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Visiting Holland is a must for any cheese lover. Being a country known for its wet soil, particularly well suited for dairy farming, Holland is one of the biggest producers of cheese worldwide.

In Holland, cheese is an appropriate addition to any meal (boy, do I love that!), from sliced cheese at breakfast, to cubed cheese with mustard as a snack. You have probably already heard of Edam and Gouda, Holland’s most famous semi-hard cheeses, but you might not know about the other varieties of Dutch cheeses like Geitenkaas, a bright white semi-hard goat cheese, Maasdammer, with big holes and a sweet nutty taste, Boerenkaas, creamy farmers cheese, or Leyden, a cumin spiced cheese. 

There is no better place to learn about the complexities of Dutch cheeses than a traditional Dutch cheese farm. Many cheese farms are situated in close proximity to Amsterdam, making them easy to visit even if you are spending only a few days in the city. 

Cheese storage room.. a.k.a. cheese heaven!

Cheese storage room.. a.k.a. cheese heaven!

Cheese tasting... look at all those options!

Cheese tasting… look at all those options!

How cheese is made

Learning how cheese is made

The cheese tasting, which will often include over 20-30 types of cheeses is an amazing experience for any cheese lover. Even if you don’t love cheese, you are bound to find something here that suits your taste! I know I did…oh wait no, I just fell in love with them all! And that’s the story of the origin of my cheese addition…

But don’t just stop at cheese tasting, visit the towns of Alkmaar, Gouda, Edam or Hoorn and explore their famous cheese markets!

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Cultural Close-ups is a series of photographs and stories from around the world that go beyond the pretty sights and famous attractions. If you’d like to contribute a photo and a short story to Cultural Close-Ups, please email your submission to [email protected]