Gouda is one of the most popular cheeses in the world, for its strong and rich flavor.
However, when you add gouda cheese to a smoker (or infuse it with liquid smoke), it takes on an entirely different flavor.
If you’ve never tried smoked gouda, you owe it to yourself to sample this iconic cheese. In this article, we’ll look at smoked gouda: what it is, what it tastes like, and the best ways for you to enjoy it for yourself.
What Is Smoked Gouda?
Smoked gouda is a variation of classic gouda cheese, which originated in the Netherlands and dates back to 1284. Gouda has been described as a style of cheesemaking, rather than a specific cheese.
Different varieties of gouda can have very different tastes and textures, especially when aged.
Smoked gouda is a type of gouda cheese that has been infused with a smoky flavor – either by smoking it in a conventional smoker with wood chips, the way you would with meat, or simply by adding liquid smoke during the cheesemaking process.
Traditional gouda cheese is beloved around the world, and smoked gouda provides an extra layer of flavor.
Do Smoked Gouda Have Sweet And Salty Taste?
The flavor of smoked gouda is an interesting mix of the buttery and creamy flavors of traditional gouda, mixed with sweet and salty umami flavors of caramel, and meaty smoke.
Some people describe the flavor of smoked gouda as creamy and smokey at the same time.
Although you might imagine that adding smoke to gouda cheese increases the intensity of the flavor, this isn’t necessarily true, since most people are accustomed to aged gouda, which has a strong flavor relative to smoked gouda.
The flavor of smoked gouda has also been described as meaty, earning comparisons to bacon, ham, and hot dogs.
There are no meat or meat byproducts used to create smoked gouda, but the association between smokey flavors and meat is strong enough that many people immediately leap to meat in their minds when they taste this type of smoked cheese.
What Does Smoked Gouda Look Like?
Traditional gouda is often sold as a cheese wheel with a red or pink rind made of wax, and a creamy soft interior.
Smoked gouda has a similar appearance but without the waxy rind. Instead, smoked gouda has an edible brown rind where the cheese has hardened in contact with smoke and the air.
When you cut into smoked gouda, you will notice that the color of the cheese is slightly darker because it has been colored by the smoke.
What Texture Does Smoked Gouda Have?
Gouda has a soft and creamy texture that can be smeared or melted, and smoked gouda is no different.
With 45% butterfat, smoked gouda is a very rich cheese with a thick, smooth texture. Gouda is firm enough to be served on cheese plates but soft enough to be spread on a cracker.
Where Does Smoked Gouda Come From?
All gouda cheese originates from the city of Gouda in the Netherlands, where Gouda cheese was invented and popularized in the 13th century. Since then, Gouda cheese has been internationally popular.
Today, Gouda is made in nearly every country and is available in most supermarkets.
Smoked Gouda has traditionally been made in large brick ovens, where Gouda cheese was smoked over slowly burning hickory chips.
In some cases, the smoked gouda you buy may be prepared this way, but in the modern era, it has become popular to add liquid smoke in the cheesemaking process rather than to smoke the cheese the traditional way.
Is Smoked Gouda Healthy?
Gouda cheese can be high in calories and fat, but it also includes essential nutrients that your body needs.
In general, gouda is a healthy ingredient to add to your diet, and eating more cheese like Gouda can help boost your metabolism and ward off chronic illnesses.
Smoked gouda is a great source of both protein and calcium. A meaty, nutty, cheese like Gouda contains plenty of protein to keep your body running and keep your stomach full.
It also has a lot of vital calcium, which protects your bones and prevents osteoporosis.
One nutrient that Gouda is particularly rich in is Vitamin K. This is essential when it comes to strengthening bones and clotting blood, and it may even have a role in fighting COVID-19, according to some preliminary studies.
Gouda is a delicious cheese that you can stand to eat more of. It provides your body with important nutrients, protein, and calcium to keep you healthy and strong.
What Are The Dangers Of Eating Smoked Gouda?
There are some concerns about the smoking process, and how it can add carcinogens to foods and increase your risk of certain cancers.
Most of this research has been done on smoked meats, which are considered generally unhealthy due to the presence of PAHs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Unfortunately, these dangerous compounds are also responsible for the delicious flavor that is the entire purpose of smoking.
When meat or other fatty ingredients are cooked at high temperatures, these aromatic compounds are created and infuse themselves into the food.
Although the majority of concern around PAHs is focused on smoked meats, which have their own additional carcinogenic risks, studies have found that PAHs are present in other smoked foods, like smoked cheeses as well.
However, the bulk of these PAHs in smoked cheeses were not found in the interior soft cheese itself, but in the rind where the smoke is concentrated.
It’s fine to eat smoked gouda, especially if you discard the rind. However, you should minimize the number of smoked foods you eat, due to the possibility of the presence of PAHs.
How Do You Eat Smoked Gouda?
There are plenty of delicious ways to enjoy smoked gouda cheese, from spreading it on a cracker to cubing it and adding it to a fresh salad.
Smoked Gouda is surprisingly versatile. Although it has an interesting flavor, it is not overpowering and is interestingly milder and more buttery than traditional aged gouda. This makes it easy to add smoked Gouda to many different dishes.
Smoked Gouda makes a great topping for burgers or pizza, can be sliced and added to cold-cut sandwiches, can be cut into cubes or wedges and added to a cheese plate, can be melted into sauces or dips, and can even be enjoyed on its own as a snack.
How Can I Store Smoked Gouda?
The best way to keep your smoked gouda cheese fresh is in the refrigerator. You can wrap it in parchment or wax paper first to reduce the loss of moisture, before placing it into a sealable container.
Avoid plastic wrap, which will prevent the cheese from breathing. Keep smoked Gouda cheese in the warmest part of your refrigerator – on the door, towards the front, or in the vegetable crisper.
If you store your smoked gouda the right way, it should stay fresh for 2-3 weeks.
Can You Freeze Smoked Gouda?
Yes! Although smoked gouda is softer than aged gouda, and therefore a little less amenable to freezing, you can freeze it to preserve it.
Keep your smoked gouda cheese wrapped in parchment or wax paper in a sealed container in your freezer, and it should last for up to 6 months.
Smoked Gouda Vs. Aged Gouda
You may be surprised by the difference between gouda cheese and smoked gouda. Although they share a name, the flavor and texture are different, and that difference is bigger than the addition of a smokey flavor.
Smoked gouda is not aged to the same extent, which means it is younger, softer, and creamier to begin with.
Smoked cheeses usually start with a softer cheese as a base, since the aged cheeses can become dried out and less flavorful in the smoking process. Smoke gouda is softer, with a mild buttery, creamy, and nutty flavor.
Aged gouda is a harder cheese with a sharper flavor. If you expected that the smoked variety of gouda would be more intense than the aged variety, you were wrong.
The aging process concentrates and intensifies flavors throughout the entirety of the cheese, while smoked gouda has a smokey, nutty flavor primarily in the rind and the areas close to the rind.
Smoked gouda is a delicious cheese that is more closely related in flavor and texture to other smoked cheeses like gruyere than it is to aged gouda, which is drier, sharper, and more intense in its flavor.
Smoked Gouda Nutrition Information
|Per 1oz smoked gouda cheese, according to eatthismuch.com|
Quick Table: Smoked Gouda Recipes
|Dee’s Smoked Mac And Cheese||682||3 hours 20 minutes|
|Smoked Gouda, Roasted Red Pepper, And Tomato Bisque||165||45 minutes|
|Smoked Gouda Cheese Straws||86||30 minutes|
Everyone loves a good bowl of mac and cheese, and if you have never tasted this elevated version with a rich, smokey twist, you are in for a treat.
This recipe turns a simple weekday dinner into a flavor experience you will want to share and revisit again and again.
If you like the taste of meat or bacon or mac and cheese, that mix of creamy cheesiness alongside umami and salty meat flavors, this smoked gouda mac and cheese is perfect for you.
Total Preparation Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
The complex flavors of smoked gouda are great on their own, but added to a bisque, the creaminess and smokiness of smoked gouda is put to an even greater use.
This bisque has the strong, vibrant flavors of tomatoes and roasted red pepper as its base, but those foregrounded tastes never interrupt the deep richness and umami wholesomeness of smoked gouda.
If someone were to serve you this bisque, you might not immediately know that it contains smoked gouda.
The flavors blend together into something greater than the sum of its parts, with a rich and complex taste that transcends the individual ingredients.
However, this soup would not be the same without smoked gouda, which elevates it above a simpler bisque.
Total Preparation Time: 45 minutes
This snack is perfect for a movie night or sports game and packs a world of flavor beyond what you can find in a bag of chips.
This innovative recipe makes use of the rich and complex flavors in smoked gouda to create a stackable treat that tastes gourmet. If you love the smokey, nutty taste of smoked gouda, you will love these convenient cheese straws.
This recipe is also surprisingly easy to make, so you won’t spend hours in the kitchen just making a snack for the family.
However, it’s a good idea to double or even quadruple the recipe if you are feeling hungry or serving a group – these delicious snacks go quickly.
Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Smoked Gouda Taste Like Meat?
Yes, a little bit. There are no meat products in smoked gouda cheese, but we associate the smokey flavors of hickory and cedar with meat so much that for many people, smoked gouda evokes familiar meats like bacon and ham.
The flavor and texture of smoked gouda are much cheesier than they are meaty. Smoked gouda is soft and rich, with a buttery, creamy flavor with a smokey taste, whereas meat is firm and chewy with lots of fat and umami flavor.
You would never mistake smoked gouda for meat, but the flavor evokes meat for many people.
What Is Smoked Gouda Good For?
There are many ways to make good use of smoked gouda cheese.
You can prepare a cheese plate along with other ingredients, eat it on its own, or spread it on a cracker. That way, you can experience the pure flavor of smoked gouda for yourself.
You can also cook with smoked gouda and prepare entirely new dishes. It makes an excellent addition to soups and bisques, as well as dips, and even baked goods.
Smoked gouda can also be sliced and added to sandwiches or salads, or melted on top of pizzas and flatbreads. It is a versatile cheese, and the ways you can use it are only limited by your imagination.
Is Smoked Gouda Cheese Strong?
There is a rich and complex flavor to smoked gouda cheese, but it is milder than you might think, especially when compared to the aged gouda cheese that most people are accustomed to.
The smokey flavor in smoked gouda cheese is refreshingly mild, accompanied by rich, buttery, nutty, and caramel flavors. While it is interesting and delicious, it doesn’t overpower other flavors and ingredients.
Why Does Smoked Gouda Not Melt?
Smoked gouda does melt, and if it isn’t melting there might be an issue with your cheese.
As a cheese with 45% buttermilk fat, smoked gouda melts more easily than cheddar and many other kinds of cheese. Although it is firm enough to cut into slices, smoked gouda melts easily and is ideal for melted dishes.
Do You Eat Smoked Gouda Rind?
Unlike the rind on aged gouda (which is inedible wax), smoked gouda has an edible rind that is full of smokey flavor.
Some people even prefer the rind to the interior cheese, which is softer and creamier but has a simpler and less interesting taste.
However, there are some health issues with eating the rind of smoked gouda cheese.
Carcinogenic chemicals called PAHs, which are responsible for health warnings on smoked meats and other smoked products, tend to concentrate in the rind of smoked gouda.
This might be where the most flavor is, but it also contains more carcinogens.