Our day trip from Amsterdam to Edam, Volendam, and Marken promised a unique experience at the Alida Hoeve cheese farm by Henri Willig. The first part of the tour included a short demonstration by a lady adorned in traditional Volendam costumes. Unfortunately, the confined space and lack of a microphone made it challenging for those at the back, like myself, who had just rushed from the bus to use the on-site restroom. Despite the setback, the promise of tasting world-famous Edam and Gouda cheeses kept the anticipation high. Was the expectation met?
An Introduction to Dutch Cheese Making in Volendam & a Palette of Flavors at the Alida Hoeve Shop
Following the demonstration, we ventured into the attached sales room, a haven for cheese enthusiasts. Here, we encountered an array of famous Edam and Gouda cheeses, including varieties made from sheep and goat milk. Each cheese came in numerous colours, boasting distinctive flavour profiles. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the visit was the opportunity to sample these diverse cheeses. From the rich Truffle Gouda wheel to the smoky Gouda cheese roll, every taste was a delight.
I did not want to carry around a wheel of cheese for the entire day, so I opted for a small jar of “Honey Mustard” at 2.75€. The individual on-site mustard-tasting allowed me to explore various flavours, providing a unique experience even for those not inclined to purchase cheese. While tempting, the weight of options like the Truffle Gouda wheel (380g) or the smoked Gouda roll (500g) made them too impractical for travel.
Some things are best enjoyed on-site during travel, and not taken home.
Commercial Charm and Practical Tips for Visitors of the Alida Hoeve Cheese Farm by Henri Willig
The Alida Hoeve cheese farm by Henri Willig, is undeniably geared towards commercial success. While it may be a mandatory stop for organized day tours, individual travellers can also explore the shop just outside Volendam near Edam during regular opening hours. For those in the vicinity with a car, a visit is recommended. However, relying on public transport solely for this destination might be less convenient and rather not recommended. This is, why an organized day trip is recommended, to venture to places you’d normally not visit during travel, while relying on public transportation only.
If you’re eager to taste Henri Willig’s cheeses, consider visiting one of their international shops or the “Cheese Tasting Experience Rembrandtplein” in Amsterdam.
Alida Hoeve Shop Volendam by Henri Willig
Address: Zeddeweg 1, 1131CW Volendam, the Netherlands
Opening hours: daily from 8.30 am to 6.00 pm. Admission is free.