Wisconsin Smoked Gouda
June 24, 2009
A few days ago, I received my first cheese from a fan with a note asking me to sample and review it. It was sent to me by Gary, The Man’s BFF of more than 50 years… now that’s a best friend… who is NOT in the cheese industry; but a fan of Smoked Gouda and one of his life’s quests is the search for a perfect Smoked Gouda. Between you and me, I am pretty sure it is the journey that interests him and not the destination…so many Smoked Goudas and so few meals to enjoy it…
The wedge Gary sent was wrapped in a plastic wrap and outer wrapped in a parchment paper. The only tag on it was a Rogue Creamery tag (Gary was in the Rogue Valley for his grandson’s high School graduation) that had the weight and the price and the following information, “Smoked Gouda, Pasteurized, Wisconsin, Cow”. I was not able to learn who the cheesemaker is; but I am almost certain it was not the Rogue Creamery. Most cheese shops at creameries sell cheeses other than their own. The Lady brought home several cheeses from Wisconsin which she bought at the Roth Kase Cheese Shop. Some were from other creameries.
Comment received from Tom, Rogue Creamery Cheese Shop:
“The smoked gouda you ate was made by Master Cheesemaker Jeff Wideman’s team at the Maple Leaf Cheese Co. of Monroe Wisconsin. Rogue Creamery would have wrapped the cut piece in Formaticum cheese paper (wax paper lined with a layer of pourous plastic).”
When The Lady opened the package, the pleasant smell of the smoke escaped and filled the air. So far; so good.
The Lady then did the unspeakable…she made The Man and me wait a half hour while the cheese warmed to room temperature. In case you don’t know, this Feline Foodie has a real problem with that delayed gratification thing…it’s highly over-rated…
She explained that the flavors will be much more intense and enjoyable if the cheese is served at room temperature…yea, yea, yea…feed me…
After warming, she cut small cubes for The Man and me to taste. It had a slightly oily surface from sitting out and the smoked smell was even more intense. This cheese was mild and creamy with the smoke taste being quite intense; maybe a little too intense for my tastes. There was a slight bitter after taste; which I found interesting and not unacceptable.
The cheese was a pale creamy yellow color and the rind was a tan and appeared to have been bandage wrapped; but that’s a guess on my part. It did not have a waxed wrapping. The top was not smooth with a rough finish that resembled cloth; another reason I think it was bandage wrapped.
I understand that Gary likes Smoked Gouda in omelets and this Feline Foodie thinks that would be a good match.
I give this Smoked Gouda 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving Suggestions: Omelets and other egg dishes. It would be a nice addition for au gratins such as broccoli or potatoes, especially if mixed with another cheese such as Beecher’s Flagship.
Beer Pairings: Geist Bock from Golden Valley Brewery
Source: Cow’s Milk from Wisconsin