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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:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/897870

    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.
            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/mem...

            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.

                  http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sm...

                  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.
                    http://www.cheesemaking.com/Gouda.html

                    Don't know how to pronounce Gouda? Click on this link to hear,
                    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia...

                    Or read this thread,
                    "Pronounce "Gouda", Please."
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/784212

                    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!