Bergeron Cheese Vs. Gouda

Cheese lovers have long debated which cheese reigns supreme - the nutty, smooth Bergeron from Quebec or the mild, mellow Dutch Gouda.

Bergeron Cheese Vs. Gouda

These two cheeses share some similarities but have distinct differences in terms of taste, texture, and uses.

A Brief History of Bergeron and Gouda

To understand the unique properties of these cheeses, it helps to look at their origins.

Bergeron was created in 1989 by the Bergeron family in Quebec, who come from a long line of cheesemakers. Since they couldn't acquire a permit to make cheddar at the time, the Bergerons decided to specialize in Gouda, using the original Dutch recipe as inspiration. They developed their own distinctive Bergeron taste and quickly became Canada's leading Gouda producer.

Gouda traces its roots back to the city of Gouda in the Netherlands, where it has been made since the 12th century. It is one of the world's oldest recorded cheeses. Authentic Gouda is still made today in the Netherlands using traditional techniques.

So while Bergeron is a relative newcomer in the cheese world, Gouda has centuries of history behind it. Both cheeses stay true to their roots but have evolved in unique ways.

Flavor Profiles: Nutty and Smooth vs. Mild and Sweet

When it comes to taste, there are some clear differences between the two cheeses.

Bergeron is known for its signature nutty, smooth flavor. It offers notes of fresh hazelnut and cream. The taste is described as mild and milky with a subtle tang.

Gouda has a mild, mellow, and lightly sweet flavor. It lacks the nutty taste of Bergeron and has a very subtle flavor profile. As it ages, Gouda develops a stronger, saltier taste and crunchy crystalline bits form.

So Bergeron's flavor is more robust, while Gouda is on the mild side. Bergeron highlights its nuttiness, whereas Gouda tends to have a delicate sweetness.

Texture: Semi-Soft and Firm vs. Hard and Dry

In addition to flavor differences, the textures of Bergeron and Gouda diverge as well.

Bergeron has a firm yet smooth texture. It is classified as a semi-soft cheese. When young, the interior is supple and sliceable. As it ages, Bergeron remains spreadable but develops a firmer texture.

Gouda is considered a hard, dry cheese. It starts off semi-soft when young but becomes progressively more firm and crumbly as it matures. Older Gouda can be quite hard and flaky.

So Bergeron maintains a pleasantly smooth texture as it ages, while Gouda tends to become drier and more crumbly. Bergeron's supple texture lends itself to melting applications.

Appearance: Red Wax vs. Yellow Wax

On the outside, Bergeron and Gouda look quite distinct thanks to their wax coatings.

Bergeron is encased in a vibrant red paraffin wax. This was an intentional move by the Bergeron family to differentiate their cheese from traditional Gouda. The red wax creates a signature look that is easily recognizable to Canadian consumers.

Gouda is classically coated in a yellow wax rind. This pale golden wax provides a protective seal. It results in a familiar, eye-catching appearance that Gouda-lovers associate with quality cheese.

So when peering into the cheese display, it's easy to spot the difference between Bergeron's reddish wheels and Gouda's yellow blocks thanks to their distinct waxes.

Nutrition: Higher Fat vs. Lower Fat

When comparing the nutritional profiles of the two cheeses, some variations arise:

  • Bergeron tends to be higher in fat since it is made from whole milk. A 1 oz serving provides 9g of fat.
  • Gouda is generally lower in fat because part-skim or skim milk can be used. A 1 oz serving may contain 5-7g of fat.
  • Both cheeses are naturally low in carbs and high in protein.

So Bergeron will offer a richer mouthfeel and flavor due to its higher fat content. Gouda provides a lighter option for those limiting fat intake. But both offer protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Melting Abilities: Smooth Melt vs. Oily Separation

A key difference between Bergeron and Gouda arises when the cheeses melt.

  • Bergeron is known for its superior melting abilities. It becomes silky and creamy when melted, flowing beautifully in sauces or atop dishes.
  • Gouda tends to separate into oil when melted, resulting in an oily slick rather than smooth sauce. It does not melt as beautifully.

Bergeron's higher moisture content and semi-soft texture give it an advantage when melted. Gouda's low moisture and hard texture cause the fat and solids to separate.

So for cheese sauces, fondues, or toasted sandwiches, Bergeron is the better choice if you want that perfect, creamy melt.

Best Uses: Cooking vs. Snacking

Due to their different properties, Bergeron and Gouda lend themselves to different uses:

  • Bergeron excels when cooked - it melts smoothly for sauces, soups, fondues, and baked dishes like gratins.
  • Gouda is best uncooked as a snack cheese. It can be sliced, cubed, or shredded to eat with fruit, bread, charcuterie, or wine.

So cooking brings out the best in melty Bergeron. Gouda shows off its subtle flavor when enjoyed raw in snacks and cheese boards.

That said, both can be used in a variety of ways - these are just their ideal applications. Depending on the age and style, both work nicely in sandwiches, salads, omelets and more.

Availability and Cost: Quebec vs. International

When it comes to getting your hands on each cheese, there are some availability and cost considerations:

  • Bergeron is produced in Quebec and primarily available in eastern Canada. It may be hard to find internationally.
  • Gouda is made globally, from the Netherlands to the United States. It is widely available around the world.
  • Bergeron tends to be pricier since it is an artisanal cheese produced regionally. Expect to pay $6-$8 CAD per 8oz.
  • Mild Gouda is made on a larger scale and is quite affordable at around $3-$5 CAD per 8oz. Aged Gouda can be pricier.

So Bergeron may be easier to source within Canada, while Gouda can be found almost anywhere. And Gouda offers a budget-friendly option. But for those able to find it, Bergeron is worth the premium price for its quality.

Pairings: Wine and Beer vs. Fruits and Nuts

Certain flavors pair particularly well with each cheese:

  • The nutty notes in Bergeron pair nicely with blush wine, pale ale, dark bread, and dried fruits.
  • Gouda's mild sweetness complements Riesling, lager, seeded crackers, and fresh fruits like melon, grapes, and apple.

So sip on a fruity red or wheat beer with Bergeron. Gouda matches nicely with white wine or pilsner and makes a great dessert cheese paired with fruit.

Popularity: Canadian Favorite vs. Global Staple

In terms of popularity:

  • As Canada's leading Gouda producer, Bergeron has attained favorite status across Quebec and eastern provinces. It is less well-known globally.
  • Gouda is an internationally beloved Dutch staple. It is one of the most popular cheeses around the world.

So Bergeron reigns supreme for Canadian cheese aficionados, while Gouda has won the hearts of cheese lovers across the globe.

Key Takeaway: Bergeron rules as the top artisanal Canadian Gouda cheese, while Dutch Gouda has achieved worldwide fame.

Health Benefits: Raw Milk vs. Pasteurized

Some key health considerations around each cheese include:

  • Bergeron is made from pasteurized cow's milk. Pasteurization kills potentially harmful bacteria, making it safer.
  • Gouda can be made from raw or pasteurized milk. Raw milk preserves more vitamins and enzymes but carries risks.
  • Both are naturally low-lactose. Most lactose is removed during cheesemaking, making them easier to digest.

So Bergeron offers the health benefits of cheese while minimizing risks, thanks to the use of pasteurized milk. Gouda provides enzymes from raw milk but may be unsuitable for some if unpasteurized.

Environmental Impact: Grass-Fed vs. Grain-Fed Cows

The agricultural practices used to raise the cows producing the milk impact the environmental footprint of each cheese:

  • Bergeron sources milk from grass-fed cows in Quebec. Grass-feeding is lower impact than grain.
  • Gouda can come from grain-fed or grass-fed cows, depending on the producer. Grain-fed cattle have a higher carbon footprint.

So from a sustainability standpoint, Bergeron made from grass-fed milk has an advantage over grain-fed Gouda. But artisanal Gouda from grass-fed cows also offers eco-friendly benefits.

Animal Welfare: Local Farms vs. Mass Production

The welfare of the dairy cows differs depending on the scale of production:

  • Bergeron comes from small-scale family farms in Quebec focused on quality. This allows for higher welfare standards.
  • Gouda can come from small farms but is often mass-produced in the Netherlands on larger industrial dairies with more questionable practices.

So the localized, small-batch production of Bergeron enables closer relationships with farmers and better animal care than large-scale Gouda production. But some small Gouda farmsteads also prioritize welfare.

Grading: No Formal Grading vs. Quality Grades

Most cheeses are not formally graded, but Gouda is an exception:

  • There is no standardized grading system for rating the quality of Bergeron cheeses. Quality depends on the individual producer.
  • Gouda cheese is graded based on its age, moisture content, and quality. The top grades are Extra and Plus, followed by 1st class and 2nd class. Higher grades demand higher prices.

So there are no universal criteria for judging the quality of Bergeron. But Gouda benefits from a formal grading framework tied to its maturity and overall quality, which helps dictate price.

Key Takeaway: Bergeron offers a uniquely Canadian twist on Gouda with a smoother, creamier profile perfect for melting. Gouda provides a globally beloved, mild baseline cheese for snacking.


Is Bergeron cheaper than Gouda?

Generally, Gouda is cheaper than Bergeron since Bergeron is an artisanal cheese made locally in smaller batches while Gouda is mass-produced more affordably. But premium-aged Gouda can be pricier.

Is Bergeron a type of Gouda?

Bergeron is inspired by Gouda but has developed into its own distinct cheese. It is made by Canada's leading Gouda producer but has a unique flavor and identity.

What's better on a cheese board - Bergeron or Gouda?

For cheese boards and snacking, Gouda is the better choice since its mild, sweet flavor shines when enjoyed raw. Bergeron works better in cooked dishes.

Is one cheese healthier than the other?

Bergeron made from pasteurized milk offers some safety benefits compared to potential risks with raw milk Gouda. But both offer similar nutritional value.

Which melts better in grilled cheese or sauces?

Bergeron melts beautifully into smooth sauces thanks to its semi-soft texture. Gouda can become oily and separate when melted.


While Bergeron and Gouda share some similar origins and properties, they differ remarkably when it comes to taste, texture, appearance, and best uses.

Canadian favorite Bergeron delivers nutty, melty goodness complementing beer or wine.

Globally beloved Gouda provides mild, sweet flavor ideal for snacking solo.

Cheese Lover Chloe 🧀
Cheese Lover Chloe 🧀

I'm a total cheese fanatic! When I'm not busy studying to be a cheesemaker, you can find me scouring local farmers markets and specialty shops for new and exciting cheeses to try. Brie is my all-time fave, but I also love exploring aged goudas, funky blues, and rich creamy camemberts. Looking forward to sharing lots of melty, gooey cheese pics and reviews!