No.  Not Gouda, not smoked Gouda.  Aged Gouda.  I’ve had regular Gouda, and its okay.  Once, I thought smoked Gouda was the bomb, and to this day it’s the one I’ll pick on those catered cheese & fruit trays because it’s better than the chedder & pepper jack cubes.*  And the brie on those cheese trays is always insipid.  So, the smoked Gouda has its place.

But.  Aged Gouda, which I had for the first time only a few years ago, is divine.  It is crumbly and has this odd grittiness to it, which probably doesn’t sound appealing, but trust me, it is.  It’s nutty with overtones of butterscotch and absolutely delicious. Gouda is traditionally made from cow’s milk.

To be honest, I have never focused on brands of aged Gouda, but I will look into it and provide a new post if I have particular recommendations.  If you have particular recommendations, please let me know in the comments.  In general, the longer it has aged (I’d go for 18 months at least) the stronger the flavor.   And strong, for aged Gouda, is not the pungent kind of flavor that is stinky or makes you say “phneh” (which is good in some cheeses), but simply a stronger impact of the nutty, buttery flavor.

It can reliably be found at specialty cheese shops and also online.

*The cheddar is always mild on those trays & thus disappointing; pepper jack is for melting on things, it has a good blending taste, but is lacking the oomph necessary for a solo performance, in my not so humble opinion.