Most people like cheese
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.
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.
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.
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
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.