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Dutch Cheese and Culture

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, January 6, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1NV102
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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Carriers walking with cheese at a famous Dutch cheese market, Alkmaar, Netherlands

Though the Netherlands may not immediately spring to mind when thinking of outstanding cheese-producing nations, its cheese traditions are unique and prolific. The country is a leading global exporter, and Gouda is one of the oldest cheeses still being produced in the world today.

Join Christine Rai to explore how Dutch history, geography, and climate shaped its distinct cheese styles and how cheese has played a role in the wider culture of the Netherlands. Discover how global trade expansion influenced Dutch cheesemakers’ products and flavors and examine defining aspects of Dutch cheese culture, such as the renowned kaasmarkt, centuries-old markets known for their traditionally attired cheese-carriers guild members and distinctive rituals.

In addition to the fascinating history, Rai surveys how today’s Dutch cheese makers are innovating beyond their roots and shares tips and suggestions for savoring a range of delicious Dutch cheeses.

Rai is an interdisciplinarian who specializes in food studies, culture, and folklore. She leads local and international trips and tours, talks, and tastings.

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