After the the closing of the commercial cheese market in 1922, where farmers from the neighborhood came sell their cheese, the market of Edam again revived in 1989. With the willing cooperation of over 90 volunteers and financial support of Beemsterkaas the market has become a major tourist event. The market is now enlivened by the play of an old Dutch street organ and especially by the tones of the Edam cheese chapel, the Edam cheese market has quickly become an important tourist event.
Hand clap bargaining
As in the past, the cheese is supplied by the farmers with small boats. After unloading at a special quay, the cheese is brought to the market by cheese carriers. There they offer the cheese for sale to cheese traders. After being approved first by means of haggling, the ‘bargaining’, the price per kilo of cheese is set. As with the major trade fairs, the trading prices are tracked. The cheeses are then again loaded onto a stretcher and taken to the balance, ‘de waag’, where the weight is determined. The cheese is finally transported to the cheese store for ‘maturing’ by horse and an original cheese carriage.
The cheese market Edam has special guest
The opening and closing of the cheese market day is done by the ringing of a bell. This sound is generally done by a special domestic of foreign guest, such as famous artists, singers or people parliament, ministers, European commissioners, writers, representatives from the sports and entertainment world and others who in some way made their contribution. A speaker explains in three modern languages what happens on the cheese market. You can also watch a video on cheesemaking in a beautifully restored church, participate in guessing the weight of a serving of cheese put out on the market and win great prizes, etc. Everything is free and without charge. In a special stall one can buy “cheese market related” souvenirs and on and around the cheese market one can of course buy the famous Edam cheese.
The cheese markets takes place on the Jan van Nieuwenhuizen Square, the former official cheese market of Edam. There are eight cheese markets annually as well as a beautifully lit night market with extensive fair. All dates are listed on the agenda.