If any cheese embodies September, it’s aged Gouda. Its color mirrors the hues you see at farmers’ markets this time of year — in butternut squash, Indian corn, Bosc pears, cider.
And no surprise: the roasty sweetness of aged Gouda, pairs well with autumn flavors. I love to serve it straight up with green apples, salted almonds and soft caramel. For a dessert cheese board or as a starter before a harvest supper, this combination looks lovely on a plate. It also makes people bleat. It really does, I have heard them.
L’Amuse Gouda from Holland stands out for its highly crystallized texture – those crispy bits are achieved by aging the cheese at higher temperatures and humidity levels than other Goudas on the market.
Betty Koster, who owns a store called L’Amuse near Amsterdam, is the grand dame of Goudas. Her signature wheels are famous the world over because of her special aging technique. Each wheel takes two years to develop. (Go ahead, gasp.)
A hard cheese like this last a long time in your crisper, and it packs well in lunches or on trips to the movies. Wrap it well in waxed paper, then pop it into a large Zip-lock bag, and you can nibble off the edges 3 to 4 weeks.
Rhone reds are a great way to ring in autumn with this cheese, but my favorite drink this time of year is a harvest ale. Malty tones know how to love the sugar. Coffee stouts work well, too, and mimic what many Dutch traditionally sip alongside a rich, aged Gouda like this: a hot cuppa joe. (Go ahead, gasp again.)
For more nutty cheese ideas, please visit Madame Fromage.