Why Does Smoked Gouda Taste Like Bacon? (Explained!)

  • Smoked Gouda tastes like bacon due to the similarities in the smoking process, often using the same types of wood, like maple or hickory, which are also used for smoking bacon
  • The cheese itself does not contain bacon, and its bacon-like flavor comes from the smoking process rather than any meat products
  • Varieties like maple-smoked Gouda share flavors with maple-smoked bacon, enhancing the sweet and smoky taste
  • The smoking process, including the use of liquid smoke and traditional smoking methods, contributes to the bacon flavor resemblance
  • Smoked Gouda’s unique taste, combining nutty, sweet, and creamy flavors with a smoky note, makes it versatile in various dishes, from sandwiches to salads

Does Smoked Gouda Have Bacon In It?

The traditional form of smoked gouda does not have bacon in it, although there are varieties that may specifically include bacon as an ingredient.

So, this doesn’t explain why smoked gouda tastes like bacon.

To be honest, it’s not bacon that you’re tasting, but rather the smoking process.

Smoked gouda will get its flavor from the smoke.

Plus, smoked gouda is known to taste slightly different from aged gouda.

Gouda is typically a nutty, sweet, creamy, and mild cheese.

However, depending on which part of the world gouda is produced, the taste can vary somewhat.

As an example, Amsterdam gouda generally has a taste of caramel, butter, and rich milk.

That being said, aged gouda will be nuttier in flavor, and some of the sweetness may have turned to sharpness.

Smoked gouda is usually the younger variety, so will still be sweet and nutty but now with a smoked flavor.

Furthermore, smoked cheeses can often be made using the same equipment as smoked meats, which could potentially explain the bacon-like flavor.

However, liquid smoke is used far more frequently nowadays.

Something else to consider is that one variety is maple-smoked gouda.

Maple wood will enhance the sweet and mild flavor of gouda.

Plus, maple is often used to smoke bacon and ham.

So, what you could be tasting is simply similar to that of a smoked pork-based product.

Therefore, even though you’re not tasting bacon itself, the smoking process and the wood used are the same.

This, in effect, could trigger you into thinking that smoked gouda tastes like bacon.

Smoked gouda can also be smoked with hickory chips, and this might well explain the similarities to bacon.

Hickory chips are often said to exude a bacon-like flavor.

That being said, I still believe that the actual resemblance is nothing more than the smoky flavor you’re used to with smoked meats.

Hickory-Smoked Gouda

How Do You Eat Smoked Gouda?

Smoked Gouda can be eaten in a variety of ways.

It’s perfect for sandwiches, and as it melts quite well, you can also enjoy a beautifully sweet and smoky grilled cheese sandwich.

Additionally, smoked gouda goes extremely well in salads and a variety of cooked recipes that typically call for some form of cheese.

Smoked gouda, much like most cheeses, goes very well with a variety of fruits.

Plus, I urge you to try a few smoked gouda wedges with a mixture of nuts, chocolate, or both.

And, of course, no cheese would be a proper cheese unless it tasted awesome alongside a nice glass of red or white wine.

If wine’s not to your taste, then try smoked gouda with beer; trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Finally, if you’re anything like me, then simply cut up some smoked gouda and enjoy it on its own – beautiful.

Can You Eat the Rind of Smoked Gouda?

You will no doubt notice that smoked gouda has a brown rind.

This is very different from the red rind that you’re probably used to seeing on traditional gouda.

However, it just so happens that you can eat the rind of smoked gouda.

And just so you’re aware, the red rind on traditional gouda is made from wax and is, therefore, not edible.

Now, some people will state that the brown rind on smoked gouda compliments the cheese itself.

The rind will enhance the flavor of smoked gouda.

That being said, I know that rind is not for everyone.

So, it is likely that some people will find the rind too strong, bitter, and even texturally unpleasant.

Just to reiterate, the rind of smoked gouda is edible, although it may not be to everyone’s taste.

My Final Thoughts

So, I hope you understand that unless smoked gouda contains bacon itself, it doesn’t taste like bacon.

The main confusion is caused by the smoking process.

One variety is maple-smoked gouda.

And maple wood is often used to smoke bacon and ham.

So, it could be the maple-smoked flavor that reminds you of bacon.

Leading on from this article, it would only be natural for you to ask about removing the rind from the Gouda.

Does this article inspire you to experiment with smoked Gouda in recipes where bacon might traditionally be used?

Let us know in the comments below!


Q1: Does smoked Gouda contain bacon?
A1: No, traditional smoked Gouda does not contain bacon, although there are specific varieties that may include bacon as an ingredient. The bacon-like taste comes from the smoking process, not from actual bacon.

Q2: Why does smoked Gouda taste like bacon?
A2: Smoked Gouda tastes like bacon due to the similar smoking processes and types of wood used, such as hickory or maple, which are also commonly used to smoke bacon. This process imparts a bacon-like flavor to the cheese.

Q3: How do you eat smoked Gouda?
A3: Smoked Gouda can be enjoyed in many ways, including in sandwiches, melted in grilled cheese, in salads, with fruits, nuts, chocolate, or alongside wine or beer. It can also be savored on its own.

Q4: Can you eat the rind of smoked Gouda?
A4: Yes, the rind of smoked Gouda is edible. It has a brown color, different from the red wax rind of traditional Gouda, and can enhance the flavor of the cheese. However, personal preferences for taste and texture might vary.

Leave a Comment