We had a quieter day today. PER went in to the office to work, so he dropped us off at Oma and Opa’s house. We took their two small cars to the local cheese farm and clog factory called Clara Maria in Amstelveen. Froggy wasn’t too happy about the smell 🙂 But when we got inside, we got to see a demonstration of how they make wooden shoes.
They actually use a model (white shoe on the outside) as the guide. Then the machine just follows the pattern to create the basic shape of the shoe. Next, they use a different machine to hollow out the inside. The wood is damp, so it has to dry for a day and a half before they can continue working on it.
Next we went inside and saw a video of how they make the cheese. You could also look through the glass to see the cheese-makers hard at work. Both Froggy and Hippo were quite fascinated. And so was I!
But the best part came next: tasting the cheese! There was a simple butter cheese, a mustard cheese, Italian herb cheese, garlic and herb cheese, smoked cheese, whisky cheese, spicy cheese! So many to choose from … and taste! I’m not even a big fan of eating cheese on its own, but these were so delicious! I bought the smoked cheese and a small wheel of butter cheese along with their mustard dill sauce to enjoy while we’re here for the month. Maybe we’ll go back and get some to bring home, too! If you have them seal it (which they do there for free), you can take it back with you to the US!
They also have a wonderful gift shop. Yes, you find some kitsch, touristy items, but they also have some really nice things to get as souvenirs. I love to bring home their wooden tulips (though packing them can be tricky!). And we have a couple of snow globes with windmills in them. Plus, I like to get Christmas ornaments – for us or the kids, or even as gifts for the kids’ teachers.
Is it good for kids?
The boys (ages 7 & 4) were quite interested in the demonstration of making clogs and the video of how cheese is made. Hippo enjoyed seeing the cows and new calves, but Froggy was not a fan of the barn smell 🙂
What about the cost?
There is no cost to go in. They do offer guided tours, but I didn’t see a cost for this on their website. They let you taste the cheese for free! Souvenirs – well, those you have to pay for 🙂
Where is it?
Not too far south of Amsterdam, a short drive by car.
Sorry, Google maps isn’t working on this one. Here’s the address:
Clara Maria Kaas- & Klompenmakerij
1188 XH Amstelveen