In the Middle Ages, the Edam cheese market was the central point in the city. Here farmers brought their cheeses to be weighed, sold and exported abroad. In 1520, Edam was granted the right to hold the market. Fifty years later, the right of a cheese wheel was granted in perpetuity. However, in 1922 the cheese market was closed because the cheeses were made in factories. Today, the farmers’ cheese market in Edam has been restored to its former glory. A tourist version of the cheese market is held here in summer on Wednesdays from 10:30 to 12:30.
- Look at how cheeses were traded in the past.
- Taste the history during this fun outing.
- Choose an excursion to Edam, Volendam and the Zaanse Schans.
How the Edam cheese market works
The cheeses are transported by horse cart or boat, just like in the Renaissance. There they are unloaded by special cheese porters. The traders test the quality of the cheese with a “cheese drill” and determine the price on that basis. These are the cheese masters. If the cheese is approved, it is taken to the weighing house in wheelbarrows. Eight morning markets are held annually in July and August. There is also a night market with a fair from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. on a Saturday.
If you visit Edam in the summer, you should definitely visit the cheese market. If only for the history that is kept alive here. Edam is also a nice day trip from Amsterdam. By bus, you can get there in about half an hour. As in most cities in Holland, the bicycle is the best means of transportation within the city. You can rent bicycles at several places (such as Ton Tweewielers). Or ask for information at the local tourist office. If you prefer to walk, the city is also good to visit on foot.