Gouda: A Cheese Lover’s Paradise in the Netherlands

A trip to the Netherlands is inevitable for those who love dairy products, especially cheese. The Dutch love of cheese, or ‘kaas,’ is so pervasive that avoiding and not smelling it can be challenging. For a small nation like the Netherlands, there is a lot of cheese to have, as evidenced by a large number of exclusive cheese shops and tourists’ fascination with large cheese wheels.

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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Netherlands Photo: Official Facebook

You can travel to Gouda, the cheese lover’s paradise in the Netherlands, and enjoy the distinctive taste of the best cheese. KLM flight booking helps you book your ticket online and travel to this country.

Gouda is the most widely consumed cheese, making up to 60% of the cheese produced in the country, where people have an insatiable appetite for cheese. This small city in the southern part never produced the cheese giving its eponymous name but served as the centre of business selling Gouda cheese.

Gouda, a South Holland town, was historically used for cheese-making, weighing, taxing, and trading cheese, making its name popular in cheese. The Gothic town hall in Gouda, constructed in 1450, dominates a marketplace holding a cheese market every week. The wedding venue, which now resembles a wedding cake, highlights the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.

There are many restaurants in the area surrounding the market, but if you are shopping for the best cheese soup, I would recommend going to the De Zalm Hotel, renowned for serving a Gouda soup that almost tastes like fondue.

You can find regular cheese markets every weekday and Saturday, even though the conventional cheese market only occurs in the summer. Numerous cheese stands are vying for your attention here.

Visitors can smell the cheese in the sea breeze as they reach the stalls, where large wedges and piles of yellow cheese are placed high on the shelves prepared for more slicing. With notes of nuts, caramel, and whisky, it has a delicious sweetness and complex undertones. Unexpectedly, the cheese has a crunchy mouthfeel due to minute tyrosine and calcium lactate crystals that are present throughout.

Making Gouda

The cheese, under the brand name Gouda, has found its place everywhere in the Netherlands, as well as in other nations. Nevertheless, the process of making cheese, though similar, uses Gouda made from the milk of sheep, cow, or goat. It uses microbial, vegetable, or animal rennet to separate curd. However, the fat content will differ.

Acquiring the status for Protection of Denomination of Origin (PDO) for North Holland Gouda (Noord-Hollandse Gouda), the Netherlands could safeguard and maintain the traditional and genuine Gouda cheese. The sweet curd cheese, which is semi-soft, weighs anywhere between 6 and 50 pounds and is made from cow’s milk, which is whole or skimmed. Pasteurised milk and calf rennet are usually used for the preparation.

As one might anticipate, the preparation of North Holland Gouda begins with boiling the milk and mixing rennet with pasteurised milk, introducing the culture. Leuconostoc cremoris, Lactobacillus cremoris, and Lactobacillus lactis are the type-A lactic acids present in this instance. The distinctive flavour of traditional Gouda is a result of this very particular cocktail.

Nevertheless, the cheese masters of early times also developed another technique. They drain the whey and substitute it with hot water. The “washed-curd cheese”. as it is generally called, was made using wooden vats. Since these vats could not be heated, hot water helped raise the curds’ temperature.

The washed curds are used to produce cheese, which does not taste acidic. A sweeter flavour results from stopping acidification with water. The cheese will be removed from the salt brine after some days after having it in its distinctive round shape. Then, it is stored in warehouses to age. The processed cheese was stored on the wooden shelves earlier, but not now.

Apart from tasting the authentic cheese at Gouda, you can travel to Amsterdam to explore a stunning city known for its beauty, canals, and old-world architecture. Visit renowned museums like the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture, or take a stroll through the quaint streets lined with cafes and shops.

Using the KLM flight booking option, book your flight to this place and sample some traditional Dutch treats like stroopwafels and bitterballen! 

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