Dutch people are tradition lovers, even calling them obsessed with their culture won’t be very wrong (this is ‘obsessed’ good and I am very positive a person!). There are few things about my journey in Netherlands, which I found so typically Amsterdam or Dutch like.
Apart from windmills, people of Netherlands are excited about their farm fresh cheese and clogs, which they even love to showcase to their tourists as well.
Farm fresh cheese is quite an intent part for the Dutch diet. Gouda is what they call their native cheese. The process of turning full cream milk to dry wholesome heavy wheel of cheese is about 4 to 5 different and time taking steps. Knowing these elaborate process of natural cheese making is quite interesting, but more relishing is the taste of the cheese. In order to focus on the sale or call it taste gimmick, these cheese are available in some flavors like garlic, onion apart from the plain Gouda cheese. And to answer to the very first raising question is, Yes, one can buy those cheese from the farm shop after the cheese and clog making process gets all into your mind, soul, gut and shopping spree!! There’s many such cheese making farms in Netherlands, who are open for tourists to visit and projecting them this entire process; I visited Rembrandt Hoeve, which is at Amstelveen**.
Clogs are heritage and part of many old stories of Dutch culture. A pair of hand curved wooden shoes with pointed tip, which used to be sported in earlier days by both men and women. There are so many interesting facts or stories about these clogs narrated by the locals. How a small rose wood log turns into a ‘V’ shaped hollow wearable in a minute is fun to watch. The design and colour of the clogs define whether it’s to be worn by men or women. The traditional clogs are quite simple and continue to have the same pattern; i.e. men used to wear yellow clogs and the plain wooden pairs were worn by the ladies. However keeping in mind the changing demand of international market there are now many modern pattern and colours available. These clogs or Klomps are still used by Dutch during festivals or wedding. Even buying them as souvenir (of one’s foot size or as showpiece) or good memory is a good idea.
** Amstelveen is about 8 km from Amsterdam and local buses, trams or taxis are easily available as transport between these two places.
The farm visit takes about 30 minutes, no entry fee required to visit the farm.