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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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Gouda called after the city of that name in S. Holland, is the principal Dutch cheese, accounting for over half the total production of cheese in the Netherlands. It is made from whole milk, and produced in a wheel shape with a markedly convex edge. Size and weight vary considerably; the weight is usually between 4 and 10 kg (9–22 lb).

The city of Gouda retains its Kaaswaag, the weigh-house for cheese, and wagon-loads of cheeses are still sold there every Thursday.

A Gouda cheese has a higher fat content than edam, but is made in much the same way and has a similar flavour. Like Edam, it is pale yellow inside, has a smooth and elastic texture, and a mild, salty flavour which is sometimes varied by the addition of cumin. The manufacture of Gouda is now widespread, but the best cheeses are still those made by farmers in the vicinity of Gouda. These may be distinguished by appellations such as Boeren Gouda or plain boerenkaas (which just means farmer’s cheese, but is usually Gouda).