Gouda is a special kind of cheese. It presents itself in so many different ways, made by employing so many different techniques -- young and mild, smoked and hearty, aged into a state of sweet funkiness -- it is like the chameleon of cheese.
First mentioned sometime around the year 1184, Gouda may be one of the oldest recorded cheeses still being produced today. It's named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands, but cheese is now made in the Gouda style all over the world. Most people are familiar with the soft, pale, mild, young Gouda encased in bright red wax. But Gouda is also one of the best cheeses to ever be smoked, and also takes to aging particularly well. Aged Gouda was the first cheese that taught us how delightful the formation of salt crystals inside aged cheese can be, and we've never forgotten it. This Dutch creation is one of our favorite cheeses to eat on its own, to melt onto things and to cook with, in general. We've pulled together 15 compelling Gouda-recipe-reasons why in the slideshow below.