Saturday, November 14, 2009

Netherlands - Cheese market in Alkmaar

Windmills, tulips, porcelain, cheeses, clogs, bicycles as well as coffee shops are symbols of Netherlands. This is impossible to describe all mentioned symbols in one article that is why for each of them I will dedicate separate post.
First of all, I would like start write this story about holland's symbols from major agricultural product - cheese and unique in the world cheese markets.

 Do you know that about three kilos of cheese were produced worldwide for each person on Earth?! The largest producer of cheese is the United States, accounting for 30% of world production, followed by Germany and France, Italy, Holland and my country Poland.

The most famous holland's cheese is gouda which is made from cow's milk in city Gouda and Gouda-cheese has nut taste and is sold in huge blocks about weight to 12 kg.
Very popular is also cheese Edam. It is easy to recognize it because is covered red wax.


Several cities in Holland still have Cheese Weighhouses, . Woerden is a fully functional modern commercial cheese market. Four, Alkmaar, Gouda, Edam, Hoorn, are reproductions of traditional merchant cheese markets as operated in the Middle Ages. There are five cheese markets operating in the Netherlands. Woerden is a fully functional modern commercial cheese market. Four, Alkmaar, Gouda, Edam, Hoorn, are reproductions of traditional merchant cheese markets as operated in the Middle Ages. Alkmaar's cheese market at the Waagplein, is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions.


The cheese market traditionally takes place on the first Friday in April and the last market of the season is the first Friday in September. Every Friday morning (10.00-12.30 a.m.) the Waagplein is the backdrop for this traditional cheesemarket. Market activities are explained in Dutch, German, English and sometimes Japanese. There are four teams (vemen) of cheese-porters (kaasdragers), who can be recognised by their differently coloured straw hats: red, blue, green and yellow. Two porters bring cheese on stretchers to the weighing house (Waag) - a typical stretcher "weighs in" at about 160 kilograms. Merchants sample the cheeses and decide on a price using a barter system called handjeklap, literally clapping hands.


It is not actually possible to buy cheese at the market itself, which is really only a demonstration of how this merchants' market operated in times gone by. However, the demonstration, which takes place in front of the medieval weighing house, is surrounded by many specialized stalls where it is possible to buy all kinds of cheese and related natural products I recommend to do purchase there because tradesman offer products in prices lower than in shops in Amsterdam or Haag.


If you will be in Alkmar you have to visit Hollands Kaasmuseum - The Dutch Cheese Museum Hollands Kaasmuseum - The Dutch Cheese Museum with collection witch includes historical utensils in the preparation of dairy products, film- and photographic images and paintings it is something jet – from museum’s windows you can see excellent view on old Waagplain.

If you see more photos klick on MY GALLERY - Holland Alkmaar cheese market

Monday, November 9, 2009

9.11.1989 - the fall of the Berlin Wall

November 9, 1989 - for us it was Beginning of the End for Communism
Things were never the same again after that night...

Friday, November 6, 2009

We Love Russia

Today morning I received e-mail with link to this video from my friend. You must see that it's so good! in russian language - все хорошо, ето смешно!
Russia is a great country with really amazing people. Things like that happen because Russians are completely crazy.Nowhere else in the world you can see so many funny things.

Monday, November 2, 2009

All Saints’ Day

All Saints’ Day - time of meditation and reflection...

All Saints' Day falls on November 1, followed by All Souls' Day on November 2, and is a Holy Day of Obligation in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.

In Portugal and Spain, oferendas (offerings) are made on this day. In Portugal children celebrate the Pão-por-Deus tradition. In Spain, the play Don Juan Tenorio is traditionally performed. In Mexico, All Saints coincides with the celebration of Day of the Innocents ("Día de los Inocentes"), the first day of the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) celebration, honoring deceased children and infants. In Portugal, children go door to door where they receive cakes, nuts and pomegranates.

 Slavs and Roms, they have the tradition of revelry. They make on graves true feasts. They bring the food, sit on graves and discuss. They like something to drink and eat. They often pour out on the grave wine.
In Austria, Belgium, France, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain people bring flowers to the graves of dead relatives.

  In Poland like in the Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Croatia, Austria, Romania, Moldova, Hungary and Catholic parts of Germany, the tradition is to light candles and visit the graves of deceased relatives.
In my country (Poland) people lighting candles also on forget graves –in this time we resemble the persons who died and we wonder about fragility of our life…
MY SMALL GALLERY - All Saints Day in Poland