Most people think Gouda cheese is only produced in the Netherlands, but that is far from true. Gouda is named after a city in the Netherlands; however, Gouda cheese is made and sold all around the world. While the Dutch made Gouda cheese a household name, many other countries make this creamy rich, melt-in-your-mouth cheese.
The Eichten Family has been making their award-winning Dutch cheese in Minnesota since 1976. Just one year into making cheese, they began experimenting with flavored Goudas and to their success have 13 different flavors including Tomato Basil, Chipotle Pepper, Herb n’ Spice, and their newest Olive Tapenade.
What sets Gouda cheese apart from other cheese is the cheese-making process. It is made from cow’s milk that is cultured and heated until the curd is separated from the whey. As it ages, it develops a caramel sweetness and sometimes has a slight crunchiness from salt-like crystals that form in older cheeses.
What makes the Eichtens a natural artisan cheese company is their unique process of making the cheese in small batches. This gives the cheese a superior taste and flavor. Spices and herbs are than added to give each flavored cheese its own original taste. The company is faithful in not adding coloring, additives, artificial flavors, preservatives, antibiotics, or medications.
The aging process requires the cheese to be stored in an aging room that is kept at an exact temperature. The cheese must reside in a warming room until it reaches the perfect level of acidity. Correct breathing and aging calls for the cheese to be moved and turned daily by hand.
Then the curing process begins when the cheese is put into a brining tank. The cheese is again turned by hand and watched before it is then moved along to the aging room. Once the aging begins, the cheese is turned every 10 days and aged for at least 60 days.
Gouda is a nice addition to cheese trays, salads, and sandwiches. You can even serve it as a dessert cheese with fruit and your favorite wine.
For more information about the Eichten Family, please go to Specialtyfoodservices.com/cheese