Just for kicks, we decided to have our own little Battle of the Goudas at Chez Erber. The final decision was made by a toddler, so that’s always exciting.The first contestant was the ever-popular (and eternal Cheesetique staple) Beemster XO, a 26-month pasteurized cow’s milk Gouda renowned for its deep butterscotchy flavor and dense, chewy texture. The second, a relative youngster, was Wilde Weide, a raw cow’s milk Gouda aged for about 15 months. Both cheeses hail from the Netherlands.
The big question is: will advanced age beat out raw milk?
Aroma: You can smell Beemster’s sweet richness a mile away. Your hands smell like butterscotch after you’ve handled it. Wilde Weide is more delicate so you don’t get that same aromatic punch. Winner: Beemster.
Texture: Beemster is chewy and crunchy, bordering on brittle. Wilde Weide is also super-firm, but raw milk makes it more creamy on the palate. Winner: Wilde Weide.
Flavor: Beemster is intensely sweet and savory at the same time, tasting of salty butterscotch. Wilde Weide is more subtle, still having butterscotch notes, but not so “in-your-face.” Winner: Wilde Weide.
Overall: For a more nuanced flavor with excellent creaminess, go for Wilde Weide. If you want an intense “a little goes a long way” experience, go for Beemster.
To make the final decision, I checked with the nearest 2-year-old child, who happens to be the exact same age as the Beemster we tested. Which did she prefer? The pictures speak for themselves.
The moment of anticipation. Which will she choose?
The first bite. Not necessarily the method I’d recommend in good company.
The face says it all. The winner is… Wilde Weide! (at least for this toddler)