Saturday, January 20, 2007

What's a "Double Cream" Gouda?

Many people who have tasted Double Cream Gouda don't know what 'Double Cream' means. It is a measure of how much butterfat the cheese contains. 40% to 45% of the solid material in the average cheese is butterfat. If a cheese's butterfat content is between 60% and 74%, it is labeled 'Double Cream.' If its butterfat content is 75% or more, it is considered 'Triple Cream.'

Most cheeses are between 50% and 70% water. The rest consists of protein, fat and other dry solids. Because cheeses are constantly losing moisture to the surrounding air, designations such as 'Double Cream' or 'Triple Cream' are based only upon the percentage of dry matter in the cheese that is butterfat. (U.S. cheesemakers use the term 'IDM' (for "in dry matter") and the French use 'm.g.' (for "matière grasse") to indicate that their percentages do not take a cheese's water content into account.)

Note: If a cheese is labeled as 60% butterfat, that doesn't mean that 60% of all the material in the cheese is butterfat. Because this designation is based only upon the solid material in cheese and because cheese is at least half water, a cheese labeled "60% butterfat" will actually be about 30% butterfat.

Double Cream Gouda is a cow's milk cheese from Holland that is touted for its creamy, mellow flavor. I personally do not care for it. It's not too much of an overstatement to say that it tastes rather like spreadable cream and only a little bit like cheese. When advertisers describe Double Cream Gouda as "one of Holland's mellowest cheeses," what they are indicating is that it doesn't have much personality as a cheese. The butterfat in the cheese is the primary component of its flavor.

Although I cannot recommend Double Cream Gouda, I thought I would at least explain it since it is commonly served at parties.

1 comment:

Ryan Rivard said...

James, Thanks for the Honesty...I am too tired to really explain the phenomena of double cream and how it effects next to every cheese buyer/seller here in North America...so here is the short version. Bigger is better right? If single is good, double must then be better, and triple the ultimate experience? This is so far from the truth. If consumers in North America were just educated by the people who sell them cheese (who themselves in most cases need to be taught a thing or two) the amount of inferior double cream this and that would decrease a hundred fold. This of course would allow the true gems in the world of cheese to outsell the banality of 75% of the crap on supermarket shelves that so many insist on selling/buying. Real cheese, made by real people on real farms, with real animals that give them fresh milk (not frozen, not powdered milk) needs to be better recognized and marketed to the masses vs the faceless, spiritless mass produced mediocrity that prevails today! If anyone wants to truly here how I feel, please email me at ryanrivard@gmail.com.

A Very Concerned and Passionate Cheesemonger.
Ryan