Smoked gouda is one of the best everyday and unpretentious cheeses many Americans enjoy on a regular basis. This cheese, like many in the supermarket, is made with liquid smoke. The seasoning was added to the brine and allowed to sit in it for about a day. It is interesting though, most of the intensely smokey aroma has dissipated during the rind formation. Also, the smokey flavor did not penetrate to the center of the cheese as well as I would have like. Perhaps next time some liquid smoke will be added to the make, but I will leave that experiment for another day.
Ideally one wouldn't use liquid smoke or flavorings to achieve a smokey profile, but use 'cold smoking', i.e. smoking below 90F, to give the cheese an intensely smokey flavor. Keeping those really low temperatures isn't that easy especially if you don't have specialized equipment. I would be interested in hearing about ideas for cold smokers though, since there are many things that are just exquisite cold smoked (fish, pastrami, sausages, etc).
I have been quite happy with the thermophillic cultures I got from a local brew store, they are quite active and turn out a cheese that even at a young age is very tasty. This is a picture of a swiss that is two or so weeks old, and it already has the beginnings of the emmentaler tang. It surprises me that this culture shows so much more flavor development so early on--this has definitely been the case with the last three thermophillic loaves I've produced.
Cheese A Day by Jeremy Pickett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at cheeseaday.blogspot.com.