A Mexican family with a passion for cheese made several stops on their Euro trip. After their workshop of parmigiano cheese making in Italy they came to the Netherlands. I took them for a workshop fresh Holland cheese making and windmill visit in Leiden area. A tasty experience!
Four kids between 6 and 15 years old rolled out of the car. A long drive, some miscommunication. Everyone was excited. They would:
- explore Holland the typical Dutch way: by bike
- spend an afternoon in the Dutch countryside
- see some hidden gems in Leiden area
- get a guided tour by a cheese farmer
- do a Holland cheese making workshop
- visit a windmill
- taste and buy a lot of local products
Taking the kids to the Leiden dairy farm by bike
The two adults, mum and dad, needed a bit of time to get used to cycling on the parent child tandems. As soon as they got the hang of it and understood they could let their kids do all the hard work, we took up speed and were at the dairy farm near Leiden in no time.
The Holland cheese making workshop in Leiden
All ingredients for the Holland cheese making workshop were on a big table in a small room. The cheese farmer was ready to start. She told us we were going to make a fresh cheese today. A cheese we could take home immediately and eat within 3 days.
Under the guiding eye of the cheese farmer we added the right quantities of sour and solid to the fresh milk. Although what we had to do was very littly, we had to pay attention and handle with care. Too much sour or too much stirring would destroy our efforts of a good cheese.
We added, we stirred. The cheese to be had to rest and the cheese farmer took us for a tour on the farm. We tried to milk a goat, tasted raw goat milk that was so fresh it was warm, walked through the cheese storage and farmers’shop and then went back to the small room. We cut, stirred and drained the water. We put our cheese in a bowl and left it to rest.
While waiting for our cheese to get the right shape and solidness, we tasted different farmers’ cheeses: Gouda as well as Leiden cheese, goat cheese as well as cow cheese. What a yummie experience!
Cycling to the windmill
With our tummies full and our cheeses neatly packed we got back on our bicycles. We took an adventurous cycling path and arrived at the windmill. It was a Friday. On any other Friday the flour windmill would be closed, but we were lucky.
The millers were even grinding grain! The kids stared as huge bags of flour were coming down from the first floor of the windmill. The miller laughed: “I’ll drink my coffee and give you guys a tour.”
Old Dutch candy for the young at heart
The kids’eyes had already wandered to the shop next door. It’s the cosiest candy shop in Leiden area. They sell old Dutch candy for a nickle and a dime. The kids got some small change and their eyes grew big: This one, no this one, their fingers pointed, whereas their eyes already swifted to the next candy.
The miller came to see what was keeping us so long. With their mouths full he took the family upstairs and explained how the windmill worked. The kids were thrilled; the parents amazed. And I was happy, because they were happy. With clothes full of dust they came down. The youngest yawned. Tired, with our heads full of impressions, we cycled back to the starting point. The kids got into the car and immediately fell asleep.
This or a similar tour can be created for you on request. Contact Verita’s Visit Holland for more information
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