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Gouda 101 for Cheese Simpletons: Recipes and Pairings

If you're a cheese simpleton like me, you might see this post and wonder What does Gouda taste like? It has a strong, rich flavor. I think the best way to describe it is that Gouda tastes fancy. (Yes, fancy!) Old Amsterdam is an aged Gouda cheese made of cow’s milk. Compared to a younger Gouda, it has a harder texture, more deepened color, and an intense, buttery flavor with the slightest sweetness.

Have you ever made a sandwich, only to have your slice of cheddar add pointless, wasted calories because you can't taste it among all the other ingredients? This isn't a problem with a bold slice of Old Amsterdam Gouda. It also pairs well with simple ingredients, such as fruit, chocolate, and nuts, elevating a lackluster grouping of ingredients into something special. What sells it for me is the fact that Old Amsterdam Gouda can take an everyday food and dazzle it up.

A glass of Cabernet Sauvignon or a rich, ruby red Port (Sexy Nerd's favorite - it tastes like raisins to me!) would also be a nice complement for this cheese. Fancy.


Imagine this: You and your honey are in the woods, just the two of you, camping overnight and having a romantic picnic dinner. They are the one who packed the thoughtful meal - cherries, almonds, cheese, everything - without even having to be asked.

(Sexy Nerd has never and probably will never do this, hence the beauty - and necessity - of imagining.)


Forget those time-consuming egg salad sandwiches. It doesn't get any easier than this!

Looking for a casual, yet impressive, snack?


Place 2 peppered slices of lunch meat on a hamburger bun.

Add a fried egg, spicy brown mustard, and a slice of Gouda.

It's the same breakfast sandwich you've made a thousand times, but special.


"Can Gouda be grated?" you wonder. There's one surefire way to find out.

Old Amsterdam Aged Gouda grates amazingly. It turns super-light and fluffy.


I like to grate Gouda directly over a cold salad with lettuce, turkey, and tomatoes.

"Can I melt Gouda?" This question has me dreaming of an Old Amsterdam grilled cheese. Doesn't that sound yummy? Alas, no bread. We're well stocked with tortillas though. What New Mexico home isn't?

Try this: Sprinkle a handful of Gouda onto a tortilla.


Top with 4 or 5 tomato slices.


Sprinkle with dried rosemary and heat in the toaster oven for about 4 minutes, which is just the right amount of time to get the cheese nice and gooey but not overly crisp the tortilla.

Roll up into a scrumptious Gouda Tomato Wrap. Isn't it gorgeous?


And, of course, there are always Popovers with Onion and Gouda to be made!


Sexy Nerd, inspired by all my Gouda ideas, bought a loaf of bread on his way home Friday, snuck out of bed early yesterday morning, and surprised me with Eggs in a Basket (aka Bird's Nests, Egg-in-the-Hole, Toad in a Hole, etc. - around here, these are Eggs in a Basket!) made with Gouda. Now I feel bad about my picnic remark earlier in this post. Not quite bad enough to change it, but close.

You probably think he was being cute and creative by using the star-shaped cookie cutter. Actually, it's the only cookie cutter we own.

Really.


Sexy Nerd made this using Old Amsterdam Gouda and Hatch Green Chile. It may not be the most beautiful breakfast, but it was delicious!

Do I have your tummy grumbling for some Gouda yet? Old Amsterdam is sold in many grocery stores, including Trader Joes.

Old Amsterdam Giveaway!
***Estimated Prize Value = $50! Woo Hoo Hoo!***

Want to win some cheese (4 packages!) and other fun Old Amsterdam prizes? Kitty Deschanel and Old Amsterdam have teamed up to make it happen.


The Winner Receives:


Four mouthwatering packs of Old Amsterdam Premium Aged Gouda, enough to make all of the recipes listed above with plenty of cheese left over.


A hard-to-find Old Amsterdam tray for serving your cheese, along with a matching cheese knife.
Fun cheese knife fact: It's actually a mini version of a typical Dutch Gouda rocker knife, which is huge and is used to cut the large wheels of Gouda!


You'll also get crackers and adorable little flag toothpicks to make serving your Gouda extra fancy! Really, how cute are these?


Not only does the winner receive all of the awesomeness listed above, they get everything shipped to them inside an insulated Picnic Time picnic tote bag. See that Old Amsterdam zippered pouch at the bottom? It includes silverware, a napkin, and an adorable salt and pepper shaker set. So fun!

The bag came shipped to me full of Old Amsterdam cheese. Even after taking out the Gouda, Pica found the bag irresistible.

*This giveaway has ended. Thank you to everyone who entered.

Mandatory Entry:
Leave a comment on this post telling me how or when you might serve Old Amsterdam Gouda. Wouldn't it be perfect served at a Bunko party or book club? Ooh, or you could have a cheese tasting party (and invite your good friend Kitty!)


Optional Entries (leave 1 comment per entry method):


1. Follow Kitty Deschanel via GFC (right sidebar).


2. Like Old Amsterdam on Facebook.


3. Follow Kitty Deschanel on Facebook.


4. Follow Kitty Deschanel via Twitter.


5. Enter my Crepes Giveaway and comment here that you did.


6. Link up a post to the most recent Not "Baaad" Sundays blog hop and comment here that you did.


The Fine Print:
Open to residents of the US only. Giveaway ends on 7/11/11. The winner will be selected using Random.org and will be contacted via email.


I was not compensated for this review and giveaway. I received samples to try, independent of writing a review, then contacted Old Amsterdam myself in hope of partnering to provide a giveaway to my readers. The opinions expressed are 100% my own.