Gouda is a great example of a cheese that is extremely versatile and enjoyed by the masses.. Semi-hard, mild and creamy when it's young, and hard, tangy and crystalline when it's aged, gouda delivers a smorgasbord of taste and textures in a single cheese.
In Wisconsin, our cheesemakers have gone gangbusters with the washed-curd technique that produces gouda's slightly sweet and caramelly flavor. Our award-winning goudas run the gamut – whether you're cooking with a young, old, or smoky cheese, our goudas are ready to show off their wide range as the flavor anchor for a cheese charcuterie board, a tangy accent in a casserole, or the foundation of a movie-night beer cheese dip.
When there's gouda in the fridge, there's a world of possibility in the kitchen. Young goudas melt beautifully and are great with pastas, gratins, or casseroles, and make a mean cheese sauce for a super tasty macaroni and cheese recipe. Mature goudas add buttery, nutty flavor to any sandwich, and aged goudas are scrumptious on a cheese board with spicy mustard, crisp apples, and Marcona almonds.
If you're drinking with gouda, we recommend slightly sweet beverages that complement gouda's nutty, slightly fruity flavor. For beer, try a bock, brown ale, or farmhouse hard cider. With wine, Gewürztraminer, Müller-Thurgau, riesling, cava, or sherries of any age will make gouda smile.
Gouda is a Dutch-style cheese, typically made of cow's milk, that is named for the town of Gouda in the Netherlands, where this nutty, caramelly cheese was originally traded. The term "gouda" refers more to a style of cheesemaking than a specific type of cheese, as the flavor and texture of gouda changes significantly as the cheese ages.
In contrast to edam cheese, its compatriot, gouda is a washed-curd cheese. After the milk is curdled and some of the whey is removed, water is added to "wash the curd," producing a sweeter flavor by removing some of the lactose. The curds are pressed into circular molds for several hours before the cheese is soaked in a brine that gives gouda its distinctive flavor. After aging the cheese for a few days, the cheese is coated with wax or plastic and aged for four weeks to 12 months or more. As gouda ages, it becomes harder and develops a crystalline, slightly crunchy texture and a sweeter, nuttier and tangier flavor with more caramel undertones.
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Here in Wisconsin, we produce goudas that will give any Dutch cheesemaker a run for their wooden shoes. We've been making gouda for more than 100 years – which, okay, is not quite as long as the 900 years the Dutch have been at it, but it's plenty of time to get it right, and boy do we do it well.
Our passion for cheese has created a cheesemaking culture that's dedicated to just one thing: making the tastiest, most award-winning, highest-quality cheese on this planet, and any other planet while we're at it. (Take that, E.T. cheesemakers.) And if you think that's just the 24-month aged gouda talking, get a load of this: our cheesemakers have won more awards than any other state in the nation or country on earth -- including a gouda that recently won the Best Cheese in America award.
That's what happens in a state where 90% of our milk goes to make cheese. Where we produce twice as many types and varieties of cheese than any other state, and where we have the only Master Cheesemaker program in the world outside of Switzerland.
That's what happens in Wisconsin. Welcome to the state of cheese. It's gouda to meet you.
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In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.