The cows of Holland

Cows in Holland

When you think of Holland, a few images might come to mind: windmills, tulips, wooden shoes, and, of course, cows. The Dutch cow, usually the black and white Friesian breed, is more than just a source of dairy products. It’s an integral part of the nation’s identity, an iconic symbol of the Dutch countryside’s pastoral beauty and the country’s renowned dairy industry, especially cheese production.

The connection: Dutch cows and cheese

Holland’s lush pastures and the temperate maritime climate make it ideal for dairy farming. Dutch cows, known for their high milk yield, are the stars of this industry. But it’s not just the quantity; it’s also the quality of their milk that’s impressive. Rich and creamy, it’s perfect for cheese making.

Dutch cheese, known worldwide for its quality and variety, owes its fame to these cows. From the mild, creamy Gouda and Edam to the potent, flavourful Maasdam and Leyden, Dutch cheeses are loved by gourmands all over the world.

Where to see Dutch cows near Amsterdam?

While Amsterdam’s urban landscape may not accommodate pastoral cow pastures, there are plenty of places near the city where you can admire these bovine beauties in their natural habitat and learn about the art of Dutch cheese making.

De Zaanse Schans

Just a short trip from Amsterdam, Zaanse Schans offers more than just windmills. Its sprawling meadows are home to grazing cows, creating an idyllic picture of rural Dutch life. You can also visit the Catharina Hoeve, a replica of a 17th-century cheese farm where you can witness cheese-making demonstrations and sample a variety of Dutch cheeses.

Beemster polder

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Beemster Polder’s well-ordered landscape is a testament to Dutch hydraulic engineering. Among the geometric fields and canals, you’ll find herds of cows grazing peacefully. The Beemster is also famous for its cheese, so don’t miss a chance to visit a local cheese farm or shop to try some.

The Waterland region

Just north of Amsterdam, Waterland’s green pastures are home to many dairy farms. Cycle through charming villages like Monnickendam, Broek in Waterland, and Marken, and you’ll see cows aplenty. Visit a local cheese farm to taste the fresh, farm-made cheese.

Conclusion: experience the Dutch Countryside’s Iconic Cows

A visit to Holland isn’t complete without seeing its iconic cows and tasting its world-renowned cheese. So, step out of Amsterdam’s bustling cityscape and into the calming Dutch countryside. You’ll gain a greater appreciation for the pastoral beauty that’s quintessentially Dutch and for the culinary delights it offers. Your Dutch adventure awaits!