Gouda cheese

Сыр Гауда Food

One of the most common cheeses in the post-Soviet space is Goudse kaas. Perhaps there is no cheese factory that would not include it in its product line. Moreover, Gouda is considered one of the most popular cheeses in the whole world. It accounts for 50 to 60% of world consumption of this dairy product. It is renowned for its rich, unique flavor and smooth texture. It is simply impossible to ignore such a popular Dutchman. The great Gouda is already waiting for you in our article.


The first mention of Gouda cheese dates back to 1184, making it one of the oldest recorded cheeses in the world still produced today.

Traditionally, cheese making in Dutch culture has been the preserve of women. Cheese making techniques and skills were passed on from mothers to daughters.

In the city of Gouda (Gouda) there is an interesting monument in the main square. The bronze girl firmly holds a head of cheese in her hands. It was created in 1988 as a tribute to the women who played a vital role in the development of the Dutch cheese making tradition.

Памятник сыру Гауда

Contrary to popular belief, the cheese is not named after Gouda because it was first made in that city. But because in the Middle Ages, Dutch municipalities could receive the right of primacy or a complete monopoly on the sale of certain goods.

Gouda acquired the market rights to the cheese. That is, farmers in the surrounding districts could only sell their dairy product at its market. All cheeses were delivered to the market square of Gouda.

Сырная ярмарка на рынке в городе Гауда

Buyers and sellers negotiated prices using a ritual system called handjeklap: they clapped their hands and shouted prices. Once the price was agreed upon, porters brought the goods to the scales and completed the sale.

Most of the Dutch Gouda is now industrially produced. However, about 300 local farmers still make boerenkaas, which is a farm cheese made in the traditional way using unpasteurized milk from cows that graze on natural pastures in the Netherlands.

It is important to know that today the name "Gouda" refers more to the style of cheese-making than to the cheese itself, since the characteristics of the product can vary widely depending on the age. For this reason, the name "Gouda" is not protected by any legislative documents.

But if you want to try a traditional product from the Netherlands, look for the words “Noord-Hollandse Gouda” on the packaging. It is this kind of cheese that is regulatory protected and represents the real Dutch Gouda, made from Dutch milk.

How is it produced

Gouda is usually made from cow's milk, although goat's or sheep's milk is used for some long-aged artisan varieties. There are 4 main stages in the production of Gouda:

  1. The cooking process begins by pouring raw or pasteurized milk (depending on the type of cheese) into a large vat. Pasteurized raw materials are pre-cooled. Next, natural bacteria are added to it. The mixture is then stirred for half an hour and rennet is added to coagulate. The increased acidity converts the milk protein into a hard curd mass.
  2. At the next stage, a certain portion of the whey is drained and replaced with water. This procedure, called washing the curd, removes some of the lactic acid and makes the cheese sweeter.
  3. The resulting curd is pressed into molds and soaked in a saline solution for 18-24 hours. Salt inhibits excessive bacterial activity and forms the famous Gouda flavor.
    After salting, the heads are dried for several days before applying the natural casing. It protects against dirt and premature drying.
  4. The ripening of the cheese takes place in a climate-controlled storage area (temperature 50 degrees, humidity level 86%). The aging period is due to the age qualifications of Gouda.


Depending on the ripening time, there are 7 age types of Gouda cheese:

  1. Graskaas - young, creamy
  2. Jonge Kaas - young with 4 weeks aging
  3. Jong belegen - young maturing (8-10 weeks)
  4. Belegen - mature (16-18 weeks)
  5. Extra belegen - extra mature (7-8 months)
  6. Oude kaas - old (10-12 months)
  7. Overjarig - very old (12 months or more)

Graskaas is the creamiest and smoothest version of Gouda. It is made from the milk of the first milk yield when the cows return to pasture after winter. This milk is the fattest in the annual production cycle. Therefore, the cheese comes out tender with a rich creamy taste. It can be used almost immediately after the end of production. The best known is Beemster Graskaas, which has a green waxy shell. Some Dutch people are quite fanatical about this Gouda variety. Each year, like football fans waiting for their favorite team to play, they eagerly count the hours until Graskaas goes on sale.

Young Jonge Kaas cheese is soft with a light nutty flavor. The heads of this variety are often covered with a yellow, orange, or red waxy coat. Sometimes farmers mix spices into the curd curd. For example, Gouda with caraway seeds is very popular in Holland.

Jong belegen and also Belegen they cut well into slices and melt well, therefore they are often used for sandwiches.

Extra belegen, Oude kaas, Overjarig - old cheeses. They are distinguished by a black waxy shell. Like wine, cheese acquires a more pronounced taste with age. The longer it matures, the more characteristic its aroma becomes. It hardens, friability and salinity increase. As it ripens, the fruity and caramel notes appear on the palate. Red wine and dark beer go well with aged product varieties.

Interesting Facts

You cannot ignore the interesting facts about the Dutch celebrity. So:

  1. In the Middle Ages, to distinguish Gouda from other cheeses on the market, the heads were wrapped in red cloth. This is where the traditional color of the wax shell came from.
  2. Our pronunciation of the name of the cheese is not entirely correct. The first letter in Dutch sounds like a cross between our "x" and "z", only guttural, reminiscent of a throat clearing. In the center - "OU". Thus, it turns out "X-OU-YES".
  3. Gouda's smooth, creamy texture is due to its high fat content - about 46%.
  4. Although the product is usually made from cow's milk, Gouda goat cheese is available commercially. It is distinguished by a white or blue wax finish.
  5. Aged Gouda is best served at room temperature, young - cold.
  6. Gouda is often used in wine tastings as a palate cleanser.
  7. In mature cheeses, crispy white crystals are found throughout the mass of the product. They are often confused with the salt that forms on the outside of the head. In fact, the white particles inside the cheese are the amino acid tyrosine, which indicates a well-aged cheese.
  8. A non-standard version of the cheese is smoked Gouda. In European markets, it can be recognized by its characteristic brown wax color.
  9. Freezing changes the texture of the food, so it is preferable to store it in the refrigerator.
  10. Dutch Edam or French Munster are suitable for replacing Gouda in recipes. However, it is so common that where it does not exist, it is likely that none of these cheeses will be found.

Gouda's recipe

In Dutch culture, cheese making has traditionally been a woman's task, but today every gourmet can try to make his own homemade Gouda. To do this, you only need a proven recipe, which we are in a hurry to share with you.
Required Ingredients:

  • Whole cow's milk - 10 l
  • Mesophilic culture for cheese - ¼ tsp
  • Rennet - 5 ml (diluted in ¼ glass of water).

The cooking process is divided into the following stages:

  1. We heat the milk to 32 degrees (we determine the end of heating with a kitchen thermometer).
  2. Add mesophilic cheese culture and mix thoroughly. Cover with a lid and leave to ripen for 15 minutes.
  3. Attach the diluted rennet and allow to form a clot for about 1 hour.
  4.  Carefully cut the curd into 1cm cubes. We leave for 10 minutes.
  5.  Drain off a third of the whey. We place the kitchen thermometer in the liquid and slowly add water heated to 80 degrees to the curd until the total temperature reaches 33 degrees. Stir constantly. Then forget about cheese for 10 minutes.
  6. Drain the whey to the level of cottage cheese. Again, slowly, add hot (80 degrees) water until the total temperature reaches 38 degrees. We leave for 30 minutes.
  7.  Pour out all the remaining whey. Gently transfer the curd to the fabric and into the mold. It is desirable that the latter has a perforated bottom for draining the liquid. On top we put a press equal to the mass of the resulting curd (approximately 0.4 kg of cottage cheese comes out of 1 liter of milk) for 30 minutes. A container with water can be used as a press.
  8. We remove the press, drain the released whey.
  9. Re-put the press, 2 times the mass of the cottage cheese, for 30 minutes. We drain the liquid, turn the head over.
  10. The final pressing is carried out within 12 hours.
  11. We remove the press and unfold the cheese.
  12.  Soak the head in saturated brine (35 g of salt per 100 l of water) for 12 hours and turn it over every 3 hours to ensure even crust formation.
  13.  We take the cheese out of the brine and dry it.
  14. The resulting Gouda is kept at a temperature of 10 degrees for 3 weeks. Turn the head over every 1-2 days. If desired, you can increase the ripening period.
  15. We pack the finished cheese in parchment paper and store in the refrigerator.
    With such a completely accessible method, you will cook your own Gouda. Are you worried about buying the necessary components? Mesophilic cultures, rennet and forms for making cheese are widely represented in specialized online stores.

Zucchini appetizer with Gouda

Summer is the season for eating all kinds of zucchini dishes. The recipe that we will present is not only another way to use vegetables, but also a great snack option with proper nutrition.
We will need:

  • Chopped zucchini - 3 cups (2 medium)
  • Salt - ¼ tsp
  • Gouda cheese - ½ tbsp.
  • Whole grain bread crumbs - ¼ tbsp.
  • Onions - ½ pc.
  • Grated carrots - ½ tbsp.
  • Eggs - 2 pcs.
  • Garlic - 1 clove

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Grind the zucchini with a blender. We spread it on several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 15 minutes. Thus, we get rid of excess moisture.
Next, rub the carrots and cheese on a coarse grater, cut the onion into cubes, pass the garlic through a press. Squeeze out the excess water from the zucchini as much as possible. We mix all the ingredients.
Cover the baking sheet with greased parchment paper. We spread walnut-sized balls of the mixture on it. Bake for 30 minutes or until crispy brown. One serving of such a snack contains only 36 kcal.

Nutritional value and useful properties

Gouda refers to cheeses with a medium calorie content. Its nutritional value is 356 kcal per 100 g. It consists of:

  • Protein - 25 g
  • Fat - 27 g
  • Carbohydrates - 2 g

As you know, dairy products not only satisfy hunger, they are also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. So, 100 g of Gouda contain:

  • 70% daily value (DV) calcium. It plays an important role in the contraction and dilation of blood vessels, in the transmission of nerve impulses, and maintains healthy teeth and bones.
  • 26% DN of vitamin B12. A water-soluble vitamin that is involved in the functioning of the brain and nervous system, as well as the formation of red blood cells. It is found only in animal products.
  • 26% DN zinc. Mineral essential for strengthening the immune system, healing wounds and keeping the taste buds working.
  • 20% riboflavin DN (Vitamin B2). A water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in the metabolic process.
  • 11% DN of vitamin A. Fat-soluble vitamin included in the list of components of healthy vision.

Where to buy cheese in Amsterdam

If a trip to Holland does not take you outside of Amsterdam, and you are eager to try the Dutch Gouda, then go to De Kaaskamer - this is the so-called cheese room, the official website www.kaaskamer.nl, it is located at Runstraat 7.

Магазин голландских сырок в Амстердаме

This is a small store filled to the brim with a variety of Dutch and European cheeses. Here you will find young, old, local, cow, goat and sheep cheeses. Before buying any product is given a try absolutely free. The price of the famous Gouda varies according to age.

On this tourist-minded note, we conclude our article. Travel wisely, develop your horizons, love with all your heart and remember: "Age is something that does not matter, unless you are, of course, cheese!"

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