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.
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!
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!
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!
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.”
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
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!