Dutch Kaas

27 Sep

Hello Everyone,

The word of the day is Kaas and Kazen. The first one means
cheese. The second means cheeses. Kaas is pronounced as kahs and kassen is
pronounced as Kahzen.

The reason behind teaching you this is cheese is important
in the Dutch culture. Before it became so easy to achieve and have cheese year
round, new cheese is found only in the summer and old/mature cheese was only
found in the spring. There was no cheese in the winter. So there were markets
to buy and sell cheese which is continued to this day more as a tourist
attraction than anything else.  Most
people I have notice take cheese sandwiches to school for lunch. It is seen as
greedy here if you have more than one topping on your bread.  The fact it is such an important but often
forgotten fact of cultural importance along with the color orange, Anne Frank,
and windmills (molen), I thought I would mention it so that you would know.

For example: Ik koop de kaas. (I buy the cheese)


This is a cheese market. It is the most famous cheese market
that is in Alkmaar. The men in the straw hats carry the cheese from where they
are tested over to be weighed. They are weighed over in the left part of the
building. In picture 2 you see the cheese being weighed by the man in the
yellow hat. They write it down. Then the men with the colored hats take it off
to who bought it. The straw hats of the men that carry the cheese match their
veer color. The men in the red capes are new members to the cheese guild. The
men in the white gowns are official tester of the cheese. They test the cheese
by looking at it, smelling it, crumbling it, and finally tasting it. The men in
the blue shirts load the cheese onto the veer (a sled like carrier).  It is a big show more or less outside a 14th
century weighing place, which has been turned into a museum about the cheese
market. The cheese market brings in tourist from all over regardless of
weather. The show is announced in several languages including but not only in
Dutch, English, and French. It is a wonder to see and a joy to attend.

Hope you enjoyed this lesson.

Caitlin

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2 Responses to “Dutch Kaas”

  1. Erika September 28, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    Did you buy any cheese when you went to the cheese market?

    • neiko5 December 8, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

      No unfortunatly I didn’t get to buy any but I did get to eat cheese while at the market.

      Caitlin

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