Gettin’ “cheesy” with it – a guide for all the foodies looking for a legen-dairy experience in Amsterdam

Gettin’ “cheesy” with it – a guide for all the foodies looking for a legen-dairy experience in Amsterdam

If you’re well-familiar

with names like Edam, Gouda or Maasdam, and if terms like Mimolette, Maaslander

or Leerdammer do ring more than a bell, then you’re in the right place to be

delighted. The short list below contains some of the most worthy places to

visit if you don’t want to become cheesed off by your stay in Amsterdam.

A slice of local know-how – avoid ‘tourist traps’

Life of a visitor is

not easy, especially when it comes to getting to know the ‘real’ face of your

travelling destination. More often than not you’ll be tempted and lured by a

dazzling number of labels, banners and signs inviting you to come and try the

‘most genuine’ local offer. However, by using some of insider knowledge

provided in this article, you’ll be able to enjoy your stay without the

unpleasant sense of, basically, being taken in.

First things first –


ever buy that round and red

Edammer you’ll find in plenty all around the city. Ask any Dutch about this

kind of cheese and it’s more than certain that you’ll get a telling smirk

before you get an actual answer. The thing is, this cheese is made for tourists

in search of authentic Dutch cheese to take home, so make sure you don’t fall

for that. Instead, here is a list of things to do and places to visit to get a

really tasty experience of

kaas, and

not to make it feel

cheesy at all.

Step 1 – take a cheese tasting session

The splendid Reypenaer

Cheese Tasting Room is found in the beautiful Canal Belt section of Amsterdam,

so apart from the gustatory benefits, you’ll also get to admire one of the most

beautiful parts of Amsterdam. And what to expect inside the place? An array of

fragrances and flavors, all served in a fantastic elegant setting. Spare 15

euros and make a reservation to join a one-hour session of tasting of Reypenaer

cheeses – all under the guidance and instruction of an experienced cheese

taster. To find out about the available dates, special offers and further

conditions in detail, visit their 

website and prepare yourself for a truly memorable


Step 2 – when shopping for some cheese to take

home, buy oude Boeren kaas (in English: old farmers’ cheese) at any local


If you’re going to

look for something special and unique, this is

the thing to go for. Head to Lindengracht or Noordermarkt and make

your way through the rich selection of all the quality products you will on the

spot. Still, if you can’t make it there, you can be actually quite sure that

the quality of cheese offered on other local markets is no less satisfying. Oh,

and when you find yourself surrounded with goudas and edams, do make sure to

buy a portion of Oude Hollandse geitenkaas – Old Dutch goat cheese.

Finger-licking good!

Step 3 – Never, ever, ever buy cheese in


That’s pretty much it.

You come to the country of some of the best cheesemakers in the world, so do

yourself a favor and steer clear of the ‘mass-market’ offer when it comes to

one of Dutch trademark products. With so much choice around you, you will

really act to your own disadvantage if you decide to go for plastic-wrapped

slices of factory-made yellow blocks.

Step 4 – …and in places called ‘Cheeseshops’!

If you see a place

labeled ‘Cheese shop’, ‘Dutch cheese store’, or something in a similar vein, be

aware that this is another tourist trap. You came here for the

real experience, didn’t you? In that

case, you’ll be delighted by a visit to places like De Kaaskamer (Runstrat 7 in

the area of the Jordaan; easily recognizable by piles of cheese lined wall to

wall), Fa. H. Wegewijs (Rosengracht 32; a family business with over 100 years

of tradition in cheesemaking), Abraham Kef (de Franse Kaasmakers Marnixstraat

192; it offers a good selection of both Dutch and French cheeses) or De

Kaasboer (Tweede Tuindwarsstraat 3; it comes with a fantastic offer of cheeses

and sandwiches). The prices may be higher than those in supermarkets, but the

taste of the authentic Dutch cheeses is totally different and absolutely worth

the money. Oh, and if you eventually make your choice, it’s way better to buy

cheese in slices, and in a reasonable amount. Do you really need to fly home

with a heavy yellow wheeled ballast?

Step 5 – Visit the Amsterdam Cheese Museum

Now this attraction

may be as much of an appetizer, as a good follow-up after you’ve satisfied your

palate already. It’s located right next to the famous Anne Frank House – on the

other side of Prinsengracht, so you won’t have any problems finding it, and the

name in big yellow letters on the window pane is more than noticeable. Although

there may be some reconstruction works going on, the place is still worth the

time, as it offers a nice insight into the history of Dutch cheesemaking

industry, and a good selection of many types of local cheeses which you are

free to taste and compare; make sure to try the cumin and truffle Gouda. The

admission fee is 1 euro, so it makes it even more appealing. Highly recommended

to all the cheese-lovers!