Background Image
Previous Page  63 / 132 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 63 / 132 Next Page
Page Background







When it comes to ‘cheesy’ tourist

attractions Gouda’s Cheese Market is right

up there with the very best of them. Gouda,

with population of 70 thousand is a city in

the western Netherlands’ province of South

Holland. If you enjoy insights into culinary

traditions and regional heritage it’s well

worth taking a look at the long-established

weekly market.

Subject to the weather being fine, the

market takes place each Thursday, with the

exception of Ascension Day, from the begin-

ning of April until the end of August. Stalls

selling local foodstuffs are manned from

around 10.00am to 1.00pm and locals don tra-

ditional costumes to convey how the market

was in bygone times. On the cobbles between

the city’s weigh house and town hall you’ll

see people dressed as farmers, maids in red

aprons and lace bonnets plus cheese shop

owners wearing white jackets and flat caps.

The city’s name is, of course, synonymous

with one of the world’s most popular cheeses.

Some estimates reckon more than half of all

the cheese consumed around the world is

Gouda in style. Of course, cheese lovers in

South Holland argue the original is best and

say it’s down to the lush, mineral-rich grass

of the low-lying fields around Gouda. Every

day, each dairy cow eats up to 100kg of the

grass in order to produce between 20 and 30

litres of milk. Cheeses of a similar style are

produced around the globe but do they match the flavour and texture of

cheeses made on nearby farms, in communities such as Bergambacht,

Haastrecht and Stolwijk?

Farmers from outlying villages have been bringing their produce

into Gouda, for sale on market days, since at least the 17


century. The

cobbled site today occupied by the marketplace was merely a sodden

field when Gouda’s Gothic town hall was constructed. It was built in

stone, well away from other buildings, after a fire destroyed much of

Gouda in 1438. The town hall’s balcony was once used as the site for

public executions and today provides fine views of activities unfolding

around the yellow cheeses that are laid out on the square on market days.

As you browse the stalls you might be distracted by the peal of the

carillon up on the east face of the town hall. It depicts Floris V, the count

who granted Gouda its charter in 1272. Mechanical figures circle the car-

illon two minutes after each half hour, helping avoid a cacophonic clash

with the bells of Sint-Janskerk (St John’s Church). At 123 metres in

Pijaca sira otvorena je jednom nedeljno


The cheese market is open once a week