Gouda’s been one of the most popular cheeses on the planet for years now—no, really: it accounts for about 50 to 60 percent of the world’s curd consumption—and in the United States, it’s becoming more mainstream than ever, popping up on the menus at major chains like Starbucks and Wendy’s. But, every time we step up to a barista and ask for a bacon gouda to go with that tall, nonfat, no-whip-but-extra-autumnal-spiced PSL, most of us are saying it all wrong.
In the States, the cheese is commonly pronounced goo-duh, but just about everywhere else in the world, it’s ghow-duh, says Jim McGrath, one of Walmart’s top grocery buyers, who travels the world in search of new cheeses to bring to the chain. It’s a lesson he learned while working with European cheesemakers to develop a new sriracha gouda to sell in stores this fall.
However, if you want to get really technical, the cheese is pronounced how-duh in the Netherlands, where gouda was invented (in the city of Gouda, actually). A ‘g’ has more of a gutteral ‘h’ sound in Dutch, as DutchforN00bs explains in the video below, in case you really want to school your friends.