The Differences — Gouda Cheese vs. Cheddar

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Aaron

  • Gouda features aromatic and caramel-like sweetness, while cheddar is stronger and sharper.

Gouda and cheddar are two different types of cheese. Gouda is a Dutch cheese, while cheddar is an English cheese. See the comparison table below:

Gouda CheeseCheddar
TextureSemi-hard, springySemi-hard, crumbly
TasteSweet and creamySharp and nutty
Aging Time2-18 months, or more2-18 months, or more
Calories455 per cup (4.5oz)513 per cup (4.5oz)

Gouda and cheddar are both aged cheese. You will usually find them aged around 2 months old up to a few years old in the deli. The longer the aging, the harder the cheese. They will likely to form cheese crystals as well.

Why is cheddar sharp but gouda sweet?

That’s because they were produced using different methods. In the making of cheddar, a process called ‘cheddaring’ where the curd blocks are cut, stacked and turned several times to press out more whey. That is to make the cheese sour (lowering the pH) so that it will develop a sharp taste better.

To make gouda cheese taste sweet, we do not want the pH to go low, so workers will ‘wash the curd’ with warm water. That washes out some lactose and reduces lactic acid production. It resulted in a sweeter and milkier taste. In addition, the wax coating on gouda also plays a part by limiting the oxygen getting in to slow down the acid production.

Warm water will also soften the curd a bit, thus producing a springy texture. Similar to how mozzarella making, where they’ll use hot water instead and that’s why you’ll find mozzarella stretchy in pizza.

Is cheddar actually healthier than gouda? and why.

According to the data from USDA FoodData Central, gouda and cheddar are both having high calcium and protein, which is quite normal among cheeses. While there are no significant differences in nutrition, it’s depending on the milk the producer use (and other factors) which affects the fat and cholesterol content.

But sometimes cheddar of the same age tends to be noticeably ‘heavier’ (in nutrition) and more ‘compact’ than gouda overall. Perhaps this is due to the long aging without a paraffin wax coat, which causes the cheese to dry up slightly faster. It means more water/moisture retained. But we can’t call it ‘healthier’ with just that.

Data from the Calories-Info has suggested a similar result.

It seems like no clear winner. But, do you want to look at just the calories, fat and sodium profile and call the gouda healthier? be my guest.

A note before you go… which one is better?

That’s a tough question to answer! Flavor-wise, they both have their own unique flavors and textures which makes them wonderful to enjoy. It depends on how you’d like to use them — gouda is resilient, exotics, and great for melting and making cheese sauces, while cheddar is perfect for grating and topping your food.

Price-wise, they can be bought at a similar price and not particularly pricy unless you go for the imported version.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Gouda cheese taste like Cheddar?

No, gouda and cheddar are two different kind of cheeses, and they have different and noticeable flavors. It also depends on the aging time and milk use of the cheese by different producers. You can start with a few popular brands for each, and find those that excite your palate.

Can you use Gouda instead of Cheddar?

Yes, you can use gouda to replace cheddar if you want it to be extra melty in your sandwich, toast, or quesadillas. Pair it with strong ingredients to tone down the sweetness. Otherwise, using aged gouda could be a better fit as the flavor will be more pronounced.

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