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Amsterdam Cheese Museum

Amsterdam Cheese Museum - Must Visit Attraction

When you visit a new place, it’s only natural to want to try everything that is typical of the region. Likewise, if you visit the Netherlands, you may want to try cycling in Amsterdam, going on a canal cruise, or visiting a tulip field in Keukenhof.

But is there any other quintessentially Dutch thing apart from tulips, canals, bicycles, windmills, and wooden shoes?

It’s cheese!

Dutch Cheese

In the Netherlands, cheese production has been around since prehistoric times. This was proven by the discovery of clay pots dating from 800 B.C.

Now, the Netherlands is the fourth biggest cheese producer in Europe. The different types of Dutch cheese are often named after different cities in the country, such as Gouda, Edam, Leyden, Maasdam, Leerdammer, Maaslander, and of course, the Old Amsterdam.

Some of these names have earned the Protected Geographical Status under the European Community laws, which means that only the cheese produced in the region is permitted to use the name. 

Popular Types of Dutch Cheese

Gouda – A mild-flavored yellow cheese made from cow’s milk. When aged, it develops a caramel sweetness with a slight crunchiness from cheese crystals.

Gouda cheese
 Gouda. Credit: Pierre-Yves Beaudouin / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Leyden – A semi-hard cow’s milk cheese flavored with cumin and caraway seeds.

Leyden cheese
Leyden. Credit: Edwtie / Wikimedia Commons

Leerdammer – A semi-hard cow’s milk cheese with a creamy white texture, distinct holes, and a sweet and somewhat nutty flavor.

Leerdammer cheese
Leerdammer.

Old Amsterdam – A premium aged Gouda with a firm texture, deep color, and a rich and robust flavor.

Old Amsterdam
Old Amsterdam. Credit: Peters Gourmet Market

Edam – A semi-hard cheese with a pale yellow interior and a rind of red paraffin wax. Does not spoil but only hardens with time. Has a milky and buttery taste, and almost no smell.

Edam cheese
Edam. Credit: Yvwv / Wikimedia Commons

Maasdam – A cow’s milk cheese with a smooth yellow rind and internal voids (holes) from the ripening process. Has a nutty and sweet flavor.

Maasdam cheese
Maasdam. Credit: Arz / Wikimedia Commons

Hollandse Geitenkaas – A semi-hard white cheese made using pasteurized cream or goat’s milk. Has a soft, mild, and clean taste.

Hollandse Geitenkaas
Hollandse Geitenkaas. Credit: Dairy Reporter.

Beemster Classic – Another aged version of Gouda, this semi-hard cheese features a smooth and creamy texture, a strong aroma, and a salty, sharp flavor with a sweet finish.

Beemster cheese
Beemster. Credit: Gouda Cheese Shop

You can learn about these cheeses and more at the Amsterdam Cheese Museum. And best of all, you also get to taste them, for free!

Amsterdam Cheese Museum

I’m a big fan of food-tasting experiences when traveling abroad, especially if they’re free.

Read: Free Food Tour in Sofia, Bulgaria

So, when I first heard about this cheese museum in Amsterdam, I knew I had to include it in my itinerary. Cheese is one of my favorite delicacies. I love trying all the different kinds — yes, even the stinky ones. As they say, cheese can make any food taste better.

Unfortunately, it is an expensive commodity in my country and there isn’t much variety available. We usually have to make do with overpriced cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan (if we’re lucky). Therefore, the Amsterdam Cheese Museum was a godsend to me.

Amsterdam cheese museum
Saying hello to the mascot before entering.
Amsterdam Cheese museum entrance
“Cheesed to meet you!”

Founded by a team of young entrepreneurs, the Amsterdam Cheese Museum is dedicated exclusively to Dutch cheese.

On the ground floor is a cheese shop, where you’ll be presented with more cheese than you’ve ever seen in one room. You’d be surprised to know that even Gouda cheese alone comes in many different varieties and infusions — from pineapple bits to garlic to pesto. Whether you like sweet or savory, you’ll definitely find something that tickles your fancy.

Different types of Gouda cheese at Amsterdam cheese museum
Gouda cheese at Amsterdam Cheese Museum.

Next to each one of them are small bowls containing toothpicks and tiny cubes of cheese for you to sample. This is where you can go a little crazy trying every different type and deciding which one you like best (it’s impossible to pick only one).

Different types of cheese in Amsterdam cheese museum
Cheese on sale and free samples.
Choosing cheese in Amsterdam cheese museum
Going craaaaazy!

After you have stuffed yourself silly, you can make your way downstairs to the basement, where the actual museum is.

There, you’ll get to learn about the history of cheese-making in the Netherlands through videos, pictures, replicas, and written texts. Check out the most expensive cheese slicer in the world, and have fun at the photo corner where you can dress up like a traditional Dutch cheese farmer.

Apparently, the employees also give guided tours of the museum upon request, but the store was quite busy during my visit, so I didn’t want to bother them.

Cheese ripening process
The ripening process of cheese.
Cheese making paraphernalia
Cheese-making paraphernalia.
Cheese museum Amsterdam
The famous Prima Donna cheese.
Cheese-making process.
Traditional cheese-making process.

Final Thoughts on Amsterdam Cheese Museum

Is the Amsterdam Cheese Museum worth visiting?

According to other blog articles that I read, the Amsterdam Cheese Museum is not the only cheese museum in the Netherlands. There’s a bigger, more impressive one in Alkmaar, which also provides guided tours as well as family-friendly scavenger hunts. A tour of the Alkmaar Cheese Museum can usually be combined with a visit to the cheese market and the cheese farm.

However, Alkmaar is 43 kilometres away from the capital, so for those of you who are short on time or simply don’t feel like making the 40-minute journey, the Amsterdam Cheese Museum is a great alternative.

You still get to learn about cheese-making and sample the different types of cheese for free. If you’re a foodie, I’d say this is a must-visit place in Amsterdam. And even if you’re not, could you really say no to free cheese?

The great news is that all the cheese on offer at the Amsterdam Cheese Museum are vacuum-packed and ready for traveling all around the world. They also ship their products worldwide, so if you don’t want to carry your purchase with you on the plane, or if you’re not in Amsterdam right now, you can easily order them online!

Amsterdam cheese museum
I just love looking at these perfectly shaped cheese wheels. Can I get one for my birthday, please?
Amsterdam cheese museum.
More and more varieties!

Amsterdam Cheese Museum

Address: Prinsengracht 112, 1015 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 331 6605
 

Opening Hours: 09:00 to 21:00 daily

Entrance Fee: FREE!

How to Get to the Amsterdam Cheese Museum:

  1. Walking: Across the canal from the Anne Frank House (5 minutes’ walk).
  2. By public transports: From the Central Station, take tram 13, 17, or bus no. 21, 170, 171 to Westermarkt stop.
  3. By car: From the Amsterdam ring A10, exit on S105 and continue driving until you reach Bloemgracht.

Amsterdam Cheese Museum

Have you visited any ‘edible museum’ before? Or have you heard of any? If yes, please share in the comment section below. I’d love to have more food experiences abroad!

Posted in Food & Drinks, Netherlands

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34 Comments

    • ummi

      Oh haha, saya pun tak tau banyak sangat. Tapi tau la beza cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, Brie, n blue cheese. Sbb tu je yg biasa ada kat Malaysia ni.

    • ummi

      Hmm, tak perasan pulak ada bau ke tak masa masuk kedai tu aritu. Macam tak kot. Rasanya Dutch cheese ni tak bau kuat sangat macam blue cheese. Tapi packaging memang cantik. Semua vacuum-packed, senang kalau nak bawak travel atau pos ke mana-mana.

    • ummi

      Banyak kak, kalau pergi supermarket yang ‘atas’ sikit kat Malaysia ni, dapat la tengok jenis-jenis cheese yang lain, tapi harganya pun ‘atas’ la. Bila pergi Eropah, memang saya gunakan segala peluang yang ada untuk makan cheese, sebab murah. 😀

    • ummi

      Then, you wajib singgah ke Cheese Museum ni kalau pergi ke Amsterdam nanti. Sementara tu, bookmark la dulu ya, untuk rujukan akan datang. 🙂

  1. Grace Ng

    oh this brings back such great memories. my brother brought back all kinds of dutch cheeses and they were amazing. thanks to your article, i now understand each type better! there are just so many more to try.

    • ummi

      I agree, Grace. So many cheeses, so little time, right? Haha. I wish to learn more about cheese in my future travels, and I hope you will too! 🙂

  2. VIOLA NG

    wow! i think i just found my favorite blog. I love cheese! am feeling so excited when i see all your pictures shared about cheese. loving all the details you share. i shall print out this post for my future reference.

    • ummi

      Thank you so much, Viola! Glad you enjoyed the article. It’s crazy to think that this is only a small portion of the many other types of cheese out there!

    • ummi

      Haah, cheese ni ada banyak jenis lagi, Syafiera. Yang ni baru Dutch cheese, belum lagi kira yang dari negara-negara lain di Eropah, atau dari benua-benua lain di dunia. Agaknya kalau dikira semua, mau sampai beratus-ratus jenis.

    • ummi

      Ya, Mus. Peminat cheese memang kena pergi sini. Tapi tak semua jenis cheese ada, yang kat sini cuma keju keluaran Belanda saja. Walaubagaimanapun, tetap boleh dapat bermacam-macam jenis.

  3. ZHARIF AZIS

    i wish i can visit this museum someday. Looks fun exploring different type of cheese. The best part is you can taste the sample. I have not visited any edible museum before, how sad

    • ummi

      You’re right, Zharif — although it’s cool to learn about the cheese making process and all, the best part will always be the tasting part! Hope you’ll get to visit it too someday.

  4. Ruby

    Ummi! MasyaAllah best betul dapat pergi muzium keju! Banyak informasi kan. Bila dah tau banyak cheese, mesti ada favourite kan? Yang mana satu pilihan kalbu?

    • ummi

      Hmmmm…sangat susah soalan tu, kak Ruby. Hahaha. Tak dapat nak pilih yang mana satu paling suka, sebab semua sedap. Lepas tu, saya ikut mood juga, kadang-kadang rasa nak makan yang lembut dan berkrim. Kadang-kadang nak yang separa keras dan rasa yang lebih kuat. Senang cerita, borong je la semua.

    • ummi

      These are only Dutch cheeses, Kitkat. So that’s only a small percentage of the many other types of cheese in this world! Ya, I hope we’ll get to travel freely again soonest.

    • ummi

      Setuju sangat-sangat, Airah. Bila kita dah suka sesuatu benda tu, dah tentu la kita nak tau lebih lanjut sejarah dan cara pembuatannya, kan? Dan yang paling best, dapat rasa secara percuma. Jadi, kalau Airah pergi ke Amsterdam nanti, jangan lupa singgah cheese museum ni tau!

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