Travelling to holland on my culinary globe trotter adventure I could not resist a visit to the Cheese shop of Henri Wilig , a cheese master in the heart of Amsterdam !
The term "Gouda" is now a universal name, and not restricted to cheese of Dutch origin. The term "Noord-Hollandse Gouda" is registered in the EU as a Protected Geographical Status. The cheese itself was originally developed in Gouda which is in the Dutch province South Holland.
The cheese is from cultured milk that is heated until the curds separate from the whey. Some of the whey is then drained, and water is added. This is called "washing the curd", and creates a sweeter cheese, as the washing removes some of the lactic acid. About ten percent of the mixture are curds, which are pressed into circular moulds for several hours. These moulds are the essential reason behind its traditional, characteristic shape. The cheese is then soaked in a brine solution, which gives the cheese and its rind a distinctive taste. The cheese is dried for a few days before being coated to prevent it from drying out, then it is aged. Depending on age classification, it can be aged a number of weeks to over seven years before it is ready to be eaten. As it ages, it develops a caramel sweetness and sometimes has a slight crunchiness from salt-like calcium lactate or tyrosine crystals that form in older cheeses. After 24 months of aging, sodium chloride crystals start to form around the outside casing of the cheese. These crystals are usually removed with a soft cloth.
So on your next trip to holland do make a cheese stop and experience on of the world most popular cheeses!! Gouda is used in many dishes, but I recommend it just sliced and used in a sandwich you will truly enjoy its taste ...
My Gouda experience !by Nicholas Anderson ; culinaryglobetrotter 30.09.2012