The Gouda cheese market
Cheese has been traded at the market in Gouda for over 300 years. Farmers would come from far and wide to bring their cheese stretchers to the market every Thursday morning.
Trading and weighing
Farmers and dealers still do the same things they were doing all those years ago: bargaining and haggling. When a batch is sold, it is taken to the Weighing House on a cheese stretcher to be weighed. The loading and unloading, trading and weighing is as much of a sight today as it was in the old days, and you can watch it all from close up.
The typically Dutch Cheese Girls and Boys are present too. The Cheese Girls hand out pieces of Gouda cheese, or pose for photographs with visitors, while the Cheese Boys load and unload the cheese stretchers.
Cheese and Crafts
Preparations always start early, but the Cheese Market starts at 10.00 and at ± 12.30 the last cheese is sold and taken away. At the same time as the Cheese Market there is also crafts market, a presentation of traditional crafts and products made in and around Gouda, such as earthenware, pipes, clogs, farm produce, treacle waffles and, of course, cheeses.
The cheese market is held every Thursday morning from the end of June to the end of August.