Gouda cheese

Holland’s most famous exported cheese is Gouda, with its characteristic yellow interior dotted with a few tiny holes. It has a mild, nutlike flavor that is very similar to edam, but its texture is slightly creamier due to its higher milk fat content (about 48 percent compared to Edam’s 40 percent). Gouda can be made from whole or part-skim cow’s milk, and aged anywhere from a few weeks to over a year. The younger the Gouda, the milder the flavor. When aged over a year, it takes on almost a cheddarlike flavor. It comes in large wheels ranging from 10 to 25 pounds, and usually has a yellow wax rind. Baby Gouda, which comes in rounds weighing no more than a pound, usually has a red wax coating. Some Goudas are flavored with cumin or herbs. Though Gouda is also made in the United States, the domestic version is rarely aged and is extremely mild-flavored. Gouda is particularly good with beer, red wines and dark bread. The Dutch make a dish called kaasdoop, a Gouda fondue served with potatoes and rye bread. See also cheese.

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