We get this question all the time in the shop and it can be hard to explain if you are unprepared for it. Both are delicious, both come in various flavors (in our shop anyway), and (if we really want to be thrown for a loop) these cheeses are made from the same ingredients.
The differences begin with the amount of those ingredients and lead into the process in which these cheeses are made. The process begins the same, but soon veers in different directions.
Gouda (a much softer curd) is corralled, stuffed into forms by hand, and then sits under a press for a few hours. Cheddar presses the whey out of itself by being stacked, turned, and stacked again. This is known as the “cheddaring process”. The Cheddar is then cut into small pieces known as Squeakers!
After the curd is pressed into wheels, the Gouda is aged for a minimum of 6 weeks to give it flavor and a smooth texture.
As finished products, these two cheeses have similar textures but differ a bit in flavor. Gouda is know for being creamy, full-flavored, nutty, and almost sweet. Cheddar is more mellow in character, but maintains a rich and creamy flavor. OR, if all of this is completely boggling your mind, swing on by the shop and we will cut you fresh samples so you can taste for yourself!