Dutch Rare Bit….

gouda_and_wine_crop2_1331Gouda is not a cheese to conjure with. The famous red wax covered, ball of blandness is cleverly produced to have no apparent flavour, which makes it impossible to dislike for its taste, as it has none. Its form renders it extremely useful in producing the “hedgehog” of cocktail sticks, topped with cheese and pineapple, so popular with retro hipsters. A better use would be to fire it from cannons at a brick wall, which would be fun and might pass as street art. The one good thing with red waxed Gouda is that you can’t waste it, just as you can’t taste it. There is a codicil to to this rant in that it only applies to young, immature Gouda.

Grown up Gouda is another kettle of curds altogether. I have made it my business to avoid “love” and “passion” ( seems a lonely life, I know) but I confess to having a strong disposition to Oude Goudse Kaas, or very mature, old Gouda. It is not a cheese that I often find in this land awash with curds and whey, which is probably why each meeting is so sweet. There it is, across a crowded room, and unthinkingly, I rush to it. This is a hard cheese giving the satisfaction of a strong English cheddar but without the notes of sourness. It has more of an affinity with caramel and sea salt. Umami is the key, but without the MSG. I imagine it would be wonderful on toast, or grated over a gratin but it never gets that far with me. Slivers are cut off to be enjoyed with a sip of wine and some good dark bread. I dread the diminishing size of the wedge as it may be some time before we two meet again.


About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2013, Art photography, Cheddar, Cheese, Cooking, Digital photography, Emotion, Excellence, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Gouda, Kitchens, Oude Goudse Kaas, Photography, photography course, Photography holiday, Shopping, Umami, Uncategorized, Wine, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Dutch Rare Bit….

  1. Food industry and experts say that umami and MSG is the same thing. Do you agree? I find natural umami and MSG totally different, the latter providing a chemical after taste that is absolutely intolerable as I see it..

  2. Dick Polak says:

    Since you like Oude (very old) Gouda you should try Belegen which is not quite as old. Speaking as someone who grew up on kaas and bread (you could say an authority) you also should try Oude Leidse (from Leiden, birthplace of Rembrandt) just up the road from Gouda definitely interesting.

  3. Colin Brace says:

    Thank you for making the distinction between supermarket Gouda in its red wax (an industrial food product) and the glorious mature Gouda, which is indeed divine. The very best are made with raw milk and are referred to as “boerenkaas” (farmhouse cheese). These have a depth of flavor that the Gouda from pasteurized milk, old as it may be, simply doesn’t have.

    If you can find it, mature goat milk Gouda (“oude geitenkaas”) is also out of this world. It is probably my all-time favorite Dutch cheese. It has a rich, nutty, sweetness which is indescribable. As you may know, goat milk is thought to be slightly more digestible than cow’s milk, hence some people who have trouble digesting cow’s milk cheese have a better time with goat milk cheese.

    @Dick: Mr Stowell expressed a preference for old, mature cheese. Why would he find middle-aged Gouda of interest, unless he was solely interested in a cheese that was easier to slice?

    • Colin, hi there, and thank you very much for commenting and giving me all this brilliant information. We are surrounded by goat’s cheese producers here and it intrigues to see if they make a similar cheese. I’ve had some of their aged goat cheeses but they are very different from that which I would expect from Oude Geitenkaas. They produce fromage etouffe here which I have yet to track down, and I think that it may have a similarity to the cheeses in question.

  4. Well, you made me want to taste an aged Gouda! And also to fire the red wax ones from a cannon 😀

  5. How funny – it seems to be a week of coincidences…I had dinner with a pal last week and she had an aged gouda on the cheese board which I turned my nose up at. Luckily she insisted and I was so glad she did – it’s nothing like those red balls of nastiness. Wonderful and I love the shot of your cheese!

  6. So glad to have come across your blog and am looking forward to reading more and taking a look at your wonderful photography.

  7. Reading the first paragraph, I was sitting at my keyboard shrieking, “But what about aged Gouda?!?” I rarely buy it, because I eat it all before I make it back from the market.

    I love the way this shot is put together. Should I try to mimic it, I’m sure we would have broken glass and red wine everywhere……. 🙂

  8. An eye catching image and love the words too!

  9. spree says:

    a smashingly good photo of that nibbled cheese. after sampling (but failing to “taste”) gouda, I’ve since turned my nose up. with your strong endorsement (and the words of others here) i’ll hunt down that aged gouda and soon.

  10. I love your love of food – “I dread the diminishing size of the wedge as it may be some time before we two meet again.” Looking forward to a cheese platter with some good red tonight 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. I have bought aged gouda at Whole Foods market; I love the grainy texture of it just as it is. Nothing else to do for it but enjoy!

  12. You had me laughing out loud with your description of most gouda. I have been lucky enough to have had some of the wonderful aged ones from the cheese trolley of some fine restaurants and agree with you about how good they can be.

  13. Mad Dog says:

    It took me years to notice that there was some decent Gouda, but I suspect that there wasn’t much of the mature stuff in Britain, back in the olden days, or much mature cheese of any type.
    No Gouda for me today – I’ve been to Portobello and come back with some Boursin, Goat and Gorgonzola. There’s an amazing stall which sells some excellent hams and cheeses with short sell by dates. I had a full shopping bag for £8!
    I did think of you when I had lunch in Goldbourne Road 😉

  14. So empathise with the dismay at the dwindling slice. I love all cheese. Too much.

  15. Eha says:

    Two lessons learned: what a worthwhile visit! Must have been away from N Europe too long as had no idea there was such a cheese as mature Gouda . . . know I did not overly care for the ‘young’ stuff. Secondly have learned the real meaning of ‘umami’ [even went to Wikipedia to read it ‘all’!] : to me it has thru’ the years meant a good mouth feel, a je ne sais quoi unexplainable pleasantness about a taste . . . so thank you for my Saturday morning tutorial . . .

  16. Tessa says:

    After reading this post this morning, I was on a mission to find that cheese. I was fortunate to find a wedge of a 1000 day old Gouda today at my lunch break… Wow! The flavor is absolutely delicious! I am now a complete fan! Thank you!

  17. cecilia says:

    I love cheese and pineapple.. what has that to do with my hips!! c

  18. Have never tasted it, but the photo has me drooling. Nice balancing act there. 🙂

  19. No matter what the experts say, I like MSG. I grew up seasoning with salt, pepper, and MSG when my Filipino mother would cook!

  20. emmycooks says:

    I think it’s all been said about your excellent photo and ode and palate, but allow me to add a word of appreciation for this post’s title. Wise of you to save the no-space “rarebit” in case you ever muster the patience to let it melt.

  21. ChgoJohn says:

    Years ago I tried young gouda, your cannonball of cheeses, and have avoided it since. Now I’m going on a hunt for aged gouda. We old timers need to stick together.

  22. Tandy says:

    There is nothing worse than bland processed cheese!

  23. I’ve never had plain gouda but I like smoked Gouda. Also, there is an aged Gouda called pronto that has a nice strong flavour to it.

  24. I need to eat that quick before it gets in the wine. Then I need to drink the wine to wash it all down.

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