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Coolea Irish cow Milk Gouda Cheese

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In the late 1970s, Helene and Dick Willems moved from the Netherlands to Ireland and bought a farm in a remote part of the country where Irish Gaelic is still spoken. Cheesemaking began as a hobby, but increasing demand from neighbors and eventually from shops turned it into more than that.

In 1991, Helene and Dick's son Dicky joined them in cheesemaking, taking over full cheesemaking responsibilities a couple of years later. Today, Dicky and his wife Sinead carry on the family cheesemaking operation with their daughter, Shona, occasionally lending a hand after school.

True to the family's Dutch origins, Coolea is a cheese made in the style of Gouda. Dicky sources milk from Daniel Lynch, a farmer with a herd of Friesian-Holstein cows that graze on rich bog land. Firm, with an occasional crunch from denatured protein clusters, Coolea has great depth of flavor with a balanced sweetness reminiscent of salty caramel.

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Region Cork
Country of Origin Ireland
Cheese Type Hard
Type of Milk Cow
Flavor Profile Medium-strong
Rennet Type Animal
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Serving and Caring for your cheese

Caring for Your Cheese

How much cheese should I buy?

We advise buying small quantities more frequently to avoid long term storage because the complex flavors and aromas of good cheese will change and degrade over time. For appetizer quantities and not much left over, we suggest 1/4 lb per person. For larger servings or if you'd like some left overs, we suggest a full 1/2 lb per person.

How should I serve my cheese?

You can serve any number of cheeses: a single magnificent chèvre or a large selection celebrating the diversity of aromas, flavors and textures found in various traditions around the world. Choose what you like and what you expect your audience will enjoy. We usually go for a selection of three to four cheeses with various milk types, textures and flavors.

Take your cheese out of the refrigerator an hour or so before serving. Just before serving, unwrap each cheese and scrape the cut surface with a knife edge to remove a thin layer. If you notice dried out parts or mold on the face of the cheese, cut it away.

Can I eat the rind?

Most cheeses have rinds and most rinds are edible. If you don’t like the taste or texture, cut it off.

What do I do about the mold on my cheese?

Cheese stored for some time may grow exterior molds. Typical molds will be white or blue-green but you can sometimes come across yellow or gray. Most of the time, you can refresh the cheese by cutting away those affected areas. The cheese underneath will be fine.

How do I store my cheese?

Store in a higher humidity area of your refrigerator - likely an enclosed spot which allows for limited airflow rather than constant drafts.

How do I wrap my cheese?

Use a clean wrap of the cheese paper, or, in a pinch use parchment (for softer cheeses) or aluminum foil (for firm to hard cheeses).


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Customers reviews

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  • Best Cheese Ever!

    When I lived in Cork City, I would go to the farmer's market for this cheese in particular. One of the things I miss most about Ireland. Now that I'm back in the states, I will purchase and have this shipped for my birthday on occaision and nobody is allowed to touch it! Simply the best cheese EVER!

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