There’s nothing wrong with young Gouda cheese, with its soft, creamy texture. bulavinaka likes Beemster Graskaas, aged only one month, which has a creamy mouthfeel and slightly nutty taste.

But aged Gouda is a different beast. “My favorite is boerenkaas (the name means farmer cheese),” says Caitlin McGrath (who also writes for CHOW’s Home Cooking Digest). It’s aged for a minimum of a few months, but starts to get brilliant at about five years of aging. “These aged ones develop strong caramel notes and the salty crystals that create intense bursts of flavor (as in Parmigiano-Reggiano),” she says. “I’m not a huge fan of Gouda in general, but I like the aged ones, and love the older boerenkaas.”

moh also loves aged boerenkaas, with its delicious characteristic salty crystals. “This cheese is one of my favorite breakfast cheeses, served with a good crusty artisanal bread smeared with really good french butter, and served with stone fruits like cherries, plums, apricots,” she says. “Such a lovely way to start the day.”

jumpingmonk loves super-aged cow’s milk Goudas. Such finds are rare, says jumpingmonk, but the best are 12 years old or older, a rich brown, and so “hard and brittle that the easiest way to ‘cut it’ is to hit it with the meat tenderizer and let it shatter.”

Board Link: Waiting for Gouda - what’s your favorite?

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