Widely adored for its sweet flavour, Gouda is named after the Dutch town where it was traded. Large rounds of the cheese are still brought into Gouda’s cobbled square in the summer by handcart, where farmers and merchants haggle by slapping hands before sealing the deal with a handshake.
Gouda is a washed curd cheese, which involves removing some of the whey from a vat (after the curds have been set, cut and stirred) and replacing it with hot water. This removes lactose so the bacteria have less to feed on and produces less acidity, resulting in sweet caramel notes in the final cheese. The hot water also scalds the curds by raising the temperature to 36°C, causing more whey to be released. The cheeses are pressed, brined and often waxed or plastic-coated.
Eating Aged Gouda
If you haven’t tried making mac and cheese with an aged Gouda you are really missing out, after a bracing walk there is little better to come in from the cold for. If you prefer to enjoy in its pure form, try serving with a robost red such as Barolo or a sweet porter with notes of cocoa.
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