Gouda (cheese)

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Gouda (pronounced /ˈɡaʊdə/[1] or /ˈɡuːdə/;[2] Dutch: [ˈɣʌuda]  ( listen), from Dutch: Goudse kaas [ˈɣʌudsə ˈkaːs] "Cheese from Gouda") is a yellow cheese made from cow's milk. The cheese is named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands, but its name is not protected. However, the European Commission has confirmed that protection is imminent.[3] Cheese under the name of Gouda is currently made and sold all around the world.

Contents

Production

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 any time between 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[4] that form in older cheeses.

Origin

The term "Gouda" is now a universal name, and not restricted to cheese of Dutch origin.[5] The term "Noord-Hollandse Gouda" is registered in the EU as a Protected Geographical Status.[6] The cheese itself was originally developed in Gouda which is in the Dutch province South Holland, hence the registered name referring to North Holland seems incorrect. However, Noord Holland is the recognised premium pasture area of Holland, being land claimed from the sea by the use of dikes.

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