Gouda is a yellowish Dutch cheese named after the city of Gouda, but the term Gouda is now a generic name, and not restricted to cheese of Dutch origin. Without any spices added, this cheese has a mild, creamy taste that has not changed since the Gouda cheese was first made several centuries ago.
Gouda is made from cow’s milk that is cultured and heated until the curds separate from the whey. About ten percent of the mixture is curds that are pressed into circular molds for a couple of hours. The round molds give the cheese its traditional wheel-like shape. After that, it is soaked in a brine solution, which gives the cheese its rind and improves the taste. After the salt soaks in, the cheese is then dried for a couple of days then it is coated with a red or yellow paraffin wax to prevent it from drying out. The large wheels of cheese usually weigh between 10 and 25 pounds and can be aged anywhere from a few weeks to over a year. When aged over a year, it takes on almost a cheddar-like flavor.
Although Gouda is Holland’s most famous exported cheese, it is now produced in many other countries around the world, generally by the same methods, although in some countries government regulations prohibit the use of raw milk. Gouda from Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and Brazil, as well as Sweden, Norway, and other European countries can be found in many cheese markets, mega-marts, and health food stores. Gouda can be made from whole or part-skim cow’s milk and comes in a smoked variety. Due to its higher fat content, it is considerably creamier than other common cheeses, such as cheddar cheese or Edam cheese.
Health Benefits of Gouda Cheese
According to Gouda cheese nutrition facts, this cheese is one of the rich sources of calcium which is easily absorbed in the body. Along with calcium, Gouda cheese also contains zinc, phosphorus, vitamins A, B2, and B12 which are essential to carry out several functions in the body. Following are the other Gouda cheese health benefits:
As Gouda cheese contains large amounts of calcium, one can fulfill the daily calcium requirement by having a small piece of this cheese every day.
- The calcium content in the cheese also helps in strengthening bones and prevention of diseases like osteoporosis and bone fractures.
- Calcium is also essential for proper absorption of other vitamins and minerals in the body. Therefore, having Gouda cheese can indirectly help in gaining benefits of other minerals.
- Certain cheese like Monterey Jack, aged Cheddar and Gouda have been proven to help in tooth decay and cavity. The calcium content in Gouda also helps in having strong teeth. It is advised to have a small piece of cheese after meals.
- One of the other major Gouda cheese benefits is that this cheese contains a live probiotic. The live probiotic helps in strengthening the immune system of the body which helps in warding off infectious diseases.
- Gouda cheese also contains Sphingolipids that are believed to help in prevention of cancer.
- Last but not the least, Gouda cheese is also a good source of protein. Proteins are essential for building and repairing tissues in body, and also to provide energy.