Dutch Cheese



wax instant recognize
fan (2) stall (2) skimmed milk
soil walnut handmade
taste garlic savory (2)
harbor shipyard prosperity
trade weigh attraction
load sample it dates back
clog in a way open-air
typical resemble available
widely remain keep up with the times






There’s cheese on every corner, served up in the traditional Dutch way. Edam is a great place for cheese lovers.

The colorful wax covering and round shape are instantly recognizable, attracting fans from around the world.

Resident: “They have the best cows here. And if you have good soil, you have good cheese.”

Tourist: “I come to Holland often. I tell my friends about the cheese stalls and said she said you must see them. We don’t have them back home.”

Jacobs Herwe is one of three cheese farms just outside of Edam. Around one million visitors come here each year.

Here they still make cheese using traditional methods. Most of it is Gouda,

Nils Sytsma, Cheese Farmer: “So this is an Edam Cheese, and it’s the way to produce cheeses. Edem Cheeses are made with skimmed milk; that’s 40% fat. Gouda Cheeses, what you tasted here, made with full-fat milk.

And that’s the difference.”

A higher fat content means a more savory taste. And that makes it more popular.

But the actual cheese making process is the same.

Karen Schilder, Cheese Expert: “We still produce cheese the most old-fashioned way as possible — the most traditional way as possible to show to the tourists.

So that’s why it’s still mostly handmade . . . it’s all handmade.

So we are getting the cheese out of the salt-water bath right now, by hand to dry them over here.

And afterward we also plastify the cheese, which is still handmade at the cheese farms.

So we try to do it in as old-fashioned a way as possible, to show a bit of history.”

It’s a hit with the tourists. They can choose from sheep, cow or goats’ cheeses, containing herbs, walnuts, garlic or pesto.

The smallest cheese costs five euros.

Cheese was first shipped all over the world from Edam in the Middle Ages. The town was granted the right to build a harbor in 1357.

The shipyard and cheese trade brought prosperity to Edam.

These days the local cheese market is a major tourist attraction.

Kees Boosman, Tour Guide in Edam: “This is where the cheese market is held during the summer months. It dates back a long time.

This is where the cheese was brought by ship, unloaded and weighed.

Then trading could begin.”

Edam still holds a cheese market once a week in the summer, along with Alkmar and Gauda.

Tourists come to see the old traditions and costumes — as well as sample the cheese.

Clogs are another Dutch tradition. Here visitors can see how they are made — by hand of course.

In a way, Edam resembles an open-air museum.

Tourist: “We wanted to see how a typical Dutch village looked like; to see how people used to live.

Amsterdam is losing some of its traditional character. But this place still has a small-town feeling.”

Even if classic Edam Cheese is no longer made in Edam itself, it’s still widely available for sale here.

And of course, everything can also be ordered online. Edam is keeping with the times.

In any case, visitors are unlikely to go home hungry.

But they’ll remain here for many years to come: the cows that help make Edam Cheese so special.

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1. Edam cheese is made in Switzerland. Yes or no? Describe the traditional cheese in Edam. What does Dutch cheese look like?

2. According to a local, is Edam cheese the best in the world? why is Edam cheese the best?

3. Edam and Gouda cheese are the same. True or false? What is the difference between Edam and Gouda cheeses?

4. Is the Edam cheese factory-made or handmade? Why do they make the cheese by hand?

5. The only business in Edam is selling and exporting cheese. Is this correct or wrong?

6. Is Edam the same throughout the year? What happens during the summer?

7. Tourists only buy cheese. Yes or no? Do tourists only buy cheese?

8. Is Edam a new, modern town?

A. What comes to mind when you think of Holland or the Netherlands?

B. Is cheese popular in your city? Are there many varieties of cheese? Describe them.

C. Are there old, historical or tourist towns and villages in your country?

D. Old towns should be restored in traditional styles. Do you agree?

E. What are some traditional foods, arts and crafts of your country?

F. What might happen in the future?

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