What Does Gouda Cheese Taste Like? A Detailed Answer

Gouda cheese is a Dutch cheese with a lot of fan following and is now an everyday staple for many. However, have you never tried gouda cheese before and are wondering what it tastes like? For that, read this article till the end! With the help of this article, you will know all about the flavor of gouda cheese.


The overall flavor of gouda cheese mostly depends on whether it is young or aged. Young gouda cheese will have a mild, nutty, and smooth flavor. Compared to that, aged gouda cheese is much more intense and has a crumbly texture.

There are also many flavor variations of gouda cheese available. With these, the overall flavor highly depends on the ingredients added to cheese during the production process. Gouda cheese is one of the most versatile types of cheese available out there.

It can be used on cheese boards, added to sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and even soups and salads. However, despite how popular this cheese has become, there are quite a lot of people who have never had the chance to try it. Many people even hesitate to try any type of new cheese. 

This is agreeably a very understandable phenomenon as certain types of cheese can have a very intense flavor. However, this is not really the case with gouda when you compare it with certain types of sharp-tasting cheeses.

But, it is also better to know about the flavor of gouda cheese before trying it out, just to know what to expect. With this article, you will get to know about the basic flavor of gouda, flavor variations, and a lot more information about the same. So, let’s find out all about gouda! 

What Is Gouda Cheese?

Before knowing about the flavor of gouda cheese, I do believe that it is important to know what the cheese actually is. Knowing all about where this cheese comes from and how it is made will give you a sigh of relief.

This is mainly because it will help you understand how exactly gouda cheese is different from those pungent-tasting cheeses. Gouda cheese is a creamy yellow cheese originally from the Netherlands. This cheese is generally made with cow’s milk.

This cheese first came to the world in the year 1184. Gouda cheese is still considered to be the oldest cheese that came into existence in the world. Traditionally, gouda cheese was handmade with unpasteurized milk by Dutch women. 

Now, most of the production of Gouda cheese is done industrially. However, you will still find some farmers making gouda cheese in the traditional way by hand, with unpasteurized milk. To make gouda cheese, the cultured milk is curdled and then washed after draining.

This process removes some of the lactose, which gives the cheese a sweeter flavor. Dutch cheese makers still use six categories to classify gouda cheese. These categories are:

  1. Young Cheese (Aged for four weeks)
  2. Young Matured Cheese (Aged for 8-10 weeks)
  3. Matured (Aged for 16-18 weeks)
  4. Extra Matured (Aged for 7-9 months)
  5. Old Cheese (Aged for 8-10 months)
  6. Very Old Cheese (Aged for 12 months or more)

What Does Gouda Cheese Taste Like?

With most varieties of cheeses, the flavor does largely depend on how long it is aged. While the base flavor profiles may remain the same through the aging process, there are some significant differences that do come in the texture and overall flavor of gouda cheese.

Out of all the categories mentioned above, the flavor starts off as really mild and gets more and more intense as it ages. The flavor of young gouda cheese is really mild. The cheese tastes creamy, nutty, and buttery when it is really young.

The flavor is often compared to the flavor of butter or even caramel in some cases. As the cheese ages, the flavor gets sharper and more pungent, and the texture of the cheese also gets drier. 

Mostly, aged gouda cheeses have a flavor that is often compared to the flavor of butterscotch and toffee. The texture of aged gouda cheese gets crumbly and is a little similar to the texture of parmesan cheese.

Other than these classic varieties of gouda cheese, which range from young to aged, nowadays, there are also many variations of gouda cheese available, all having a different flavor. 

Some of the flavors available in gouda cheese include smoked gouda, bacon gouda, fenugreek gouda, truffle gouda, and cumin gouda. You will still get the base nutty and creamy flavor from all these types, with the intensity depending on the cheese’s maturation. However, you will also get a strong flavor from the added flavoring to the cheese. 

What Does Gouda Cheese Smell Like?

We have all had our bad experiences with stinky varieties of cheese. Some of them, of course, depending on how they are made and how long they have been aged, have a smell that can be almost unbearable.

We all try to avoid tasting such types of cheese just because the smell can really put us off them to a very great extent. However, what really is the case with gouda cheese? Is it also one of those stinky cheeses that will immediately put you off? 

Luckily, the smell of gouda cheese is really mild. It just has a regular dairy smell that you would expect out of any type of dairy product. The smell is as neutral as the smell of goat cheese. This is usually the case with young gouda cheese.

As the cheese matures, its aroma does get a little more intense. However, it still is not stinky like some other types of cheeses! In case your gouda cheese does have a putrid smell, chances are that it has started to rot. 

Which Cheese Tastes Similar To Gouda?

Whenever it comes to new flavors, the easiest way to know whether you would actually like them or not is by comparing the flavor with a closely associated flavor. With cheeses, the case is usually that they all don’t really have the same taste.

But, one great thing is that they all do have similar flavors, as they are made in somewhat the same way. So, let me tell you what the flavors of gouda can be compared with to get a better understanding. 

Gouda cheese actually has a similarity in flavor to a variety of cheeses. The main types of cheeses which have a flavor comparable to the flavor of gouda are Monterey jack, eda, cheddar, muenster, gruyere, edam, and Havarti cheese. They do share a lot of similarities with gouda cheese, in terms of flavor and texture. 

Does Gouda Cheese Taste Like Cheddar?

As I had mentioned in the previous section, the flavor of gouda cheese is comparable to the flavor of cheddar cheese. Cheddar cheese is considered to be the most popular variety of cheese in the world.

It also has a soft and mild texture, just like young gouda cheese. How similar are their flavors, though? Let us find out. 

The overall flavor and texture of gouda cheese are actually quite similar to that of cheddar cheese. The main difference that most may see between these two kinds of cheese is probably only the color.

However, flavored gouda does taste different. Moreover, even regular gouda does taste slightly different from cheddar cheese. This is the reason why they are still distinguished as two different types of cheese. 

Does Gouda Cheese Taste Like Parmesan?

Parmesan cheese is another popular variety of cheese used in many recipes. Parmesan cheese, unlike gouda, is Italian in origin and usually grated on top of different recipes, such as pasta and salads.

Most people who have enjoyed Italian food will probably know what parmesan tastes like. So, does the flavor of gouda really compare to the flavor of parmesan cheese?

Parmesan is a hard cheese with an intense flavor and a hard, crumbly texture. The best way the flavor of parmesan can be described is by saying it has fruity and nutty notes of flavor. Gouda, on the other hand, has a milder flavor which is creamy and nutty.

Aged gouda cheese does develop a texture that is very similar to that of parmesan. However, even the flavor of aged gouda is not as nutty as parmesan, making the two cheeses taste different from each other. 

Does Gouda Cheese Taste Bitter?

Unless it comes to naturally bitter-tasting foods which do have other flavor profiles, most of us try to avoid bitter-tasting ingredients. There is really no bias against bitter food; it’s just that a bitter taste is not really palatable for everyone.

For this reason, people would avoid bitter food as much as possible. There have been instances of people saying their gouda tastes bitter. They are not completely wrong, though. 

Gouda cheese can have a slightly bitter taste to it. This, however, does depend on how ripe the cheese is. Younger gouda will have a mild and sweet flavor, whereas gouda that is really ripe tends to develop a slightly bitter taste.

This taste is palatable if eaten in moderation but can be overwhelming if you eat too much cheese at a time. Gouda cheese actually develops a bitter flavor while aging because of the calcium chloride and magnesium chloride in gouda, which developed due to incomplete digestion of milk protein. 

What Does Smoked Gouda Cheese Taste Like?

Smoked gouda cheese is not actually a real variant of gouda from when it was first produced. In fact, smoked gouda became popular much later.

The reason for its popularity is the added flavor that smoking provides to the cheese. Here I have given a detailed description of the flavor you can expect out of smoked gouda cheese. 

Smoked gouda, due to the smoking process, has a slightly different flavor compared to regular gouda. Overall, smoked gouda is a bit nuttier than regular gouda cheese.

You can also expect flavor notes which are buttery, creamy, and smooth, along with a sweet and salty flavor. Smoked gouda pairs really well with hams, eggs, and chives. 

What Does Aged Gouda Cheese Taste Like?

Usually, with any sort of cheese, the flavor and texture do get more intense as the cheese ripens. Gouda cheese is ripened for different amounts of time, with young cheese ending till really aged cheese.

The basic flavor notes would remain similar to a young gouda. However, there are some changes that you can taste. 

As gouda cheese matures, the cheese ripens and becomes hard. If we talk about really mature gouda cheese, the flavor is very intense compared to the mild and young gouda cheese.

The texture becomes flaky and powdery, similar to the texture of parmesan cheese. The flavor is rich, nutty, and caramel-like, with a flavor that can be compared to the flavor of butterscotch. 

What Does Chipotle Gouda Cheese Taste Like?

Some of us really cannot let go of spice, regardless of what form it may be in. So, to make all the spice lovers happy, cheese manufacturers have started making gouda infused with different types of spices.

One of the most common varieties of spices used to flavor gouda is chipotle spice. Also, a favorite amongst many, have you ever wondered what a delicious ingredient would taste like if it is infused with another delicious ingredient. It would taste marvelous, of course! 

To make chipotle gouda, young gouda cheese is infused with smoky chipotle spice and some chipotle peppers. Usually not aged for too long, chipotle gouda is soft and buttery in terms of texture.

The flavor of chipotle gouda is nutty, buttery, and sweet, followed by a zesty kick of spice and heat that you would get out of the chipotle spice and peppers. 

Does Gouda Cheese Taste Good?

Before we try a new ingredient, our thoughts basically all boil down to the same question, does it even taste good? It’s difficult to actually tell if something tastes good or not, to be completely honest. The reason behind this is that flavor is a very subjective matter. 

Liking certain types of flavors and textures does depend largely on what you have actually grown up eating and what sort of flavors you are accustomed to. So, it is a little difficult to explain if gouda cheese tastes good or not. But, let me try to answer this question in the best way possible. 

If you do like the flavor of dairy or mild cheeses in general, gouda will seem really palatable to you. This is especially true for young gouda cheese as it has a mildly sweet and nutty flavor with a buttery texture. Gouda cheese also pairs well with a range of foods and wines.

So, it can be said that gouda does taste good. However, if you do not like the flavor of strong cheeses or are tasting gouda for the first time, it is best to stick to a younger gouda as aged gouda will have a stronger flavor which might not be as per everyone’s liking. 

Different Types Of Gouda Cheese And Their Different Flavors

With gouda cheese, by now, you all know that the flavor does vary based on how long the cheese is aged. Basically, it starts with a mild flavor which gets more and more intense, depending on how mature it is. 

But, to make everyone happy, cheese manufacturers have come up with a variety of different flavors infused with gouda cheese. All these flavors are unique in their own way while carrying the base flavor of gouda. Given below are some of the most popular types of gouda cheeses, along with their flavors.

Type Of Gouda Flavor
Truffle Gouda The creamy and nutty flavor of gouda with earthy and garlic flavor notes from the truffles
Bacon Gouda Creamy and nutty gouda with a flavor of sweet and savory smoked bacon
Fenugreek Gouda Creamy and nutty with hints of fenugreek, resembling the flavor of maple syrup
Smoked Gouda Creamy, mild, and buttery with a caramel-like finish in the taste
Cumin Gouda Creamy, nutty, and buttery with spice flavor notes coming from the cumin

How To Tell If Gouda Cheese Has Gone Bad?

With dairy products, it becomes almost essential that we consume only fresh produce. Eating spoiled or expired dairy products can give you really bad stomach issues. But, with cheese, it can sometimes be difficult to tell if it has gone bad or not. 

The main reason behind this is the fact that most types of cheese are aged or matured. So, sometimes it does get difficult to distinguish a cheese from being aged to being spoiled. With gouda cheese, however, there are some methods that you can use to tell if it has gone bad or is just aged. 

1. Appearance Of The Cheese

The first way to tell if gouda cheese has gone bad or not is by carefully examining the appearance of the cheese. In case the cheese just looks darker in color, it is probably just a matured cheese.

However, if you do see regular discoloration or mold on the surface, the cheese has gone bad and should be thrown away. 

2. Smell Of The Cheese

Judging the spoilage of cheese by smelling it also works. Some types of cheeses do have a pungent smell when they are aged. However, if the cheese has actually gone bad, it will smell really putrid. Also, if the cheese smells sour, it is probably spoiled. 

3. Texture Of The Cheese

As the cheese goes bad, so does its texture to a very high degree. Aged gouda cheese will have a harder texture compared to younger cheese. However, if the cheese becomes extremely hard and crumbly, chances are that it has gone bad. But, do not just rely on this method to judge. 

How To Store Gouda Cheese Properly?

Storage is an important aspect when it comes to retaining the flavor and lifespan of a cheese. Gouda cheese, just like any dairy product, needs to be stored properly to ensure it stays fresh throughout. No one would want to buy cheese and then have it go bad in just a little while! 

So, quite a lot of you may know how to store different types of cheese. However, for those of you who want more information about the same, I have shared some tips below to ensure the proper storage of gouda cheese. 

1. In The Refrigerator

Gouda cheese, just like any other dairy product, needs to be refrigerated. If you have an entire wheel or chunks of gouda cheese, it is best to wrap them in parchment paper and then store them in the refrigerator.

Make sure you do take the cheese out of the original plastic, as any type of cheese needs to breathe. Keeping it wrapped in plastic will diminish the breathing process of the cheese and can dry it out.

Similarly, you can individually wrap slices of cheese in parchment paper and then store them in the refrigerator. Shredded cheese can be kept as it is. Your gouda cheese should last in the refrigerator for a maximum of two weeks. 

2. In The Freezer

To store your cheese for a longer period of time, you can also freeze it. With freezing cheese, a similar method follows where you wrap it in parchment paper. Alternatively, you can also store your cheese in an airtight container if you want to freeze it. 

All you have to do before you plan to use the cheese is to thaw it and bring it back to room temperature. You can take it out of the freezer about an hour before you plan to serve the cheese. This way, gouda cheese can be kept fresh for upto six months. 

Some Gouda Cheese Recipes That You Should Try

Some gouda cheese recipes to try

Gouda cheese is actually a really versatile cheese. With young gouda cheese, due to its mild flavor and soft texture, a lot of people prefer adding it to various recipes like macaroni and cheese, casseroles, sandwiches, and much more. There are also a lot of fans of aged gouda cheese due to its sharper flavor and texture. 

The textures of young and aged gouda cheeses might be different. However, their applications in various recipes are almost the same. Here, I have shared with you some of the best recipes using gouda cheese to get that perfect cheesy flavor and goodness of the same. 

  1. Eggs And Gouda Sandwich- Looking for a way to make your breakfast better? Try using gouda cheese! You can cook your eggs the way you like, add some avocados and bacon to your sandwich, along with a slice of gouda cheese. Try toasting the sandwich with some butter to melt the cheese, to get that extra cheesy goodness.
  2. Gouda Mac And Cheese- Bored of the same old mac and cheese? It’s time to add some gouda to it! Gouda cheese will work well with a combination of different types of cheese. Moreover, you can use either aged or young gouda, based on your preference of flavor that you would like. 
  3. Lasagna- Lasagna is traditionally made with ricotta cheese. But, you can also alternatively try using gouda cheese for the same. Instead of going for the classic ricotta and egg mixture, make a bechamel sauce and add gouda cheese to it. Use this cheese sauce for layering to get an added flavor. 
  4. Bisque- Soup with cheese is always a great combination. You can make any bisque of your choice and add some shredded gouda cheese to it. The cheese will add texture and flavor and make it overall gooey. 
  5. Casseroles- Casseroles are always a great idea because of their gooey goodness. Casseroles need very basic ingredients and can be made with any sort of meat or vegetables of your choice. The best way to enjoy gouda cheese is to add it to a casserole with bacon and cauliflower. 
  6. Salads- If you want to add texture and a sharp flavor to amplify any simple salad, add some gouda cheese to it. You can add young gouda cheese if you want a milder flavor. However, because of the sharper flavor and crumbly texture of gouda, aged gouda cheese will improve the flavor of any salad.
  7. Pizzas- Who doesn’t like a good pizza! If you are bored of the same old mozzarella, you should definitely mix it with some gouda. Gouda will pair particularly well with a barbeque-flavored pizza. 
  8. Spreads- Cheese spreads are a cracker’s best friend. You can make a decadent cheese spread or even dip it with a combination of various types of cheeses like gouda, provolone, cheddar, and cream cheese. Serve with crackers or toasted bread, and enjoy! 

Health Benefits Of Gouda Cheese

Health benefits of gouda cheese

Whenever we think of cheese, we immediately think of it as being unhealthy. Most of us associate cheese with a high amount of fat. This is actually quite true in the case of most types of cheese, as they do tend to have a high-fat content. Most types of cheeses are made with very highly fatty milk as it adds to their texture and flavor.

However, having a slight amount of fat is not all that is there to gouda cheese! Gouda cheese does have some health benefits attached to it, as it is rich in various nutrients. Some of the most common health benefits that you can get out of eating gouda cheese are given below. 

1. Good For Bone Health

Gouda cheese is a good source of calcium, just like most dairy products. Calcium is an important nutrient when it comes to overall bone health and strength. Eating a moderate amount of gouda cheese will give enough calcium to your body to not develop porous bones and osteoporosis. 

2. Supports Heart Health

Gouda cheese is high in saturated fats. However, it is also a good source of protein and vitamin D. So, although there is evidence that high-fat dairy products can be bad for heart health, some studies prove that eating moderate amounts of gouda cheese can support heart health. 

3. Helps With Weight Management

There have been a lot of studies carried out which show that having full-fat dairy can keep you full for a longer period of time. Gouda cheese, being a good source of fat, is believed to help with weight management, as it can help you stay full for a longer time. 

4. Good For Digestive Health

Gouda cheese actually contains a low amount of lactose. For this reason, people with lactose intolerance can also enjoy gouda cheese without worrying about bad after effects. 

5. Good For Immune Health

Gouda cheese is a good source of zinc. Zinc has been associated with improving overall immune health and is also good for protein synthesis. 

Nutritional Values Of Gouda Cheese

By now, you all know that there are quite a few health benefits attached to gouda cheese. All these health benefits are prevalent, all because gouda cheese is a good source of various nutrients. Gouda cheese is a good source of vitamin B12, calcium, and many more nutrients.

So, if you are still skeptical about adding gouda cheese to your diet, I think you should check out its nutritional values. This will give you a better understanding of whether to invest in gouda cheese or not. 

Nutrient Amount (Serving size 1 oz or 28 grams)
Calories 101 kcal
Fat 7.8 grams
Carbohydrates 0.6 grams
Protein  7.1 grams
Sodium 232 milligrams
Calcium 198 milligrams
Phosphorous 155 milligrams
Zinc 1.11 milligrams
Vitamin B12 0.4 micrograms


Gouda cheese is a creamy yellow cheese from the Netherlands. The texture of this cheese can be soft or hard, depending on how long it is aged. The base flavor of young gouda cheese is creamy and buttery, along with a nutty taste. This taste intensifies as the cheese matures. 

Cheesemakers have classified gouda cheese into six categories based on how long the aging process goes on. There are also many flavor variations of gouda cheese available, which are preferred by many. Gouda cheese is rich in various nutrients, just like many dairy products. 

However, gouda cheese is also high in fat and particularly saturated fat content. Although there are many health benefits attached to gouda cheese, it is always best to eat it in moderation. Eating high-fat cheeses such as gouda in moderation will give you better health benefits. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is gouda cheese?

Gouda cheese is a soft yellow cheese. 

Where is gouda cheese from?

Gouda cheese is from the Netherlands. 

Is gouda cheese always soft?

Young gouda cheese is always soft. As the cheese matures, its texture gets harder. 

What does gouda cheese taste like?

Gouda cheese has a nutty and buttery flavor that gets more intense as it ages. 

How many types of gouda cheese are there?

Based on the aging process of the cheese, cheese makers have classified gouda cheese into six categories. 

Are there flavored variations of gouda cheese available?

Yes, there are flavor variations of gouda cheese available, like bacon gouda, truffle gouda, and cumin gouda. 

Is gouda cheese healthy?

Yes, gouda cheese is healthy as it is rich in various vital nutrients. 

Is gouda cheese fatty?

Gouda cheese does contain a high amount of fat. 

Does gouda cheese make you gain weight?

If not eaten in moderation, gouda cheese can make you gain weight. 

Can you eat gouda cheese as it is?

Yes, gouda cheese can be enjoyed in its original form with fruits and crackers. 

Can you eat the rind of gouda cheese?

No, the rind of gouda cheese is not edible. 

Do you need to refrigerate gouda cheese?

In case you plan to eat gouda immediately after buying it, there is no need to refrigerate it. However, for longer storage, it is best to refrigerate it.