Monday, 4 May 2009

欲望都市 - 乳酪市场 * Alkmaar Cheese Market (30 May 08)

Alkmaar 是一个离阿姆斯特丹不远的小镇。这里最吸引游客观光的无非是他们的乳酪市场。其实早在600年前荷兰已经开始了他们的乳酪批发市场,也因为这样荷兰的乳酪买卖市场是全欧洲最大的。来到Alkmaar最大的目的当然是要看乳酪批发市场到底是怎么样进行的。这里的买卖家一边做生意,一边表演给游客看他们当地的文化。



Alkmaar is a small town stands not far from Amsterdam. This town is welknown for cheese wholesales and cheese trading activities. Mass cheese trading started in Holland about 600 years ago and today Holland has become the largest cheese production and cheese market in Europe. The activities of trading is not merely meant for business purposes, today it is also served as a show/performance for visitors from all over the world.

All the while, I thought cheese are produced in small pieces like what I see in the supermarket. After visiting Alkmaar then only I realised the original size of a cheese is as big as a bicycle wheel! I believe each cheese weights not less than 5-10kg. From far it looks like huge orange color hambuger! :P

Cheese trading started in a small wooden house called 'Waag'. Beside playing its' function as a weight house, today's 'Waag' in Alkmaar also serves as Alkmaar Tourist Office and Dutch Cheese Museum). Sellers placed cheeses on the weight then buyers collected and carried them, put them on the floor until trading activities were completed. All buyers put on a uniform: white top, white pants and straw hat with colored ribbon. There were a few stalls selling cheeses, visitors may purchase cheese or try tasting them on the spot.

Alkmaar high street, we were walking towards the cheese market.

Cheese buyers (dress in white with straw hat) were carrying cheeses.

These cheeses look like hamburgers, don't they? :P

Cheeses were weighted in 'waag'.

Mum was trying cheeses from the stalls. The lady dressed up as typical 'Dutch Lady'.

Behind me is 'waag' - the cheese weight house. Today, it is also served as Alkmaar Tourist Office and Dutch Cheese Museum.

Cheese is protected with a thick layer of wax (the orange layer). You will have to remove the wax before consuming.

One of the stalls was selling and serving this - raw fish! Many people bought this and eat on the spot, I really don't have the guts to try this!!

In a cheese shop not far from Alkmaar Cheese Market.

Cheese... cheese...cheese...oh I love cheese!!