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CHEESES OF EUROPE
Between Holland and France, western Europe can lay claim to two of the most famous cheese-producing countries in the world. Whether you’re partial to brie, edam, gouda or camembert.
With over 40 cheeses with an 'Appellation d'origine contrôlée' label, or legal stamp of approval of geographical origin, France's pride when it comes to cheese is unbeaten. The country's varying 'terroirs' yield world-class Bries, Camemberts, and Epoisses amongst hundreds more. With such a rich heritage of regional production, there are plenty of cheese-based things to see and do (and taste) around the country.
Tucked away near Montmartre is one of Paris' best cheese experiences: L'Affineur' Affiné restaurant and cheese shop offers stunning cheeseboards which change daily depending on what is fresh or perfectly matured. Each cheese is explained along with a recommendation of the order in which to eat them, giving a personal touch to your tasting. Indulge yourself by sharing a fondue at Pain Vin Fromages in Le Marais, a restaurant dedicated to cheese-based recipes including some seasonal artisanal specials.
Tantalize your tastebuds at one of Paris' many bountiful cheese counters: a spectacle in themselves, brimming with pungent cave-aged Roqueforts and nutty Comtés. Possibly the most beautiful fromagerie in the city is Barthélémy, where you can ogle the country's stunningly varied produce. Give in to temptation at traditional cheesemaker Pascal Beillevaire's shops, of which there are over a dozen around the city centre, before soaking up the sights and smells of the cheese stalls at one of Paris' biggest outdoor markets: Marché Bastille.
It's nice to learn a little about the history and traditions of the regional cheeses you're eating, which you can find at the quaint Camembert Museum in Vimoutiers, Normandy - focussing on, you guessed it, one of France's most loved exports.
The country's passion for cheese is evident through its many dedicated cheese festivals, ranging from the traditional festivities of the small town of Neufchâtel to the Fête du Fromage in Touffreville-sur-Eu, close to our port at Dieppe.
The Dutch passion for good "kaas" is contagious: their beloved Gouda and Edam won't ever be far away with eateries serving up delicious cheese-based dishes and snacks no matter what the time of day.
If you want to seek out a snapshot of the history of the products that the Netherlands is so well known for, then the free entry Amsterdam Cheese Museum offers just this. With an insight into the cheese-making process and free samples to your heart's delight, it's a must-see for cheese-lovers. For a true taste of local culture and an impressive selection of Dutch cheeses, take a stroll around Amsterdam's lively open-air food markets. Find the best stalls and eateries at the monthly Neighbourfood Market centrally located at the Westergasfabriek, or the Nieuwmarkt organic market on a Saturday.
Henri Willig discount
DFDS Seaways customers can make the most of a 10% discount at Henri Willig shops, so whether you're looking for a luxury hand-made souvenir or treating yourself to a wheel of delectable cheese, just show your booking confirmation at the check-out. Alternatively taste 4 cheeses and enjoy 2 glasses of wine or beer at Henri Willig in the centre of Amsterdam with our cheese-tasting offer. To book a cheese tasting, simply add it to your booking online.
Find Holland's most famous eponymous cheese in Edam, a small town just a short drive to the east coast of Holland from our port in IJmuiden. Here you will find the weekly Edam Cheese Market over summer, where their heritage is strongly upheld with traders bringing their cheese by boat and aided by cheese carriers in traditional attire.
Gouda’s cheese market is legendary in Holland. Held during the spring and summer, the market is one of the few traditional cheese markets left in the country. These days it fulfils a touristic purpose as well as its traditional purpose of allowing local farmers to get their produce out to sell.