To the Dutch, Gouda is called ‘How-da’. To the rest of the world, it’s called ‘my favourite,’.
Part of the reason for its incredible popularity is that the name itself is not protected, so all around the world artisan cheesemakers have been creating their own versions of this semi-hard, rich, creamy cheese that is instantly recognisable by its yellow waxed rind.
The original Gouda is typically made from pasteurised cow’s milk. There are 7 different types categorised by age. Graskaas is young Gouda, traditionally eaten within weeks of production. As the cheeses age and become firmer and more intense they are reclassified – until they become extra aged or Overjarig. This is cheese that is dark and rich with a complex salty-toffee flavour that is quite unique. Gouda sometimes also has herbs such as caraway added to add extra flavour.
As a table cheese its distinctive flavour makes it a favourite, but it‘s also widely used in cooking because it grates and slices so well. Wrapped first in waxy parchment, then tightly wrapped in plastic to keep out all air, Gouda will keep in the fridge for several weeks.