Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cheese: Sheep Gouda

Rachael let me try some sheep Gouda recently and my love of Gouda continues to grow. Gouda is a soft, mellow cheese that originated in Gouda, Holland. I have always loved it on crackers or sandwiches, or just plain. It is my preferred cheese on backpacking trips. Then I discovered goat Gouda which I did a blog on. I learned that goat milk changes the taste quite dramatically. It has a stronger taste and I like it. I also learned that aging makes a big difference in the taste and texture of the Gouda. As it ages, the cheese gets more firm and the taste gets sharper, deeper and more powerful. Cypress Grove Creamline Lamb Chopper is a Gouda made out of pasteurized sheep milk in Holland. 
It is aged for three months and then shipped to the U.S. for Cypress Grove Chevre. Comparing Goudas is tricky because you are not only comparing the milk type, but also the aging, and both change the taste dramatically. I loved the sharpness and the power of the aged goat Gouda. But to appreciate it, you have to eat it in small doses or it will overwhelm the palate. This sheep Gouda is smooth, buttery and a little fruity. I could sit down and eat an entire wedge. It is comfort cheese. It is a little stronger than cow's Gouda, and I like that about it. I will continue to be on the lookout for more sheep Gouda, hopefully in different stages of aging, so that I can develop my understanding and appreciation of it.  

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