Alkmaar cheese market

This item appears on page 42 of the January 2020 issue.

For almost 500 years, the city of Alkmaar, Netherlands, has held a cheese market, in recent years each Friday morning in season. In 2020, the cheese market will be held 10 a.m.-1 p.m. each Friday, March 27-Sept. 25. New in 2020, there will also be an evening cheese market (7-9 p.m.) every Tuesday in July and August.

Vendors will carry hundreds of wheels of cheese into the Waagplein (the square in front of the Waag building), where, under the watchful eyes of the “cheese father,” they will weigh and separate the cheeses, testing them for quality and finally tossing them onto purchasers’ trucks. A presenter is on site to explain the process, in English, to visitors. 

The cheese cannot be purchased by those in the crowd, but, around the square, stalls are set up selling local cheeses in consumer sizes.