Is Gouda Cheese Vegetarian? or Halal?

Gouda Cheese and other Dutch cheeses are famous for their delicious salty taste and their slightly springy texture. It is a sweet, creamy and yellow cow’s milk cheese originating from the Netherlands in the early 1100s.

But is it vegetarian? Well, that’s what we’re going to answer in this article.

in today’s post we’re going to uncover the Gouda Cheese ingredients to determine if it is suitable for vegetarians.

Le’ts start with the ingredients list.

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Gouda Cheese Ingredients:

In general, Gouda Cheese is made with these ingredients:

  • Pasteurized Cow’S Milk.
  • Salt.
  • Cheese Starter.
  • Animal Rennet.
  • Annatto

Rennet is a key part of the cheesemaking process, it is an enzyme that is added to milk during the coagulation process to help separate the solid curds from the liquid whey.

Rennet is usually collected as a by-product of the slaughter of calves (stomach).

But there’s some great variety of microbial rennet from micro-organisms, which are not from animal sources.

Now, let’s go back to our main question “Is Gouda Cheese Vegetarian?”.

Is Gouda Cheese Vegetarian?

Is it vegetarian? The answer is : It depends. For Gouda Cheese to be vegetarian, rennet must be from plant based sources instead of animal by product.

More and more cheeses are now made with plant-based or microbial rennet.

Some examples of such rennets include cardoon thistle, nettles and artichoke

Here’s a list of the best vegetarian cheeses:

  • Cashel Blue Cheese (Made with pasteurised cow’s milk and vegetarian rennet an can be found here).
  • Shropshire Blue Cheese ( also suitable for vegetarians and can be found here).


Please note that on occasion manufacturers may alter their ingredient lists. Actual product packaging and materials may contain more and/or different information than that shown on our Web site. We recommend that you do not solely rely on the information presented and that you always read labels, warnings, and directions before using or consuming a product.

Gouda VS Cheddar

Gouda and cheddar are both types of cheese, but they have some differences in taste, texture, and appearance.

Gouda is a semi-hard cheese that originated in the Netherlands and is named after the city of Gouda. It has a creamy and slightly sweet flavor and a smooth, slightly springy texture.

Gouda is characterized by sweeter and nuttier notes, while Cheddar contains a mix of butter and hazelnut flavors

Cheddar, on the other hand, is a hard cheese that originated in the English village of Cheddar. It has a sharp, tangy flavor and a firm, dense texture.

In terms of appearance, Gouda is often pale yellow in color, while cheddar can range from white to orange, depending on the addition of colorants.

Overall, the main difference between cheddar and gouda cheese is that cheddar is a harder cheese, while gouda is a semi-hard cheese.

Is Gouda Cheese Halal?

Gouda Cheese is made from cow’s milk, rennet, and cultures. The issue here is with rennet.

Rennet is produced in the stomachs of ruminant animals, such as cows, goats, and sheep.

In the past, rennet was extracted from the stomachs of slaughtered animals, but today, most rennet is produced using microbial fermentation.

So, if rennet is produced from animals in Halal-slaughtered cattle or made using microbial fermentation, then we can considered Gouda Cheese Halal.

In general, a product is halal or not depends on how it is made and what ingredients are used. If these ingredients are all derived from halal sources, then the product would be considered halal.

It is important to check the label or contact the manufacturer to confirm the ingredients and their sources.



Gouda Cheese can be vegetarian if rennet is produced using microbial fermentation.

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