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Rights: University of Waikato. All Rights Reserved.
Published 3 May 2012
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Traditional Gouda cheese is a hard-style cheese with a creamy texture and full-bodied flavour. Here, Miel Meyer explains the key characteristics of the traditional Gouda cheese produced at Meyer Gouda Cheese in Hamilton.

Questions to consider:

  • Discuss how Gouda cheese characteristics differ from other cheeses.
  • How does moisture content relate to cheese texture?
  • Why does moisture content affect keeping quality and safety of cheese?
  • How does cheese texture relate to how a cheese is used?
  • How is moisture content manipulated in the cheesemaking process to produce different types of cheese?
  • Miel Meyer (Meyer Gouda Cheese
    Gouda is basically a round hard-style cheese. If you feel the cheese, it’ll be very firm in comparison to say soft cheeses like blues and Bries – there’s a definite difference. The spoilage rate is a lot less because of the moisture content. It’s a hard cheese, there’s less moisture so foreign bacteria don’t grow in there so readily.

    The round characteristics are partly because the moisture release from cheese is important, so having a round, there’s even moisture release. A square block of cheese doesn’t release moisture the same right throughout the cheese so that’s the purpose of the shape of the cheese.

    Traditional Gouda would be the cumin. So when the Orient first established trade routes with the European cultures, cumin seeds were one of the first spices that were coming through, so quickly found themselves in cheese. Garlic and chives, all those are unique for Goudas, so you will find it now in other styles of cheese, but traditionally it’s only in Gouda cheeses.

    Other things would be a full-bodied flavour. It needs to be quite a creamy cheese but hard, so it’s a hard-style creamy cheese, whereas Camemberts will always be really creamy, because of the moisture content.