What Is Gouda & What’s So Good About It?

  • Video
  • July 21, 2021

What is Gouda?

Gouda is one of the most popular cheeses in the world and originated more than 800 years ago in the Netherlands, where it’s pronounced “Howda.”

This cheese comes in many forms. If you’re looking for smooth and creamy, choose a young Gouda. If you’re looking for hard and crumbly, go for one that’s been aged more than two years—it can develop a sweet caramel flavor and even crunchy crystals.

It’s a versatile cheese that plays well with all kinds of flavors—look for Goudas that include spicy peppers, bacon, pesto, or one of my favorites: cumin. 

As for appearance, Goudas have a pale-yellow hue, and some develop very small holes known as “eyes,” indicating a nuttier flavor. Some have rinds, and some don’t.

Smoked Gouda

Smoked Gouda is popular because of its comforting combo of smokey flavor and springy texture. Cheese is traditionally smoked by placing whole blocks or pieces in a smoke house, which also preserves the cheese. An alternative method is to add natural smoke flavors to cheese curds before pressing—this method makes the flavor more uniform throughout. 

No matter the characteristics, Gouda is a reliable crowd-pleaser that complements nearly anything on a charcuterie board, and it pairs with lighter beers, Riesling and chardonnay. It’s even a safe bet for those who have lactose intolerance since it’s extremely low in lactose.

So dip apple slices in this very Gouda three-cheese fondue, or impress friends with this Smoked Gouda Tortilla Hack. And nothing proves this cheese’s versatility quite like this recipe for Apple Butter-Pork Burger With Acorn Squash Puree.

Get out the Gouda and get creative!