You may have guessed by the title, but I’ve recently been to Amsterdam. And by recently I mean a month ago, so yes, this blog post is a month late. Technically the past month has been dedicated to studying for/ taking exams, but admittedly I wasn’t studying hard enough to neglect writing this post, which I have been looking forward to. All of my previous posts were being graded for my journalism class so this is the first post in which I have full freedom to do my own ‘thang’, which means taking a month-long ‘break’ between posts.
Anyway, I’m back! And I’m ready to share the cheesy details of my tasty trip to Amsterdam. Before leaving for Amsterdam there were two souvenirs I was determined to purchase: wooden clogs, and as much cheese as I could carry. I am happy to report that I succeeded. In fact, after escaping the hell that was customs at Schiphol Airport my roommate/ travel partner/ guardian Mollie and I needed food and found our way to Albert Heijn, the go-to Dutch grocery store and grocery store of my dreams. Right in front of AH there stood a ginormous pair of clogs adjacent to shelves of Dutch cheese. We snapped a photo of my beaming smile, bought our food and continued on to our hostel. At the hostel, I realised I left my phone in that very Albert Heijn and didn’t get it back until the end of the trip, but that’s another story….
During our first day in the city I think we each gained ten pounds. Amsterdam has beautiful architecture, history, and culture, but it also has a cheese shop on nearly every block. I think we visited each one, twice. We nibbled on gouda that was aged one month, 10 months, 12 months, aged 24 months (all delicious), had rum cheese, beer cheese, and coconut flavoured cheese. I think we even skipped a proper lunch!
I absolutely fell in love with the city of Amsterdam, the sprawling and quilt-like tulip fields, and the picturesque town of Zaanses Schaans. The cheese was definitely a highlight but every aspect of our trip captured my heart.
I ultimately bought two wheels of un-aged, or ‘natural’ gouda, two wheels of beer cheese, or Bierkaas (kaas is the Dutch word for cheese), and one wedge of 24-month aged gouda. Oh yeah, and a pair of hand-made wooden clogs. All of which I managed to fit neatly in my regulation Ryanair luggage. #Winning
Here’s a little bit of background on the Dutch delight that is Gouda cheese:
- Gouda is a semi-soft, brined, waxed rind cheese
- It names refers to the Dutch town of Gouda, where Gouda was not necessarily produced but commonly traded
- It is one of the most consumed cheeses worldwide, as well as one of the oldest cheeses still in production
Check out cheese.com/gouda for more information!
I bought the cheese as a fun souvenir for my family to enjoy, and given my bleu cheese pizza disaster I don’t think I’ll be doing any experimenting in the kitchen this time around. But gouda can definitely be enjoyed in all kinds of ways, from atop a cracker without or without a jam or chutney, on a sandwich, as a delicious fondue, or even melted into mashed potatoes. However its enjoyed its bound to be Goudaful!