Buying cheese ("kaas") at a market

Most Dutch villages and towns have a weekly or twice weekly outdoor market (="de markt"). When you say "I'm going to the market" a Dutch person says: "I go to the market". Dutch people usually don't bother with [-ing] words. When you say "I am going" or "I am buying" in English, the Dutch say "I go" or "I buy". In Dutch this is "ik ga" or "ik koop" (note [oo] is pronounced as [oa]).

"I am going to the market" = "I go to the market" = "Ik ga naar de markt"
"I am buying cheese at the market = "I buy cheese at the market" = "Ik koop kaas op the markt"

These markets are usually held on a market square (="marktplein") in the centre of town. Parking in town is usually hard and that is why most people will go by foot (="te voet") or by bicycle (= "met de fiets"). At the market you can buy anything you need. Typical Dutch things you find on the market are cheese (= "kaas"), bread (= "brood"), flowers (= "bloemen"), fish (= "vis") and of course accessories for your bicycle.

How to buy cheese on the market

The Dutch love their cheese. Most cheeses are hard cheeses made of cow's milk. These cheeses tend to come in 4 main tastes. "Jonge kaas" is aged for about 4 weeks, "belegen kaas" is more mature, 2 months for "jong belegen" and 7-8 months for "extra belegen". "Oude kaas" is aged for at least 10 months and up to 2 years. The older the cheese the harder it is. "Oude kaas" has the consistency of parmesan cheese.
If you like your cheese soft and creamy go for "jonge kaas"

"a pound (500 gram) of young cheese, please" = "een pond jonge kaas, alstublieft".

If you like your cheese to be a bit stronger you could order:

"een pond belegen kaas, alstublieft"

[belegen] is pronounced as [be-lay-gen].

"De kaasboer" literary means "the cheese farmer", but here it means the man, woman who sells the cheese.

"De kaasboer" could ask you,

"Sliced or as one piece?" = "Gesneden of aan een stukje?"

[Gesneden] is pronounced as [ge-snay-den]

[Kaas] is pronounced with a long [ah] sound. The more you exaggerate this sound the better it sounds in Dutch!

Most Dutch cheeses are named after the place where they are produced. Cheeses like Gouda and Edam are made in Gouda or in Edam and are probably the most known Dutch cheeses. They all come in the varieties "jonge kaas", "jong belegen kaas", "extra belegen kaas" en "oude kaas". These cheeses are all mass produced in big cheese factories. If you do not mind paying a bit more you can buy "Boerenkaas" (literally farmer's cheese). "Boerenkaas" is cheese that has been hand-made on the farm itself. There are about 250 farms that produce and sell their own cheese. "Boerenkaas" can come as it is or with added herbs and spices. A popular addition is cumin seeds which gives "komijnenkaas" or nettles "brandnetelkaas".