Gouda Cheese
Gouda pairs with ham, chicken or marinated vegetables to make tasty hors d’oeuvres. Photo by Branislav Senic | IST.




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STEPHANIE ZONIS, Contributing Editor, focuses on good foods and the people who produce them.



February 2008
Last Updated March 2012

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Cheese-Butter-Yogurt

Gouda Pairings

Page 5: We Taste 13 Gouda Brands

  • Click here to read other months’ Whey To Go columns


CAPSULE REPORT: In Part 1 of this article, we looked at the history of Gouda, how it is made, and the difference between young and aged Goudas. While some cheese connoisseurs dismiss Gouda as a simple snack-and-sandwich cheese (and the young Goudas are lovely for this purpose), aged Goudas are a different proposition altogether. Deep caramel in color, crunchy, flaky, and meltingly smooth on the tongue, a true cow's milk Dutch Gouda bursts with flavor. The older the cheese, the more wonderful the flavors of butterscotch and caramel.




Now that you understand what Gouda is all about (from Part 1 of this article), it’s time to   “taste” Gouda. First, let’s look at what to do with it.

Food & Beverage Pairings

If you’re not sure of uses for this cheese beyond a table cheese (a.k.a. the cheese board) and snacking, there are many!

  • Beverages. Cheese expert Steven Jenkins recommends beer as the ideal alcoholic accompaniment to a young Gouda and light red or fruity white wines as Cabernetthe drink of choice with a more mature cheese. For the aged Goudas, our wine editor likes an aged White Burgundy or Chardonnay, which has butterscotch and caramel tones that match those in the aged Gouda; or a dry Riesling. For reds, try a heartier fruity reds, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Shiraz and Zinfandel. Our editorial director enjoyed St. Francis Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, with black cherry fruit flavor, dark chocolate notes and spicy oak that gave off butterscotch tones unusual in a red wine, and perfect with Gouda.
  • Bread & Sandwiches. All types of Goudas go well with fruit and good bread (an aged Gouda would pair more successfully with a heavier or whole grain bread, however). Gouda melts well, so it can grace a sandwich as a “melt” in addition to its regular form. Try a Gouda and apple grilled-cheese sandwich, or a ham and cheese using speck, an Italian cross between prosciutto and bacon (photo at right—it is dry cured and smoked and cured before it is sold, and requires no cooking afterward—if you can’t find it locally, order it from iGourmet.com. Add some roasted red peppers or pimentos to the sandwich for a gourmet experience.

While you’re trying great Gouda, try some speck, too. This dry-cured bacon (no cooking required) will impress in sandwiches, hors d’oeuvres, on pizza (sure, grate some Gouda on that pizza) and many other dishes.

  • Recipes. There are myriad recipes online that call for Gouda, from a Gouda fondue to Gouda cheese grits. As with any fine cheese, you can make canapés, as shown in the photo at the top of the page (chicken breast, Gouda and a grape tomato on a slice of baguette with Lemonaise or Latin Lemonaise from The Ojai Cook).
  • Vegetables. Grate an aged Gouda on cooked vegetables, into potato and rice dishes.

Gouda is seen as a lowly, everyman’s cheese among serious cheese epicures, who fancy the more elegant Bries, blues, and complex washed-rind cheeses. But Gouda’s reputation as the cheese to have with a sausage and beer is not entirely deserved. Most people only know it through the mass-produced supermarket variety; few critics have had an exciting aged, artisan Gouda. Try a few Goudas produced by people who really care about what they’re doing, and  you’ll notice the differences.

Continue To Page 5: Tasting 13 Goudas

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