Gouda is a yellowish Dutch cheese, which can be aged for a couple of weeks or even as long as a year. There are many varieties of gouda cheese with different uses, flavors and textures. You should be aware of all these before purchasing gouda cheese.
Fresh gouda cheese is soft, creamy with a mild sweet flavour. Baby gouda is aged for up to 6 months and is available easily at supermarkets in rounds coated with red or yellow wax. However, aged gouda cheese tastes different and usually has a black colored wax coating.
The flavour intensifies to become salty-sweet with a tangy aroma. It becomes hard with a waxy texture, and can have nutty traces also. Gouda cured for about two years is a premium product for food aficionados.
Gouda cheese can be made from whole or skimmed milk, thus weight watchers can opt for the low fat versions. There are many variations of this cheese with additives such as spices, condiments, herbs etc.
Common additives are cumin seeds, jalapenos, caraway, garlic, onions, nettles, pesto, walnut, cracked pepper etc. Smoked varieties of gouda cheese are also available in cylindrical packs.
Gouda cheese can easily be stored in the refrigerator for up to one year if the wax seal is not opened. Otherwise, it can be stored and used in a month. Aged gouda cheese is hard to slice as it becomes firm and rigid.
Therefore, if you need to cut it just place it outside refrigeration for a few hours. It will be easier to cut gouda cheese at room temperature. The wax cover can be removed easily by peeling. A kitchen knife can be used to cut the cheese.
Traditionally gouda cheese was used to make fondue in Holland. Fresh gouda cheese compliments breads, croissants, crackers, bagels and fruit. Gouda is well known as a dessert cheese and is also used as a palate cleanser.
It can be paired with wines, especially full bodied red wines. Wines that bring out the flavour of gouda cheese are Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Syrah. It also compliments fruity wines, whiskey, beer and ales.
Aged gouda cheese, can be melted and grated easily. It is used to make pasta and potatoes dishes. Macaroni and potatoes are cooked often with gouda cheese.
It compliments pecan flavour’s and also salami, pepporoni etc. It is also used to make pizza’s and deli sandwiches. In fact, aged gouda cheese can substitute cheddar easily in most of the recipes.