The cheese industry in Holland is one of its main economic drivers. Cheese and flowers are the largest Dutch exports. Dutch cheese varieties are extensive and well known, with the largest varieties being Gouda and Edam. But those are varieties of cheese, not brands. The brand names that are known and have notoriety internationally create many different types of cheeses. For example, Uniekaas makes Gouda, Edam, Hollandse Chèvre, Mimolette, and others.
- Cheese is one of Holland's main export products.
- Visit the Holland Cheese Museum in Alkmaar.
- Stroll around the cheese markets of Edam and Gouda.
Reypenaer, Miffy, and the markets
Other cheese brands in Holland include the smaller Reypenaer, which runs a fantastic tasting room in their shop in Amsterdam, as well as small artisanal cheese makers available only in Holland cheese shops. There is even a children's brand, Miffy Dutch cheese, which sports a friendly character from a series of Dutch picture books (Miffy, a polite rabbit). For the visitor wanting to try out the traditional Dutch cheeses while traveling in Holland, a stop at the cheese markets in Edam or Gouda is a necessity.
Gouda and Edam
Gouda and Edam are by far the most famous cheeses in Netherlands. Both are named after their place of origin. Today, Gouda and Edam are made the world over. Edam Holland and Gouda Holland, however, are protected brand names as they include the additional 'Holland', indicating they are made locally.
Find the best cheese in Holland
When you are in Holland, definitely stop at the small local cheese shops—almost every town has one. Pick and choose the varieties of cheeses you've never had before, from goat's milk cheese to sheep's milk cheese. Stop at the Reypenaer tasting room in Amsterdam, and then take a day trip to Edam by bus to visit the cheese market. The Alkmaar cheese market and weighing house also houses the Dutch Cheese Museum, where you can learn the difference between farm-made cheese and factory-made cheeses personally. Or visit one of the traditional cheese farms, such as the one run by the artisanal cheese maker Henri Willig. Cheese is part of the fabric of life in Holland; stopping and trying out the many varieties should be part of any trip.