1. A semi-firm, washed curd cheese, Gouda is in the same family as Edam and Havarti.
2. Noord-Hollandse Gouda is the one type of Gouda that has a protected designation origin; the milk used to make this cheese must come from the province of Nord-Holland. It's typically a bit less salty than other Goudas.
3. Gouda is named after a city in Holland, where cheesemakers from surrounding towns still come to have their cheese weighed, priced and sold at a cheese market.
4. Gouda is aged from several weeks to seven years. Older Goudas are saltier and more pungent while young Gouda is mild and creamy.
5. While usually made from cow's milk, there is a goat's milk Gouda, also from Holland. It has a tangier flavor than cow's milk Gouda.
6. The smooth, creamy texture of Gouda is due to its high fat content. It is white to creamy yellow, sometimes with small holes.
7. An excellent melter, Gouda is a stellar choice for grilled cheese, burgers, omelets and casseroles.
8. Gouda is sometimes used at wine tastings as a palate cleanser.
9. The color of the wax coating can sometimes tell you a little bit about what’s inside. Young Goudas, aged between one and six months, are usually wrapped in red or yellow wax, while mature Goudas generally have a black or darker coating. Goat cheese Goudas are traditionally wrapped in white or blue wax.
10. Aged gouda is best served at room temperature and soft, younger Gouda should be served cold.
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