Okay, okay. I’ve definitely gotten the memos from my readership that this blog needs MOAR VIDEOZ.
And so I took some time out of my busy workday of managing a cheese shop to stop and cut the cheese–and film it for y’all. (And no, mom, I did not “glam it up” for this one. This is 100 percent, raw, pure, harried cheesemonger life.)
It just so happens that I needed to crack into a nice, old wheel of Vintage Grand Ewe.
Grand Ewe is an aged sheep’s milk gouda, as the name might suggest. It’s made by Uniekaas, a Dutch gouda producer, and aged for 12 months before it goes on the market.
It is relatively rare to find sheep’s milk cheeses in the gouda style, so this is a fun one to have around.
It’s also my favorite gouda: it’s butterscotchy, not too “sheepy,” has that nice crystallized crunch that we look for in aged goudas, and is all-around pretty well-balanced and delicious. Despite its age, the paste is crumbly-creamy and doesn’t shatter like some other aged goudas.
Now, I know for a fact that this particular wheel has been hanging around in my shop since November 2015. That doesn’t mean anything bad, per se. The cheese continues to age in its nice, thick wax rind, and becomes nuttier, more butterscotchy, even more crystallized (yum!), and harder.
This is a cheese that is known for being hard. The wax is like a freaking football leather, and it’s a pain in the butt to get off as it is. (Although, it’s got nothing on the concrete block encasing wheels of Old Goat.) And being that this wheel was hoping to make it to its third birthday… it was one tough gouda.
So watch as I weave my tale about the first time I ever cut this cheese–and sustained my first, real cheesemonger injury–while I break down this bad baby.
3 thoughts on “Grand Ewe’s One Tough Gouda”
My wife and I were watching your battle with this wheel of Gouda, when she suggested positioning the knife in the score line, and then hitting it with a rubber mallet. Would this be a bad idea?
If you were just trying to deepen the score, perhaps. We don’t have a rubber mallet, though, so I won’t be able to report back on the efficacy of trying that. I think the main thing is getting through the world’s toughest cheese wax, which is where the heat helps when you put the chef’s knife in the dishwasher first.