The Edam cheese market was, in the Middle Ages, the hub of the city. It was where farmers brought their cheeses to be weighed, sold, and exported all over the world. In 1520, Edam was granted the right to hold the market, and fifty years later the right of "Cheese weighing house" was granted in perpetuity. But in 1922, the cheese market was closed when cheeses began being made in factories. Now, Edam has restored the farmer’s cheese market to its former place and holds historic reenactments on Wednesdays from 10:30am to 12:30pm during the summer.
- See what trading cheese was like in the olden days.
- Get a taste of history during this fun-filled trip.
- Take an excursion to Edam, Volendam and the Zaanse Schans.
How the Edam cheese market works
Every market brings cheese in by horse-drawn cart or by boat, just as it was in the Renaissance. Once there, special cheese carriers unload the cheese, the traders test the batch by drilling a "core sample,” they taste the sample for quality, and based on that they determine the price. These are the cheese masterminds. If accepted, the carriers take the batch on handbarrows to scales in the weighing house. Eight morning markets are held each year (in July and August) and one evening market on a Saturday from 8:30pm to 10:30pm, which also features a large flea market.
Going to Edam
A trip to Edam in the summer should include a trip to the cheese market, if only for the history that is being reenacted and remembered. Edam is a fun day trip away from Amsterdam, and you can get there by bus in about a half-hour. As with most cities in Holland, the best way to get around the city is by bicycle. You can rent one in several locations around town like Ton Tweewielers, or ask at the local tourist office for information. If you just choose to walk, the city is quaint and easily navigable by pedestrians.