A foodie day in Gouda

Cheese store in Gouda, Netherlands

Before we get into this delightful Viking Cruise add-on excursion to the little town of Gouda, Netherlands, let’s get one thing straight: You’ve got to pronounce Gouda correctly! That’s right. You’re probably not saying it right, and the lady holding a tray of sample cheeses will insist that you learn the proper pronunciation before you are allowed to take even one slice of their wonderful yellow stuff.

Serving samples of Gouda cheese
Making tourists practice their correct pronunciation of Gouda even before sampling!

So here you go. Instead of saying goo-duh say ghow-duh. Like gowda but with that gutteral sound you make in the back of your throat. Ghow-duh. Ghow-duh. And, as you might have expected, there’s a You-Tube spot just waiting for you to practice along so you’ll fit right in. And if you’re like just us, you want to fit in if for no other reason that you get a free sample of the best cheese anywhere!

Cheese shop in Gouda, Netherlands
Stop here to sample great Gouda cheese and learn to say ghow-duh!

In addition to learning how to pronounce Gouda correctly, we taste-tested sample after sample to distinguish the taste of new cheese, one-month-old cheese, three-month-old cheese, etc. And what a difference a few days make!

Gouda cheese ready for purchase: Gouda, Netherlands
Piled high stacks of Gouda cheese await you in Gouda, The Netherlands

It’s easy for us to say this was one of our favorite spots in Holland. So, as you might have guessed, we bought wedges (several, in fact) of genuine Gouda cheese (shrink-wrapped on the spot for us) to take home to family and friends. We even make people pronounce Gouda correctly before they try a piece!

Cutting Gouda cheese in Gouda!
Cutting slices of Gouda cheese to shrink wrap for travel back to the States

But our foodie day didn’t stop with cheese only (although that would have been enough). We learned to make stroopwafels in one of the busiest restaurants in Gouda.

A stroopwafel, according to Wikipedia, is “a thin, round waffle cookie made from two layers of sweet baked dough held by caramel filling.” We’d had them on the cruise ship, but hearing the popularity of the pastry and then trying our hand at making one was “somethin’ else.”

Creating stroopwafels in Gouda
Shop owner shows us how he makes hundreds of stroopwafels per day in Gouda.

First, you pour batter onto a waffle-type iron and wait. When it’s done, you carefully slice open the thin pancake-like pastry and spread it with a caramel concoction (warmed, or course, so it will spread without breaking the waffel). Then you wrap it in a paper holder and dig in! Yum. A great taste of The Netherlands and a foodie day to love!

Now, because you’re wondering if this post can get any cheesier, let me say this: it can! Here are five faves from Elite Daily’s “45 Cheese Puns That Are Too Gouda Not To Share On Instagram.”

1. This may sound cheesy, but I think you’re really grate.

2. I don’t want to sound cheesy, but we go really gouda together.

3. Sweet dreams are made of cheese. Who am I to diss a brie?

4. You’re looking so gouda today.

5. Just in queso you didn’t know, you’re the best!

Elite Daily
Tower of cheeses in Gouda, Netherlands
A window of cheeses

If you’re wondering whether or not you should sign up for a tour of Gouda (remember: say ghow-duh), we say, “Don’t hesitate!” The nicest people, yummy cheeses, and gooey stroopwafels are about as good a day in cruising as it gets!

Travel with foodies,

Rusha & Bert

This post is one in a series prompted by a recent trip to The Netherlands and Belgium. Thank you to Viking cruises (Holland & Belgium 2022) and our travel agent, Lauren Gunnels of Ortelius Travel Advisors, for the arrangements and free time to enjoy the scenery!

18 thoughts on “A foodie day in Gouda

  1. claywatkins

    First time visitor and I am glad I clicked on over from Dawn at Change is Hard. The Europeans can really do cheese. But they’ve had a lot of practice. My wife loves the Netherlands and I’ve been to Paris and northern France many times. Maybe one day, we’ll go back. in the meantime, I’ll practice my Gouda pronunciation! Have a great day.

  2. Toonsarah

    I do know how to say Gouda properly (I worked with a Dutch guy who taught me!) but I have to say it’s not my favourite cheese apart from the aged ones. The rest are a little mild for my taste. But I certainly won’t say no to a stroopwafel 😆

  3. WanderingCanadians

    I am salivating right now. Gouda is my favourite type of cheese. Sounds like a delicious day of sampling some tasty Dutch treats. I love how you’re carrying on the tradition of making your friends and family learn how to say the right pronunciation of Gouda before having a sample.

  4. Curt Mekemson

    I had something of a head start on the pronunciation, Rusha. I’m sure I noted that Peggy was an exchange student in The Netherlands in 1967. Right off the bat when we got together in the early 90s she made sure I pronounce gouda correctly, right down to the gutteral sound! Also, we tried some of those waffles where we were in Amsterdam earlier this month. Fun post. The cheese stores in Amsterdam were incredible. –Curt

  5. Armando Garcia

    Hi Rusha and Bert. Always great to hear from you and absolutely loving re-living the adventures from last May. We’ve never been to Gouda, but in 2017 we were in Amsterdam and took an excursion to Edam, where they taught us the proper pronunciation of Gouda, and where we tasted all sorts of Edam cheese! No stroopwaffles, though! Stay well and keep up the posts!
    Armando and Gene

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