U.S. Dairy Products > Cheese > Cheese Categories

Gouda & Edam

Varieties include:gouda and edam

  • Gouda
  • Smoked Gouda
  • Edam  

Manufacturing Process

These cheeses are made in a similar process to semi-soft cheeses, but they use specific starter cultures and only the highest quality milk to produce these "sweet-curd" cheeses. The primary difference between the two is that gouda is made with whole milk, while edam is produced with part-skim. Flavored goudas have spices or herbs added to their curd, prior to pressing, smoked versions can be natural cheese wheels smoked in a smokehouse, or pasteurized process cheese log with a brown coating with liquidized natural smoke essence on the rind.  


These cheeses can be shredded, sliced and cubed. Gouda and edam melt well, but gouda, with its higher milkfat content, will flow when melted and resist browning, Edam will flow less and brown better. Edam, with its denser texture, is the better choice for slicing, but either one can easily be shredded.  

Key Applications

Their melting ability makes them ideal for sauces, soups, casseroles and roulades. They can be blended easily with other cheeses to build signature gourmet pizzas. Gouda is available flavored with a variety of herbs, spices and more. Edam is sliceable, making it perfect for sandwiches and consumer-ready snacks. Smoked gouda is a popular snack cheese, and aged gouda is perfect for the cheese course. Aged gouda, with its robust nutty, caramel and butterscotch flavors and easy melting properties, is an excellent addition to sauces and cream soups.  

Marketing Advantages

Add value to products in a cost-effective manner. Young versions are mild and buttery and have universal appeal. Aged versions have premium European-style image and gourmet appeal.  

Key Benefits in Foodservice and Prepared Foods

Range of flavors and textures from part-skim edam to whole milk mild gouda, to aged gouda, as well as smoked and flavored. Ease of shredding and melting makes these cheeses a good topping choice for hot or cold applications. Good choice for casseroles or roulades. Popular in gourmet pizza blends.