Edam and gouda originated in Holland over 800 years ago. The name "edam" comes from a town of the same name in southern Holland. The village of gouda shares the same valley. Originally, cheesemakers shaped edam into balls to roll down the gangplanks of ships for export, and since edam has a firmer texture than gouda, it maintained its round shape. This part-skim milk variety has a light, buttery, nutty flavor and a smooth, firm texture.