"GOUDA cheese place" Gouda by VincentJJ

Gouda Travel Guide: 177 reviews and 438 photos

Gouda old cheese city

HISTORY

The area were now Gouda lies, was still covered with swamps and wet land around the year 1000. One of the most important rivers cutting through that area was the "Gouwe" river. Alongside its banks the first settlers came to live during the 11th and 12th centuries. Most people came to built a house around the fortified castle of the familyu "Van der Goude" (close to the present St. John's church). The small city began to grow and named itself Gouda" (after the "Van der Goude" family).

Around 1225 the Gouwe river was connected with the Old Rhine through a new canal. The estuary of the Gouwe in the IJsel river was transformed into a harbour, which attracted more and more traders (navigating between Flanders-France on the one hand, and Holland and the Baltic area on the other hand).

Gouda was chartered in 1272 and the counts brought their tollhouse right to the city. By then the Van der Goude family had disappeared and had been replaced by the lords of Beaumont, who built a new and imposing castle on the banks of the IJsel in 1361. Already around 1350 the city had expanded to its maximum and fortified walls were constructed. Although fires (1361) and the plague (1438) did not spare the city, Gouda continued to thrive.

The plague inspired the god-fearing people of Gouda to build numerous convents and chapels. In the 15th century Gouda was rich, ranked among the five most important cities of Holland and was as large as Amsterdam. One of the most famous sons of Gouda was the 16th century humanist Desiderius Erasmus. He was born here and received his education here. Gouda developed into a thriving trade centre during the 15th century, with the focus of its trade lying on beer and cloth production. During the 80 years war Gouda became politically and economically isolated, but recovered in the 17th century due to new industries and trades such as cheese-making, pipe-making and the production of wax candles.

Gouda had always remained an industrial beehive. Some of the most important products to come from here are : candles, soap, sirup, yarn, rope, machines, terra cotta pots, pipes, etc.....

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All about GOUDA
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More than 50 percent of the total cheese production consist of Gouda cheese. Both the name of a town and a cheese, for centuries, farmers from the surrounding towns have brought their produce to the cheese market in Gouda.
The “Waag” (weigh house) in Gouda is one of many beautiful monuments in town and dates from 1668. During the summer, cheese is weighed here every Thursday morning in an attractive ceremony drawing many tourists. Anyone interested or hungry can also take the opportunity to taste some authentic Gouda cheese.

Cheese Information
Without any spices added, this cheese has a mild, creamy taste that has not changed since the Gouda cheese was first made several centuries ago. It is made from cow's milk that is cultured and heated up until the curds separate from the whey. About 10% of the mixture is curds which are pressed into circular moulds for a couple of hours. The moulds give the cheese its traditional shape. Next, the cheese is soaked in a brine solution which gives the cheese its rind and improves the taste. After the salt soaks in, the cheese is then dried for a couple days before being coated to prevent it from drying out. The cheese then ages for at least a couple weeks before it is ready to eat.

Cheese Museum
The old weigh house of Gouda is also a cheese museum nowadays. The Dutch dairy-industry and the city of Gouda are placed in the framework of cultural history, economy, architecture, society, agriculture, trade and industry by means of visual displays and modern interactive media devices.

  • Last visit to Gouda: Mar 2006
  • Intro Updated Oct 4, 2006
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VincentJJ

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