Learning point one: It’s “how-dah”, not “goo-dah”. Call it “goo-dah”, and you’re asking for a correction.
Learning point two: It’s flat out delicious.
You often hear how something is much better when you try it in the place of manufacture, and often it seems that it’s the nostalgia attached to the experience that amplifies the flavors. This was not the case with Gouda cheese in Gouda. It’s. Just. Better. Perhaps they don’t pasteurize it, maybe they mix in the tears of children as a secret ingredient, but it’s soft, creamy, and flavorful. It’s also become a staple of our diet.
We went to Gouda on a Thursday to see the cheese market in action. After getting off the train we made our way to the main square. There we found tents set up and merchants selling clothes, souvenirs, pastries, and, of course, cheese. In front of the City Hall (another beautiful building that looks like a Disney castle) rows and rows of Gouda were set up ready for the farmers to sell to the merchants. Since the late 12th century cheese has been marketed and sold here, and the wooden clogs of the farmers and the worn down cobblestones below them revealed this history.
After 20 minutes or so of watching the cheese selling – the deal is made by slapping the cheese to check for quality – we walked through the rest of Gouda, following the smell of fresh baked bread to a stand selling nutella-filled croissants. Four for two Euros. Yesplease.
Walking through the rest of Gouda took only an hour or so of meandering through canal-lined streets and past a windmill.
Now for photos!
See how only the wheel Laurel is holding has a label? That’s because it’s empty – a shell for show. She found that out by almost throwing her back out hoisting a real one until a kind Italian tourist handed her the for-pictures-only version.
Farmer in blue and cheese monger in white. They slap hands as they bargain until they reach a deal, then they shake. At least that’s what they show the tourists!
Oh hello bargain delicacies…
Disney, Gouda would like a word.
The city hall in Gouda. Attention to detail on the buildings, especially the trim around windows and along the roof lines, was impressive.
Four of these for two Euros?! Stomach, I don’t care how much this is going to upset you, because there is no way we’re passing this up.
From a little closer up
Narrow alleys, some which smelled just like the lake house in New Hampshire (must be the moss?)
Canals weren’t too shabby, either