What Does Gouda Cheese Taste Like?

gouda cheese

Gouda’s wheel-like shape and yellow or orange color make it easy to recognize. Gouda isn’t just popular, but it’s also one of the cheeses with the lowest carbs. People who are interested in trying gouda for the first time often ask the question: What does gouda cheese taste like? 

If you don’t have the slightest idea about the flavor of gouda cheese, this guide is for you. 

What is Gouda Cheese?

Gouda, pronounced as “how-duh” in the Netherlands (where it originated), is a semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk. The processes involved in making gouda include [*]:

  • Standardization 
  • Heating and bactofugation of milk
  • Renneting
  • Curd washing
  • Scalding
  • Drainage
  • Pressing
  • Brining

Gouda is high in fat, with 8 grams per serving. This means gouda can serve as a melting cheese and may be used to replace cheddar cheese. Note that young gouda is best for melting compared with aged gouda. 

What Does Gouda Cheese Taste Like? 

One would describe gouda cheese taste as buttery, mild, smooth, slightly sweet, and nutty. When gouda ages, it tends to have a tangy and deeper flavor. You will also notice that older gouda cheese develops a denser texture, along with white crystals on the outer and inner parts of gouda, which is a sign of well-aged cheese. 

Going back to what gouda cheese tastes like, you’ll be surprised that aside from regular gouda, there are many other varieties that affect its original flavor. These include: 

Smoked Gouda 

A famous variant of regular gouda, smoked gouda is made by smoking regular gouda in brick ovens for 30 minutes to 1 hour. What does smoked gouda taste like? It has a strong woodlike and nuttier taste due to the smoking process. Because of this, smoked gouda pairs well with smoked meat recipes. 

Truffle Gouda

Truffle gouda has Italian black truffles, which are edible fungi similar to mushrooms. The tiny flecks of black truffle give gouda an earthy flavor. This gouda variation can be served on special occasions. Pair it with aged wines or red meat. 

Bacon Gouda

As the name implies, bacon gouda is regular gouda infused with bacon bits. For those who are bacon lovers, this variation would be perfect. The addition of bacon increases the fat and protein content of gouda. You can expect the taste to be both slightly sweet, a bit meaty, and savory. 

Gouda with Cumin

This gouda variation incorporates cumin seeds that make cheese taste warm and spicy. If you’re missing or craving Indian food, gouda with cumin will satisfy that craving. Some say that it’s great for toasted sandwiches!  

Fenugreek Gouda

Fenugreek Gouda tastes like maple syrup and is slightly nutty, thanks to fenugreek seeds. Fenugreek seeds are used as an herb or spice for a variety of recipes, such as Garam Masala and lactation herbal teas. 

Does Gouda Cheese Taste Like Cheddar?

No. Compared to cheddar, gouda has a milder and sweeter flavor. Cheddar cheese has a sharp and saltier taste depending on the variety. Although gouda and cheddar are not alike, they can be used interchangeably in many recipes, such as sandwiches, pasta, and casseroles.

Does Gouda Cheese Alter the Overall Taste of a Recipe?

If you wish to add gouda to your recipes instead of snacking on it, it’s going impart a sweet and buttery taste, plus other kinds of tastes depending on the variety of gouda. For instance, making mashed potatoes with grated smoked gouda will definitely take the taste to the next level with its deep, woodlike flavor. 

Are There Other Cheeses That Taste Like Gouda?

Yes, there are! Whether you love snacking on cheese or using them as a topping or recipe ingredient, gouda can be replaced with Edam, Munster, Gruyere, and Havarti. While these cheeses are all unique, they taste quite similar. Edam, in particular, has a very similar flavor to gouda, although Edam is lighter and drier. 

The Bottom Line

Overall, gouda cheese has a mild, buttery, and slightly sweet taste which becomes stronger with age. The taste may also change if it’s a variant of regular gouda, such as smoked gouda and bacon gouda. 

If you want to try a gouda cheese snack, we offer regular gouda bites and smoked gouda bites here at Käze! Our snacks are made from real cheese. They’re great for whenever you need a satisfying treat that keeps you healthy.

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