Going cheesy in Gouda
December 26, 2011 33 Comments
I never thought that a word that I used to encounter when doing crossword puzzles will be as real and tangible as a place on the map. I’m sure that those who love crosswords will agree with me. It is always a choice between Gouda and Edam when the puzzle is on “Dutch cheese”.
Two summers ago, I went to Gouda one Thursday morning to witness the cheese market at work. It is one event which after so many years here, I’ve only seen in postcards and read about in travel guide books. I decided that it was time to witness this spectacle for real. I went on my own because hubby being Dutch, was not so keen to see this event.
The weather was great, just perfect for playing tourist for a day. From Amersfoort, Gouda was just a half hour’s train ride with a single stop in Utrecht.
The walk from the train station to the town’s square took me less than 10 minutes. Then arriving at the square, I was so glad to witness what this whole cheese market was all about. Huge cheeses were laid on the ground, cheese farmers dressed up in their special costumes, blond Dutch girls in their milkmaid costumes, horse-drawn carriages laden with cheeses, stalls selling wooden clogs known as “klompen” and a demo of how these clogs are made, demo of cheese-making, a stall selling “poffertjes” or the Dutch mini pancakes served with butter and dusting of confectioner’s sugar.
Gouda is known for 3 things:
- “stroopwafels” or caramel waffles
On the candles, there is one day in the year (recently last 13 December) when the city switches off its light and candles are lighted all over. I still have to witness this event which I learned from another friend who hails from this city.
To anyone visiting Holland in summer, I am recommending Gouda as a must-see place. The city is well-preserved and simply great for sightseeing. The cheese market is every Thursday from end-June to end-August from 10:00 to 12:30.
For more information on Gouda, here is the link: www.gouda.nl