Edam has a historical heritage of long years of production and commerce of cheeses. The cheeses that are made in the local dairies are known over the world due to its exclusive taste. Its source is in the milk of the beef that are feed on the natural fodder fields of the dried sea areas.
As a result, the land and the salty sea breeze create pasture with special qualities that have influence on quality and taste of the dairy cattle’s milk. The knowledge of producing the exclusive cheese of north Holland, which is called (in Dutch) ”BeemsterKaas”, passes from time immemorial.
The cheese has low salt content and a soft and smooth texture. In former years the cheeses were sold to the Belgium, Luxembourg and France but now days it is sold all over the world.
The cheese market day in Edam which is similar to the cheese market in Alkmaar preserves a noisy colorful ancient tradition from the 15th century. In the process of the purchase, the buyer digs a hole in the cheese with a special drill. He pulls out a piece of the cheese and checks its quality and taste.
According to it, the seller and the buyer begin a negotiation on the price of the cheese. When they reach an agreement, the price holds for the entire batch production. At the end of the negotiation, the cheeses are carried to a weighing house on a wheelbarrow or on special carriage like stretcher. Later on it is taken to the vehicle or the boat of the buyer. All the commerce and negotiation that are held according to the ancient tradition looks very amusing, but it is very sincere and definitely real.
Due to the numerous visitors during the festival days and the high demand for accommodations it is recommended to check hotel rates and book rooms well in advance.
The market is held in July and August, every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. In advance, on the first Saturday of August, the market is active also at the evening between 21:00 to 23:00. On this day, a street fair is held from 16:00.
The fabulous atmosphere and the wonderful taste of the Edam cheese turn the cheese market to an event that should be missed.