Gouda is a smooth, mellow, yellow-rinded Dutch cheese, similar in taste and texture to Edam, only larger and flat.

Named after a Dutch town, Gouda is chiefly produced in factories although there are several farmhouses in which it is still made.

The cheese is pressed into its flat shape in cloth-lined moulds, then cured in brine and stored for up to 12 months.

There are two grades of Gouda – one with a fat content of not less than 45 per cent and the other which need not have more than 40 per cent fat.

Gouda generally weighs about 12 pounds, but there is also a miniature Gouda, which weighs about 1 pound, has a red rind and which is called Little Dutch.