Skip to content
Sponsored Content

Fun facts about Sylvan Lake’s favourite cheese

900 years later, this cheese is still a goud-a choice for cheese lovers
Art Snoek and wife Jennifer.

If you love cheese, chances are you’ve savoured more than a little gouda over the years. After all, gouda’s long history combined with its delicious mild flavour have successfully made it one of the most popular cheeses in the world for more than 900 years!

To learn a little more – and get some delicious ideas – we checked in with the team at Sylvan Star Cheese farms, who make traditional gouda right here in Sylvan Lake.

What’s special about gouda cheese? Here are a few fun facts to share at your next dinner party, or to inspire your family meals … just don’t forget to include some locally made Sylvan Star gouda!

One of the world’s oldest cheeses:

While not the oldest cheese still being made today (that title is widely debated but generally believed to belong to Conciato Romano), gouda has still been around for a very long time.

Historians generally agree that gouda’s roots reach back to the 12th century, though some claim it likely started a century earlier. Regardless, the gouda-making tradition is really, really old.

What makes the history of gouda so interesting is that the traditional recipes being used today are very similar to what they used over 900 years ago. Talk about taking a bite out of history!

Where does the name gouda come from?

Gouda, Holland is a real place and you can still visit it today. While you might assume the tasty, meltable cheese was originally made in Gouda, but it actually got its name from being traded there. During the Middle Ages, the town of Gouda held the rights to sell and distribute cheese, meaning farmers had to travel to Gouda to sell their cheese at market.

You can still visit Gouda, Holland and get a glimpse into the past at the spring and summer open-air markets. Farmers from the surrounding areas bring their cheese to sell on the ancient cobblestones but today it’s more about tradition and tourism than anything else.

Time will tell: Aging process determines taste and serving temperature

Young gouda cheese is generally aged no more than nine months. The result is a softer cheese with a mild, sweet taste and an almost melt-in-your-mouth texture, that’s best served cold.

Old gouda – like the Grizzly from Sylvan Star – can be aged up to two years, and has a stronger more nutty taste. With a harder texture and crystallization spread throughout, it’s best served at room temperature.

Taste the past … and present!

Get a taste of history at Sylvan Star Cheese Farm, where Art and Jennifer Snoek are making traditional gouda cheese with recipes that have been in Art’s family for six generations. You can follow them on Facebook and Instagram for more details on farm tours and coming farmers markets, events and more!

You can also visit the farm store in person at 39008 Range Road 10, just off of Hwy 11A to the east of Sylvan Lake. The store is open Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and you can find their delicious cheeses at these locations around Alberta or online here.

Read More about Art and Jennifer Snoek’s cheese-making adventures:

Find the perfect cheese to appease even the pickiest connoisseur

6th generation cheese maker from the city of Gouda brings his talents to award-winning Sylvan Star

Authentic European cheese, crafted in Sylvan Lake, with a time-tested family recipe