread on just this - my favorite cheese of all time:


    1. Woo hoo! I love Gouda....can't wait to start tasting. Great pick, Veggo!

      1. Could you start us off with a few of your recommendations by brand. Any smoked Gouda you found particularly delicious? How about in a recipe, any particular one that really screams for Gouda's inclusion?

        20 Replies
        1. re: HillJ

          The best dish I ever had that included gouda was in Belize. We caught a grouper that day and had our hotel chef prepare it. He fileted it, cut pockets in both filets, stuffed the pockets with gouda, coated them with tempura batter and fried them. Might have been the best fish I ever ate.

          1. re: Veggo

            A hotel in FL prepared this for us a few years back and it was outstanding.

            Ever recreate the dish you had in Belize at home?

            1. re: HillJ

              No, but I have stuffed pockets in chicken breasts with gouda.

              1. re: Veggo

                Have you tried goat's milk Gouda?

                1. re: HillJ

                  Yes. I don't recall the brand, but I liked it very much. I have not had gouda from sheeps milk.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    I'm going to try and find a pc. of goat's milk Gouda at some point. I don't think I even realized until this thread that Gouda was made with anything other than cow's milk.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      For those who have not yet tried the 5 year gouda, I highly recommend it. A bit pricey - $18 -$23/ lb, and the rind is not edible, but the flavor and texture are incredible. No need for crackers or any pairing, other than a glass of wine. I see it in many stores.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        Twice I've had 7 year gouda. It's my favorite cheese. The thinnest slice is filled with so much flavor and I love the crunchy salty bits.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          That stuff is amazing. It's like a dessert cheese -- complex, caramel & butterscotch.... and you certainly don't need much of it.

              2. re: HillJ

                I generally love any type of smoked gouda, but what I really love are the rinds. If you pare the rinds off the wodge (chunk? round?) close to the paste, then place the pieces rind side down on some parchement paper and microwave them for about 20-30 seconds, the paste will puff up into these light and fluffy and crunchy pork-rind looking things made of cheese. It's amazing. I used the Van Kass smoked gouda, but probably any smoked rind on gouda will do.

                1. re: bumblecat

                  I've never heard of doing that, bumblecat. So interesting.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    I think it was on the youngish side, and to be honest I did it on a whim. I thought it would be flat and crispy, not puffy and crunchy. Probably since it was a younger one, the water content was higher and the water boiled, causing the cheese to puff up. I'm off to try it on just the paste.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        It works if you thinly slice the paste. If you watch it, you'll see it goes from melty to bubbly. If the paper gets wet from the steam, the bottoms don't puff up as well as the top though. When they were done I dusted them with chipotle powder for extra smoke. So nummy.

                        1. re: bumblecat

                          I haven't bought the Gouda yet, but you have me excited to give this a try soon. I have some porcini dust to use up....

                2. re: HillJ

                  I'm still not a big fan of smoked cheeses. Maybe I should clarify and say, I'm particular about smoke infused cheeses. But gifted with a pretty nifty amount of gouda, I tried out a cracker recipe to use up the leftovers. Pretty pleased with the results and I actually enjoyed the smoked gouda more this way.


                  1. re: HillJ

                    I concur that good cheese stands alone, no smoke or other additives. Maybe mushrooms in a ripened cheese, but truffles in a goat cheese I won't name was horrible.

                    1. re: HillJ

                      I am usually not a fano f smoked cheeses or as you say "smoke infused cheeses," however there is a local smoked Gouda which I think is fantastic - Smoke Signal by Calkins Creamery in PA. It's just enough smoke without being overpowering and the flavor of the Gouda still stands out as the dominant taste.

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        I appreciate the recommendation should I ever cross paths with a Gouda named Smoke Signal...just follow the signal, yes :)

                  2. Thanks for kicking off with Gouda.

                    I asked myself, what is it that makes Gouda, well, Gouda? And found this answer:

                    "The distinguishing characteristic of Gouda cheese is that it is a relatively sweet cheese. This is accomplished by removing some of the milk sugars early in the process to keep excess acid from being produced by the bacteria culture. Shortly after the milk has formed a curd and been cut, about 1/3 of the whey is removed and replaced with hot water to heat the curd."

                    That's from this page which also has info on how to make your own.

                    Don't know how to pronounce Gouda? Click on this link to hear,

                    Or read this thread,
                    "Pronounce "Gouda", Please."

                    1. Beemster Gouda is a reliable brand with several varieties. I especially like their Classic Gouda (aged 18 mo.) and their Goat Gouda. However, the best Gouda I've tasted was a 3 yr aged variety from an un-named Dutch cheese maker.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: DonShirer

                        Don, with your guidance on brand I went ahead and looked up Beemster here: http://www.beemster.us/en-US/the-chee...

                        I've never thought of Gouda as crumbly but apparently the goat's milk will crumble for use in say a salad. That's a new take on Gouda cheese for me.

                        Thanks for the brand tip!

                      2. Suggestions for how to start-

                        I like the cheese choice

                        1. The Van Gogh gouda from Wisconsin is pretty good - I think it was the first smoked gouda I had.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Veggo

                            I LOVE that cheese! It's on my list of cheese to eat for the month. I also love the Rembrandt gouda. Ahhhh, May is going to be a great month.

                          2. Today I attended opening of North Miami Whole Foods.
                            It was very crowded but thought it would be nice to visit to c what cheeses were like in the new store.

                            I purchased
                            Saxons Creamery Big Ed's(USA)
                            Vintage Grand Ewe(Holland)
                            Yodeling Goat Gouda (USA)

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: jpr54_1

                              Vintage Grand Ewe sounds divine. I wonder if my local WF has it?

                              1. re: jpr54_1

                                jpr, have you tried them yet? I'm holding out for your review before shopping.

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  I purchased additional gouda's in nyc and fairway in bergen county, n.j.

                                  fairway had a nice display of all types of gouda.

                                  i will post my reviews tomorrow

                                  1. re: jpr54_1

                                    Good for you! I tried to find a sheep milk gouda but no luck so far.

                                    I look forward to hearing how you enjoyed your buys. Are you planning on using the cheese in a recipe or out of hand?

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      I plan to eat them out of hand with combo of crackers/jam/ fresh fruit

                                      Fairway had an impressive display of cheeses.
                                      the only bad thing was u had to purchase at least a 1/4lb.

                                      I don't know where u live. where did u look?

                                      wegman's in nj i think has a good selection-not sure haven't been there in awhile.

                                      my son is also a recent convert to talegio, mimolete, gouda's which i purchased while on vacation

                                      the cheeses traveled well on jetblue from newark, nj to ft.lauderdale-the cheeses were wrapped properly

                                      1. re: jpr54_1

                                        I live in monmouth cty NJ. Last place I checked was Dearborn Farms in Holmdel NJ. They had cow & goat gouda but no sheep. I'll keep checking around. I'd like to compare.

                                2. re: jpr54_1

                                  I enjoyed the America goudas
                                  The vintage grand ewe as aged and had a stronger taste

                                3. I am new to Gouda and love the Uniekase Robusto 6 month aged as well as the Vintage 5 year aged. They are both delicious! I love the Robusto on a breakfast sandwich and use the Vintage mostly I use as a salad topper.

                                  1. Kicking off Gouda month with Old Amsterdam. Made in Holland, purchased at Star Market in Salinas, CA for $15/lb.


                                    Though its own website skirts the issue, other sources state that this is an 18-month old gouda. Unique to Old Amsterdam is the ease of slicing. Somewhat waxy in texture, it does crumble a bit around the edge of the cut, but does hold together for a pretty thin slice. Some nice nuttiness and butterscotch notes have developed along with a moderate amount of crunchy protein crystals and there's a faint tartness in the finish.

                                    Interesting enough to hold it's own, this would probably be nice shaved over a simple salad as well. And it does melt in the mouth beautifully.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                                      We're fans of Old Amsterdam -- IMO tastier than some older Goudas. We had someone we know smoke a wedge of it, and it's great that way too. Its own flavor stands up to the added smoke flavor.

                                      We're thinking about trying it in a mac & cheese next.

                                      Available at Trader Joe's, at least in our area.

                                    2. I just opened a wedge of Boars Head Chipotle Gouda, which I had not seen before. Pretty good with crackers, it will be very good on burgers.
                                      Also I opened a 10 month old dutch gouda. Very firm, nice butterscotch notes, but not old enough for the crunchy protein crystals.

                                      1. I bought a wedge of Beemster Graskaas, aged one month. It’s a mild grassy-tasting cheese, creamy and buttery and melts on the tongue. I like it. It makes for a nice snacking cheese. The Beemster website says that it is made from the first milkings of the happy Beemster cows after they have been excitedly grazing on the new spring pastures. And cut to the happy cows video… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikfg6j...

                                        ETA: I just read that it is only available in the U.S. in late June and July. I guess that my one month old wedge was lying about her age.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: EM23

                                          I bought some of this recently myself - it's not bad, but it's not what I was looking for. I was hoping for something more like their Vlaskaas, which is delicious. This just tastes like generic young gouda to me.

                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                            Actually Bio, I added it to my kitty of cheeses stored in the freezer for a future repurposing, since I just liked it, not loved it. It joined the April ChOTM, Taleggio, and the Trader Joes Spanish cheese trio, all of which I didn’t care for. I’m hoping that this EU of cheeses make for a tasty mac and cheese at some point.

                                            1. re: EM23

                                              I had some melted into scrambled eggs this morning and it was quite good that way - I think it would be a great addition to mac and cheese.

                                        2. We tried two goudas this afternoon in a meeting at CHOW. I liked both of them.

                                          First was a mild Parrano Gouda Uniekaas, which was creamy and mild. It was on the soft side, and melted in my mouth.

                                          Next was a Vintage 5 Year Aged Gouda Uniekaas, which was amber colored and harder. This also melted on the mouth and tasted sweet, similar to butterscotch.

                                          Whole Foods in SOMA SF had several goudas to choose from, but I'm glad I picked both of these.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Dave MP

                                            Well done. I can't think of many cheeses that vary as much with age as gouda.

                                          2. Mmmm, I love it when I can afford enough gouda to make macaroni and cheese; smoked gouda makes a pretty epic mac with crumbled bacon on top!

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Popkin

                                              I bought a smoked gouda yesterday, about the size of a hockey puck. I'm trying to decide how to use it, a little at a time.

                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                Rationing good cheese is sometimes such a difficult dilema; for me, I want to feature it, but I also don't usually know when I get to go balls-out on a cheese budget again lol it's so hard sometimes!

                                                1. re: Popkin

                                                  Indeed. By the time I determined how to ration the smoked gouda, it was gone. Buying more today, it was good!

                                            2. Truffe Noire gouda from Holland, purchased at Star Market in Salinas for $22/lb.

                                              Flecked with black truffle bits, the aroma of truffles is stronger than the palate impression. The base cheese itself has the oily almost plastic-like texture of processed cheese. I especially dislike the sharp acidity in the finish. I don't expect gouda to be tangy.

                                              Not liking this one. It's highest and best use is in scrambled eggs.

                                              1. I tried the Midnight Moon this weekend which I think is a goat gouda and it's great!

                                                1. I picked up Meadowkaas Spring Cheese which is a gouda type that is made for three months in the spring and aged 4 weeks. It was $8.99/lb. Its good, but nothing earth shattering - very mild.

                                                  I just made a panini using it and think that is probably the best use for it. Would probably be good in eggs too.

                                                  1. Maybe my last May comment while gouda is the subject - I'm nibbling on a Red Apple Cheese Wisconsin smoked gouda. It's Ok, the Boars Head smoked gouda-cheddar blend is better.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                      I had Rembrandt gouda for snack last nite

                                                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                          The extra aged is very nice. Butterscotch scented, not dry and crystal-y, but semi-hard as far as texture and cutting goes. I'll stick to the Wegman's 5 year if I feel like splurging though, a little of that goes a bit longer for me.

                                                    2. Kokos Coconut Cheese (Gouda) --- Looking at the label at the cheese counter ($15/lb @ Star Market, Salinas), this was not at all something I'd look at a second time since I'm not much for flavored cheeses. But I feel ChOTM should be about pushing one's boundaries, so I asked for a taste. And, I adore this cheese.

                                                      Michael, the cheesemonger, explained that it's a double cream gouda enriched with organic coconut creme. He said that if I hadn't seen coconut on the label, most people can't identify the extra nuance. He said that it's an ideal red wine cheese, extending the finish even longer.

                                                      I found it just a bit sweeter than gouda's already normal sweetness level and richer to boot. The touch of exotic tropical scent/flavor compliments the candied, nutty tones of gouda. I especially liked the velvety mouthfeel, ostensibly a hard cheese but softening and melting away in the mouth.


                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                                                        The Cheese Cave/Red Bank NJ carries Kokos Coconut Cheese and we've enjoyed it as part of a dessert cheese plate several times.

                                                      2. A little late but these are some of the goudas ' I enjoyed.
                                                        I had to use some of the descriptions for taste-It was hard to identify delicate, buttery, butterscotch but I think now I beginning to learn some of the terminology.

                                                        Klaverkass-Kaamp Estate was my one of my favorites -rich buttery with a a little bit of grit

                                                        Young Goat Gouda-aged mushroomy taste-

                                                        Yoedeling Goat-

                                                        Saxons Creamery Big Ed's from Wisconsin

                                                        Rembrandt -aged 12 mos. firm butterscotch and carmeltaste

                                                        3 Replies
                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                              My favorite Gouda and cheese of the moment is a 5 year aged Uniekase...the best part are the crunchy crystals!

                                                          1. A little late to the party, but I bought some Marieke gouda (award winning medium aged gouda from Wisconsin).


                                                            It was excellent, with the more supple texture of a younger gouda but a complex flavor with some of the butterscotch notes of a more aged gouda.

                                                            1. The double cream Dutch gouda at TJ's is pretty delectable. Much richer than your usual gouda (durr), and very flavorful.... almost like a cheddar.