That’s the first time I’ve ever heard Gouda called an uncommon cheese.
I like Brie. I have to wonder what the OP would think about blue cheese! Seriously, just go to delicatessen or supermarket a good cheese counter, and try small quantities of several different cheeses and see what you like.
I was in France just before my parents’ silver wedding anniversary and on my way home. So I bought a whole brie (over 18" diameter) and set it on the back shelf of the car. By the time I got to their home it was deliciously ripe.
Agree with this: a good quality brie on a really good cracker or slice of French bread and offset with the right fruit is awesome, particularly with the right wine.
Top tip: Manchego with green figs and a light drizzle of honey is amazing.
Yeah, that was baffling. Your basic hard cheeses like Gouda, Edam and Emmental are staples in my local supermarkets, alongside the 27 different types of cheddar (seriously, that is too much cheddar, no matter how much call there is for it) and mozzarella.
When I said uncommon, I meant uncommon from most American households. I would guess that the vast majority of people have only had the typical cheeses in the deli case made by Kraft, like cheddar, swiss, and maybe jack. American supermarkets have lots of different cheeses, but most Americans don’t try a wide variety of cheeses. Gouda would be an uncommon cheese to most Americans even though it is sold in just about every supermarket.
Supermarkets wouldn’t have had special cheese sections for nearly 40 years if people didn’t like trying different cheeses.
I mean, our local Kroger growing up (built in 1980, IIRC), had a cheese section that included stuff like aged Cheddar, Brie, Camembert, Stilton, etc…
The cheap Gouda and Edam were back in the dairy aisle with the generic rat-trap cheddar, block part-skim mozzarella, laughing cow, babybel and Treasure Cave blue cheese, so I can’t think that Gouda was anything but common by the 1980s.
To shift topics a hair; ISTR that most Brie/Camembert for the US market is made differently than the European versions- something to do with US consumers not liking the cheese to ripen to the runny consistency that the European ones do. Not sure if it’s a different production process w.r.t. the curds, or if it’s a different culture/mold, or if there’s something else going on (some sort of stabilization or pasteurization?). But it would explain why the cheese I got in the UK while studying there would gradually get more runny, while the stuff I get in the US just dries out over time without appreciably changing.
Yeah, I tend to think of Gouda as a pretty common cheese. 1980s would have been when I became familiar with it. I thought I didn’t like gouda (or, rather, I thought it was a boring cheese indistinguishable from all the other similar white cheeses) until I discovered aged gouda. Now that was a revelation. Around five years is my sweet spot for that cheese. Seven and up is a bit over-aged, in my opinion. I think it shines at just around five years. That may well be my favorite hard cheese to nosh on.
The rumor was that American-made cheese was not as good as overseas because our cheese makers were forced to use pasteurized milk.
Piss vs. ammonia
It’s true that the ammonia flavor strengthens as you get closer to the circumference of the Brie/Camembert wheel. The trick is to eat the center portion before offering the rest to your guests. Of course, you need to have an evil heart, like me.