The Dutch Tradition

Gouda cheese market in Holland

Wheels of Gouda on sale at
Gouda's cheese market in Holland.

Named after the Dutch town of Gouda, just outside Rotterdam in the province of Zuid-Holland, Gouda cheese accounts for more than 60% of the cheese produced in Holland and has a very long history. Unfortunately, most of the Gouda exported to the United States is of the bland variety encased in red paraffin with an overwrap of cellophane and is generally passed over by true cheese-lovers. However, farmstead Gouda is an altogether different experience. Fruity and tangy when young (at about 4 months) and dense with molten honey and butterscotch notes when aged (after 2 years), this cheese has complexity yet retains a rustic essence. Farmstead gouda is one of the best-kept secrets of cheese connoisseurs and is known as the gouda the Dutch keep for themselves.

Making farmstead gouda in the Dutch tradition is part of Frisian Farms’ heritage and commitment to its Dutch ancestry. Frisian Farms is located just outside Pella, Iowa, which has a national reputation as being a “touch of Holland.” Pella is a predominantly Dutch community that has retained strong ties to its ancestry by preserving Dutch culture through its food, shops, crafts and architecture including traditional windmills and a historical village. Each year the town celebrates its Dutch heritage with a three day tulip festival that draws over 200,000 visitors who come to enjoy the tulips, food, Dutch dancing, parades and crafts. Learn more about Pella by visiting