The day I ate local food in Leiden countryside was a day I went cycling with two American girls who were delighted by everything they saw. At least, I think so, as they said ‘how delightful’ all the time. It was the open landscape, I guess, or maybe the tour at the Leiden cheese farm or meeting the miller in the typical Dutch village.
Some people are open to everything. After I heard the girls were staying in Leiden, I suggested a cycling route of about 4 hours starting in Leiden. They were immediately up for it. We rented electric bikes, met up at the Leiden train station and cycled into the Dutch countryside.
Off the beaten track around Leiden
At times we really went off the beaten path. We took the kerkpaden, the paths created centuries ago for the churchgoers to easily reach the church. These were small cycling paths, right beside the canal and overlooking the meadows. Of course, in the far back there was a church. Or a windmill.
The start of the day I ate local food in Leiden countryside
But, let’s come back to the windmill later. The first place we reached was the Leiden cheese farm. This cheese farm has a little farmers’shop full of tasty, regional products. Besides the cheese, there is honey, meat, various dairy products, cookies and sweet bread. And that’s where the day I ate local food in Leiden countryside began.
Tour at the Leiden cheese farm
Me and the American girls, we tasted cheese. The farmer gave us a tour on his farm, where he keeps goats and cows and many other farm animals. We tasted some more cheese. “Are you ready for more?”, I asked and the girls said “Yes!”
The clothes make the Leiden countryside miller
So we continued the adventurous cycling route through Leiden countryside, taking these awfully small cycling paths until we reached the windmill. The girls went up and I, afraid of heights, waited to take a picture of them from below. And what a picture! We invited the miller, who was dressed like an authentic miller with cap, red scarf and overall, to join for the picture. That sure was a special moment! Bought some cookies and off to the apple orchard.
Lunch in the middle of the apple orchard
In September, October they organise apple picking days in this orchard. On any other day you can have a lovely lunch. Do try the tomato soup with meatballs, the enormous sandwiches with apple and chicken or farmers’ cheese. A glass of blackberry juice or apple juice goes very well with the meal.
Leiden & Gouda cheese tasting
Although we we’re completely full after the beautiful lunch in the cosy café in between the orchard, we visited one more cheese farm, tasted some more farmers’cheese – the full fat Gouda cheese and the low fat Leiden cheese with cloves.
Coffee and meadows
Then we came to the newly renovated IJsboerderij de Jong, for a coffee with a view. That’s how I ended the day I ate local food in the Leiden countryside.
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