I Now Pronounce Cheese 19

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Gouda. GOO-da? GOW-duh? Actually, if you wanted to be 100% phonetically correct and delight the ears of its Dutch inventors, you would pronounce this cheese something like “hchhOW-duh.” In this case, the “hchh” sounds as if you were preparing to spit from the back of your throat. Yes, please try making that noise now. Correct pronunciation is always worth mild embarrassment.

I once started a casual conversation about the famous yellow “GOO-da” with a Dutchman while studying abroad in the Netherlands, only to be corrected immediately in the typically frank Dutch fashion, “Oh, you mean ‘hchhOW-duh.’ And it’s actually an orange cheese, not yellow.” That conversation went well.

In my defense, the cheap, young goudas were and in fact still are yellow to my very healthy eyes. And luckily that stubborn Dutchman later redeemed himself a little by being able to locate Wisconsin  on a map because he once needed to order a foam cheesehead for a party, and the only one he could find was online via a Wisconsin-based store. Win.

But the aged goudas — the “good” goudas, if you will — are in fact orange, and worth every day they were set aside to age. Mildly salty, pleasantly cowy and caramely and nutty, perfectly firm — this is an ideal snacking or sandwich cheese. I’ve met few people who dislike a good aged gouda, no matter how badly they butcher its pronunciation.

No thanks for your strange-sounding language, you Dutch. (Don’t tell,  but the tRuth is, I have a secret crush on how the Dutch language sounds.) But one big heck yes to your perfected orange cheese.

Week 19 of 52 Weeks of Cheese: 3-year Gouda from the Netherlands

Cost per pound: ~$10

Aging time: 3+ years

Hardness/style: Firm

Milk type: Cow

Rating (of 10): 8

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