Stroll back from the church along Matthijs Tinxgracht, just to the west of Grote Kerkstraat, and you soon reach Jan Niuewenhuizenplein, site of the summer cheese market. It’s overlooked by the Kaaswaag, where they used to weigh the cheese, whose decorative panels feature the town’s coat of arms, a bull on a red field with three stars. It’s a good deal humbler than Alkmaar’s market, but follows the same format, with the cheeses laid out in rows before buyers sample them. Once a cheese has been purchased, the cheese porters, dressed in traditional white costumes and straw boaters, spring into action, carrying them off on their gondola-like trays.

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