Edam

Edam

Edam, famous for its cheese! Shipbuilding, herring fishery and cheese trade brought great prosperity to Edam around 1230. From the 16th century, the cheese trade dominated the economy in Edam.

Local farmers took their cheeses to market in Edam to be sampled and approved, weighed and finally sold to the trader who offered the best price during a bargaining ritual with hand clapping. The small spherical cheeses with flat top and bottom were then shipped out of Edam for export all around the world. They were often traded for other goods. The last weekly cheese market was held in 1920. Factories had taken over production from farmers. “Noord-Hollandse Edammer” bears the Protected Designation of Origin logo. Alternatively, if you’re looking specifically for farmhouse cheese made with raw milk look for “Edammer boerenkaas” (farmers’ cheese).

From 1989, locals took it upon themselves to re-enact the cheese markets of old for tourists: Every Wednesday in July and August from 10.30-12.30 hrs.

Edam is a very pretty little town with a great many listed monuments. On Damplein (square) you’ll find the stately town hall in the style of Louis XIV housing the town museum and tourist information office.