Shaping Gouda

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If you have ever purchased a wedge of Gouda, then you may have noticed that the cheese tends to have a smooth, round curve on one end.

Standard cheese molds make flat, pill-tablet shaped cheeses with a corner and not a round edge.  I’ve heard there are tricks you can use to simulate a bowl-shaped mold, but they never really worked for me.  So I set out to learn how the Dutch cheesemakers shape their cheese.  The answer?  A special cheese mold.  So I bought one.

The first thing I noticed during unpacking is that this mold included a mesh netting, meaning curds don’t need to be wrapped in cheesecloth while pressing.  This netting can be removed for cleaning, and I actually found it easier to work with.

Mold and netting.
Mold and netting.

The downside?  This mold is 2 – 3 times more expensive than other cheese molds I’ve purchased.  I like to think that part of this cost was importing from Holland, but I justified it by reminding myself that this is a one-time purchase.  And it really does make beautifully shaped cheeses.