As usual, the first thing I think about when planning my exploration of a new city is ‘I have to find the best place for (insert local specialty here)’. So goes the routine on my trip to Amsterdam. In the land of tulips and Heineken, lies the Dutch famed specialty: cheese. Cheese! Glorious, wonderful, sweet, smoky, spicy, salty, savory, cheese! Kaas, as the term goes in the Netherlands, is a staple at breakfast and lunch, with Gouda leading the charge.
Promptly upon check-in at our hotel, I asked our lovely concierge where we could find the best cheese shop. He recommended a place called De Kaaskamer which is located in the vibrant shopping district of De Negen Straatjes, or ‘The Nine Streets’. It’s an easy walk a few blocks south of the Anne Frank house. De Kaaskamer prides itself on its hugely vast selection of ultra fine cheeses. They carry a cheeses not just from Holland, but imported from all over Europe. Some of the tastiest though, in my opinion, are from some of the regional cheeses that De Kaaskamer keeps in stock due to its partnership with several local farmers. Don’t be afraid to ask the cheese monger for a sample of his favorites, or for recommendations on what to bring home!
After sampling an exorbitant amount of cheeses of all varieties, I settled on several blocks that promised to push my carry-on bag just over the size limit to checked-bag territory. Among the picks were a local sheep’s milk Gouda (hard cheese with a salty, flakey crunch), cow’s milk Gouda with truffle crust, Zeekraal sheep’s cheese (creamy and smooth) with truffle flakes, and a Rypenaer hard cheese from pasturized cow’s milk (slightly sweet).
The shop also carries a great selection of wine and accouterments (salads, sides, pickled veggies etc.) for your cheese board, or picnic lunch. They will shrink wrap or vacuum seal any thing you request, and they also will ship anywhere in the world! Personally, I just couldn’t bear to part with my cheese, so I sacrificed some clothes shopping instead. If you aren’t planning an adventure to Amsterdam anytime soon, you’re in luck because they also have an online store. You can create your own package, or choose from their variety pack favorites!
1016 GJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
tel. + 31 20 62 33 483