Friday, 15 June 2012

Say CHEESE, Alkmaar cheese market/ Kaasmarkt in Alkmaar

Few cities in the Netherlands are famous for their place in Dutch cheese history. One of these cities is my absolutely favourite town Alkmaar. Located 30 km north of Amsterdam Alkmaar is a very cozy architectural beauty. Alkmaar had a pair of cheese scales as early as 1365. In 1612 this number increased to 4! Only 1593 however is considered and documented as the first year of the cheese market, which has always taken place on the Waagplein. In the 17th century cheese was sold Fridays and Saturdays, in the 18th even four days a week.
Nowadays in the middle of its center, on Waagplein, there is the Cheese Museum. Every Friday in summer (from April till Mid September) the traditional Dutch cheese market from the Medieval time is replayed for all curious locals and tourists...Dutch cheese farmers traditionally brought their cheeses to the market square in town to sell. Teams (vemen) of official guild cheese-porters (kaasdragers), identified by differently coloured straw hats, carried the farmers' cheese on stretchers, which typically weighed about 160 kilograms. 
 
This event is pretty famous, last time I was there there was even a wedding couple posing for pictures. In case the square gets a bit too much for you (it is kind of toursitic thing and it might get crowdy+squashy), then just escape in one of the fantastic cheese shops around...in the Netherlands one may ask to taste each kind of cheese before purchasing it and other funny cheese accessoires like these kinices are waiting to be discovered too...

12 comments:

Barb said...

Jana - how I enjoyed your photos and commentary. I think that bride and groom are saying, "Cheese!" (PS - I'm having fits with the word ID!)

Filip and Kristel said...

Excellent pictures, love the traditional clothing. I saw a great cheese store in Amsterdam yesterday.

Greetings,
Filip

Mumsy¸.¤ª“˜¨ said...

The cheese blocks look scrumptious!

The bride and groom look happy, but..I feel for the poor guys who had to carry them :-(

betchai said...

wow, never seen that much cheese in front of me, it seems such a jovial celebration.

AVCr8teur said...

Such a lively and colorful festival. I would like to see it. I hope that those cheese are not too heavy.

Joop Zand said...

Leuke serie Janna....je hebt het mooi in beeld gebracht.

groetjes, Joop

Erika said...

Dear Jana I like very much cheese and Dutch cheese too.
Nice shots. Wish you a good new week!
Erika from Italy.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Thanks so much for your visit and comment. These cheeses look amazing, I don't think there is a single type of cheese that I do not like :) Strange that this is Alkmaar, my brother had a boy scout called Jan visit him in the UK many, many years ago and although I was very young at the time I remember he was from Alkmaar. Is there a Paul Krugerstraat somewhere there as that is the address that sticks in my mind. What a flash of memory from over 60 years ago!!! Diane

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Must be fun and colourful. To have the market each week during summer is wonderful, like a regular festival. Fantastic for tourists too.

Kris said...

Jana,

I love cheese! Wonderful photos of the festival! This looks like my kind of place and I'd probably sample cheese all day! LOL

de bossies! said...

Hoi Jana
De Kaasmarkt in Almaar.. Ja altijd leuk om dat eens te zien.. :)
Nu is Alkmaar ook heel gezellig :)
Groetjes Henk

dith said...

Leuk het bruidspaar op de kaasmarkt.
Groetjes Dietmut