Do You Remove the Rind From Gouda? (Solved!)

  • Traditional Gouda’s red wax rind is man-made and not edible, so it should be removed before consumption. This contrasts with edible natural rinds found on other cheeses.
  • Smoked Gouda has a brown, natural rind that is edible and can add flavor to dishes, though its enjoyment is subjective.
  • The wax rind on Gouda prevents the formation of a natural rind, ensuring the cheese doesn’t dry out, which mirrors the preservation techniques seen in cheeses like Babybel.
  • Removing the wax rind from Gouda can be easily done by peeling it off with fingers or cutting it with a knife, similar to peeling fruits with non-edible skins.
  • Smoked Gouda rind can enhance the flavor of cooked dishes, a practice akin to adding Parmesan rinds to soups and sauces for extra depth.

Should I Always Remove the Rind From Traditional Gouda?

A 3D render of several Gouda cheese wedges

The general rule of thumb with cheese rind is that if it is partly or fully man-made, then don’t eat it.

When it comes to traditional Gouda, the red rind is wax and, therefore, fully man-made.

So yes, you should remove the rind on traditional Gouda.

In effect, this is a synthetic rind that has specifically been added to Gouda to prevent a natural rind from forming.

You see, rinds form naturally as part of the cheesemaking process.

Plus, the more aged a cheese is, the more of a rind it is likely to have.

So, Gouda is coated in wax and then set out to dry and age.

As I say, this stops a natural rind from forming.

Furthermore, the addition of the wax rind will ensure that Gouda doesn’t dry out due to being exposed to air.

That being said, this doesn’t mean there won’t be a natural rind under the red wax coating.

To remove the rind from Gouda, you can either cut it away with a knife or simply peel it off with your fingers.

You’ll find that the wax coating is fairly easy to peel off, as it’s not bonded to the cheese.

And just in case you weren’t aware (although you shouldn’t need telling), Babybel, which are, in fact, mini Goudas, should also always have the red wax removed, as it is not edible.

How to Cut Red Wax Off Gouda

Can I Eat and Use Smoked Gouda Rind For Cooking?

A 3D render of a Gouda cheese wheel with a knife stuck in it

Another extremely popular variety of cheese is smoked Gouda.

Now, things are a little here, and you’ll notice that the rind of smoked gouda isn’t the typical bright red more commonly associated with the traditional variety.

It’s a brown rind, which seems to perfectly complement smoked Gouda cheese.

The rind on smoked Gouda is edible, although whether you enjoy the taste is a matter of personal preference.

For me, if I’m simply eating a wedge of smoked Gouda, then I’ll remove the rind.

However, if I use Gouda in a sandwich, there are a couple of ways to enjoy the rind.

Firstly, you can just leave it on the cheese, and if you grill your Gouda sandwich, you’ll notice it takes on a lovely crispy texture.

Then again, you can also remove the rind and then place it in the cheese while it melts.

This simply enhances the flavor of the cheese, as far as I’m concerned.

You can also use smoked Gouda rind when cooking.

It adds a new dimension and flavor to soups, pasta sauces, etc.

Realistically, Parmesan rinds will probably work better, but there’s still no harm in adding smoked Gouda rind to a variety of cooked dishes.

My Final Thoughts

A close-up 3D render of a hand using a knife to cut through the rind of a Gouda cheese

So, I hope you understand that whether you remove the rind from Gouda will depend on the type of Gouda.

Traditional gouda cheese is covered in a red wax coating.

This is man-made, and therefore it is not edible.

You can simply cut off the red rind or peel it off with your fingers.

Admittedly, there will be a natural rind left underneath if you peel off the red wax, but as the rind is natural, it is edible.

This is also why the brown rind on smoked Gouda is edible.

It is completely natural, forms part of the Gouda, and will enhance the flavor of the cheese.

That being said, the taste is a matter of personal preference, so you’ll have to try it for yourself.

You can also add smoked Gouda rind to various recipes, such as soups and pasta.

Then again, just add it to a sandwich and enjoy.

Going back to what I mentioned earlier, here’s another article I wrote discussing why Babybel cheese has wax.

Does this article prompt you to explore different types of Gouda?

Let us know in the comments below!

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