Rotterdam’s best cheese - Dutch icons of Rotterdam

Oogsmarkt Oudwijker Italian cheese 📷 Anna SoetensOogsmarkt Oudwijker Italian cheese 📷 Anna Soetens
One of the iconic Dutch things is cheese. Yes, more countries are claiming that cheese is their unique thing, but then again, there is a cornucopia of different cheeses. Which, of course, warms the heart of every cheese lover. And, let’s be honest, that’s nearly everyone.

Most people like cheese

However, the Netherlands has a total worth of 3,5 billion in the cheese export, so we’re talking about big numbers. And THE cheese to buy from the Netherlands is the most famous: Leerdammer, Edammer and Goudse Kaas.

The Netherlands is mainly known for hard cow cheeses, most of them on the young side, compared to other countries’ cheeses. Farmer’s cheese, grass cheese, hay cheese, may cheese and pretty much all of them smoked,  are produced here by the wheel.

The Netherlands is also known for cows (and buffalos) and fields that result in the ideal milk for fabulous cheese. And of course, Rotterdam and Amsterdam have their own cheese, Old Rotterdam and Old Amsterdam respectively.
 

Where to get the best cheese in Rotterdam

Cheese is a very Dutch thing. But where can you get the best in Rotterdam? You can buy cheese in a lot of places; Supermarkets, Markets and speciality shops. Supermarkets are quick and easy, and there is nothing wrong with them. Only, they might not be all that special.

 
So, where do you get the best cheese in Rotterdam? It depends on your style. What kind of cheese person are you? Are you a finder? Quick shopper? Gourmet? Or foodie? Here are four cheesy personalities, each with a unique method for finding cheese in Rotterdam!

1.    The Finder

You have time on Saturday or Tuesday, are in the city anyway and like to choose yourself: Go to the big inner-city market near Blaak Metro station, try different stands and select your favourite. Make sure they are local cheeses because, to be honest, I’m not sure all of them are. And I cannot give you the best stand here, but I can tell you that most people here are cheese sellers. They know their cheese, but they don’t make it. Might be economical to buy here.

Oogsmarkt Booi stand 📷 Anna SoetensOogsmarkt Booi stand 📷 Anna Soetens Markthal Old Rotterdam 📷 Anna SoetensMarkthal Old Rotterdam 📷 Anna Soetens

2.    The Quick Shopper

Markthal is your friend here. Open any day of the week and equipped with several cheese stands. I would opt for the Rotterdammer here: it’s a good cheese with a few varieties, you get decent service, and you get to try it. They have a variety on one type, which makes them very credible. And limits your choice if you’re in a hurry. They also have pretty, labelled gift packs. Just in case anybody doubts you went to Rotterdam.

3.    The Gourmet

Find the closest speciality cheese shop. You probably come away with a bit of excellent French, delightful Belgian and a good local cheese, but they’ll all be tasty. There are quite a few with good service and deep knowledge dotted around Rotterdam. A very charming cheese shop is in Kralingen on the Lusthofstraat if you’re looking for style. You can also get your cheese paired with wine here. 


Lusthofstraat Alexanderhoeve shop 📷 Anna SoetensLusthofstraat Alexanderhoeve shop 📷 Anna Soetens Lusthofstraat Alexanderhoeve shop 📷 Anna SoetensLusthofstraat Alexanderhoeve shop 📷 Anna Soetens Lusthofstraat Alexanderhoeve shop 📷 Anna SoetensLusthofstraat Alexanderhoeve shop 📷 Anna Soetens

4.    The Foodie – artisan shop

Get a water taxi or the metro to Katendrecht and find the Fenix Food Factory. They have a fabulous local cheeses cheese shop, among other local delicacies. Most of their cheeses are from around Rotterdam and are the real deal. They’ll be able to tell you who produced which cheese and what the story is. You will be happy you went, as there are more artisan food products sold here.

5.    The Foodie – artisan market on Saturday

Go to my favourite Saturday morning shopping place: the Oogstmarkt on Noordplein between 10:00 and 17:00 on a Saturday (don’t leave it too late on rainy days - or on sunny days come to think of it). It’s the place of the artisan cheese and food makers. Here you will get to buy direct from the producers.

Oogstmarkt, Booi kaas 📷 Anna SoetensOogstmarkt, Booi kaas 📷 Anna Soetens
You will find the shopkeepers specialist from the Fenix here; Booij's clean Dutch gouda is delicious and from a farm not far from Rotterdam. You can get it in a range from very young to old (you know, the one you must eat in broken pieces because it won’t cut properly) and with various beautiful flavours.

Oogstmarkt, Oudwijker Italian cheese 📷 Anna SoetensOogstmarkt, Oudwijker Italian cheese 📷 Anna Soetens Oogstmarkt, Mills cheese from Kinderdijk 📷 Anna SoetensOogstmarkt, Mills cheese from Kinderdijk 📷 Anna Soetens
You can get fabulous goats’ cheese, that is very much Dutch and local and Rotterdam. Even goat butter on some days. And you can get lovely Italian cheese, most of which is produced in the Netherlands and even convinces Italians.

Oogsmarkt Goats cheese 📷 Anna SoetensOogsmarkt Goats cheese 📷 Anna Soetens

All the cheeses are served with a smile, and a chat, and all the producers can answer all the questions you could probably come up with. Well, ok, most of them can answer most questions and only if they involve cheese – or their respective other product.

Oogstmarkt, Goats cheese 📷 Anna SoetensOogstmarkt, Goats cheese 📷 Anna Soetens

 

Whatever your style, go buy cheese. Go to your place of choice, say cheese: happy days.

 

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