Grocery Guides

Gouda Cheese – All You Need to Know | Instacart Guide to Fresh Produce



Last Updated: Nov 2, 2021

What is gouda cheese?

Gouda cheese is a Dutch cow milk hard cheese with a creamy flavor, a yellow color, and a sweet aftertaste. Gouda’s taste varies significantly with age, becoming more earthy and caramelized with time instead of the sweetness of younger cheeses. It originated in the Netherlands and is one of the most popular cheeses in the world.

It is produced chiefly on a massive scale. However, about 300 cheesemakers in the Netherlands still produce small batches of gouda from unpasteurized milk, following traditional methods (unpasteurized cheese is not allowed under United States regulations). Gouda cheese is served as a snack (in the Netherlands, people pair it with mustard and cut it in cubes, a staple of social gatherings), used in cooking, and eaten by itself.

Where did gouda cheese originate?

Gouda cheese originated in modern-day Holland, and there are records of it existing as far back as the 10th century. Gouda is one of the oldest European cheeses, and it has been perfected for almost a thousand years. This cheese variety is named after the region of Gouda, not necessarily because it is produced there, but because that was where it was traditionally sold in regional markets. Gouda’s global expansion has been meteoric, and you can now find it in most supermarket dairy aisles. You can also order it via Instacart in your next pick-up or delivery order.

How is gouda cheese made?

The first step is to curdle some cultured milk. Like with any cheese, the whey is drained out, a time-consuming process that lies at the core of cheesemaking. Some water is then added to the curdles, making the cheese slightly sweeter and removing some lactose. The curds are then pressed in circular molds for several hours and submerged in the brine. The cheese then dries for several days and is covered with its distinctive yellow plastic, which prevents it from drying out. Gouda is composed of 48% milkfat, so it is a rich and delicious dairy fare.

How do I choose gouda cheese?

It all has to do with age. The older the cheese is, the more it will taste like butterscotch or caramel. Dutch cheesemakers categorize gouda depending on how long it has aged. Categories are as follows:

  • Young cheese (4 weeks)
  • Young matured (8–10 weeks)
  • Matured (16–18 weeks)
  • Extra matured (7–9 months)
  • Old cheese (10–12 months)
  • Very old cheese (12 months or more)

What should I look for when buying gouda?

Gouda is best tasted in cubes, a traditional snack in the Netherlands, which you can incorporate in your next picnic or party spread made up of foods such as cold cuts, crudités, crusty bread, and spreads.

And remember that if you are looking to have your groceries delivered, you can easily shop for Gouda cheese via Instacart. After adding a product to your cart, use the “Instructions” option to notify your Instacart shopper about any preferences or specific directions on how to choose the best products. Shop for gouda cheese.

What is the best wine pairing for gouda cheese?

A full-bodied red is the best option. A Shiraz or a deep red Cabernet Sauvignon could make a great option, as could a Bordeaux. However, milder reds are also gentle to the palate when paired with gouda. Think of Grenache, Gamay, Barbera, Tempranillo, or Zinfandel. If your thing is white wines, then a Chardonnay or a fruity Riesling will do the trick. Chardonnay’s buttery qualities go amazingly well with gouda’s milky and caramel notes. Riesling, in particular, gives the pairing a refreshing end full of tropical fruit flavors.

The rule of thumb when balancing the perfect bite of cheese and sip of wine is that the older the cheese, the smaller the bite. 

What is the best beer pairing for gouda cheese?

If you love the beer and cheese double-punch combo, then a brown ale or an imperial stout is your best bet, as the caramel notes in both add to the deep and somewhat smoky sweetness of the cheese. 

What is the nutritional value of gouda cheese?

When it comes to nutrition, Gouda is one of the richest cheeses around. Since it is full of good, fatty milk, it is rich in calcium, which helps with bone health and muscle contraction and helps prevent blood clots. An ounce of Gouda contains 198mg of calcium, roughly 20% of the daily requirement in a 2,000 calorie diet. An ounce of Gouda also contains 7g of protein, adding between 12-15% of the daily intake for an adult! It is also rich in vitamin B12, which encourages the growth of new red blood cells, and zinc, which is crucial for the immune system. 

How should I store gouda cheese?

Once you receive your gouda cheese through an Instacart delivery or pick-up order, place it in the warmest section of the fridge, in the middle or bottom shelf, towards the front. If you buy a whole gouda wheel and it is still all covered in its staple yellow plastic or wax, it can last for months in the fridge.

When you cut into the wheel or buy gouda by the slice or in wedges, place it in the vegetable drawer at the bottom, as even the slightest freezing can alter the flavors. Use parchment paper to cover it rather than cling wrap, as plastic suffocates the cheese and can dry it up. And don’t worry if you find small, white crumbs in your cheese: they are amino acids resulting from good aging.

Find gouda cheese near you

Remember that you can find the best gouda cheese near you via Instacart. Shop for gouda cheese and order it for delivery or pick-up via Instacart!



Instacart is the leading online grocery platform in North America, partnering with more than 700 beloved national, regional and local retailers, including unique brand names, to deliver from more than 65,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in North America. To read more Instacart posts, you can browse the company blog or search by keyword using the search bar at the top of the page.

Most Recent in Grocery Guides

Herring – All You Need to Know | Instacart Guide to Groceries

Grocery Guides

Herring – All You Need to Know | Instacart Guide to Groceries

What is herring? Herring is a small, oily fish that is commonly found in Scandinavian, Eastern European, German, and English cuisine. It's a very versatile fish that can be prepared in a wide variety of ways -…...

Nov 19, 2021
Anchovies – All You Need to Know | Instacart Guide to Fresh Fish

Grocery Guides

Anchovies – All You Need to Know | Instacart Guide to Fresh Fish

Anchovies are nutrient-dense small fish that are most often used in Italian and Asian cuisine. They are also used to make a savory paste that is used in many global cuisines. Discover just how healthy anchovies are as…...

Nov 19, 2021
Imitation Crab – All You Need to Know | Instacart Guide to Groceries

Grocery Guides

Imitation Crab – All You Need to Know | Instacart Guide to Groceries

What is imitation crab? Imitation crab is fish that's been processed to look, taste, and feel like real crab meat. Unlike the real deal, imitation crab meat is an affordable protein that's readily available in many supermarkets…...

Nov 18, 2021