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Why Old Holland is known as the “Cheese Capital of the World”

Cheese is definitely our favorite ‘essentially Dutch’ item – and certainly the most tasty! Old Holland, with its marketplaces, cheese dairies, and tasting rooms, is a must-see for all cheese enthusiasts. This is why:

Cheese is taken very seriously in Old Holland.


Cheese is made (and devoured!) across the Netherlands, but in Old Holland, the traditions are strictly followed. You’ll find old-fashioned cheese dairies, tasting rooms, and weird cheese-related customs, among other things. Edamer cheese, of course, is named after the town of Edam. The region is also a great place to go cheese buying because…

There are entire markets dedicated to cheese in Old Holland.


There are five traditional cheese markets in the Netherlands: Alkmaar, Edam, Hoorn, Gouda, and Woerden. The markets in Gouda and Woerden are active trading places, but the others put up magnificent presentations with people dressed in traditional attire – white suits! Straw hats! – en route to the cheese weighing ceremony, transporting massive wheels of cheese on wooden barrows. Yes, there is a formal ceremony because…

There are fascinating, age-old cheese-buying rituals.


The cheese market workers are still organized in guilds. One of the classic rituals you’ll see at a cheese market is cheese sampling, followed by price negotiating, in which buyers and sellers clap each other’s hands while yelling the offered sums until a deal is reached. Fortunately, as a frequent visitor, you will feel much less pressure. And, most importantly…

You are free to experiment as much as you like.


There are numerous tasting rooms in Old Holland where you can sample a wide range of cheeses before purchasing the best of the best. Customers are frequently allowed to sample the goods on offer in proper cheese shops. This is useful because…

There is a LOT of variety.


Cheese, as any cheese fan knows, comes in a variety of types, brands, and regional varieties, but the age of a cheese also influences its flavor. Young cheese is gentler, whereas mature cheese is more pungent and frequently nuttier in flavor. In the Netherlands, cheese (for example, Gouda) is classified according to its age: jong (1 month), belegen (4 months), oud (10 months), and overjarig (12 months) (1 year or more). Do you want to learn more about the cheese-making process? No worries, because…

They enjoy showing you how things are made.

In addition to marketplaces, tasting rooms, and specialized shops, Old Holland includes numerous cheese dairies where you may learn how cheese is created. Some, like the De Simonehoeve cheese farm, preserve all kinds of traditional, artisan skills, so you can also learn how to make clogs! It doesn’t get much more Dutch than that.

Top 10 weirdest things Dutch people don’t realize are only found in the Netherlands ( Part 2 )

Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!


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