Most types of crackers and cheese go together quite well: The crunchy texture and mellow or occasionally zesty flavor of the crackers complement the smooth, rich cheese perfectly. While you can't veer too off course with any particular cheese-and-cracker pairing, some crackers bring out the best in certain cheeses, or allow their flavors to shine through.
All About Gouda
To strike a great culinary match, get to know the food you're serving together. Gouda is a Dutch semi-hard cheese with a red waxy rind named for the city in the Netherlands where it originates. It has a smooth, rich mouthfeel and a buttery, slightly caramel or nutty flavor. You can often find smoked Gouda at the grocery store, which has a distinct smoky flavor with a strong savory note.
Crackers With Gouda
Gouda's buttery texture and hints of sweetness temper the heat in a spicy cracker, such as a cracker baked with crushed red chile flakes or a bit of cayenne or coated in spice. You can also echo Gouda's nuttiness by serving a nutty cracker, such as a cracker made with nuts or baked with sunflower seeds. Wheat germ imparts a pleasant nuttiness to wheat crackers, making them another appropriate choice to share space with Gouda on a cheese platter.
Smoked Gouda Ideas
The smoked version of Gouda calls for a different kind of cracker to serve as a crispy vehicle. Due to Gouda's powerful smokiness, you'll need a more mellow cracker to avoid overpowering the flavors or striking an unsavory match. Stick with simple crackers like water crackers to allow the smoked Gouda to stand out. A basic butter cracker makes for a rich pairing, too, and it won't get in the way of the taste of the cheese.
Other Gouda Serving Ideas
In addition to or instead of crackers, Gouda also goes well with many other crudites, snacks and beverages. Due to the intense buttery quality of Gouda, it can temper spice and also complement the sweet acidity of fruit. Serve alongside spiced nuts or with slices of pears and apples. To drink with Gouda, try a fruity sparkling wine or hard cider. You might also try a lighter, somewhat fruity beer, like a pale ale with apricot notes.