The Amsterdam Cheese Picnic: A How-To Guide
Perhaps a picnic evokes old memories of cheap family outings. In Amsterdam, it’s normal to bring a picnic to one of its lovely parks and it’s usually done in a casual way: Friends sharing a bottle of wine or beers on a pleasant summer’s evening. That sort of thing.
If you’re staying in a hotel, then a picnic might actually be the best way for you to sample some great Dutch cheese (eating it in your hotel room doesn’t seem optimal). And best of all, you’ll feel echt local. Here’s how:
1) The Shops
If you go to one of the shops on our cheese map, simply ask them for recommendations. If you go to Albert Heijn pick up one each of the following types of cheese:
Jong (young), Beleggen (mature), Oud (old). Just look for these words on the label. And possibly pick a fourth of your choosing of one that catches your eye. Beleggen is also broken down into some sub-categories, but from your point of view, it’s much of a muchness and no need to worry about the real granular details.
Sliced cheese is perfectly fine if you won’t have a knife. In terms of brands, the overall standard is quite good so it’s not overly important. However, Albert Heijn has its own brand of organic cheeses and that’s a great option. There’s a picture of what the label looks like.
3) Other Supplies
Albert Heijn will have everything else you need, from fresh bread, to nice sliced meats, and other treats you can think of.
It also sells little Italian picardi glasses for about €1 each, which are nicer than buying plastic wine glasses. Just remeber to recylce the glasses after (you can usually find a recycling receptacle near the bigger Albert Heijn stores).
For wine, Albert Heijn’s selection is a bit bog-standard, so if you’re fussy just find a littler neighbourhood wine store, or else buy in one of the cheese shops from our cheese map.
4) The Parks
Amsterdam has a number of parks to choose from. The most famous and the most central is the Vondel Park. Others are Westerpark (in the west), Oosterpark (in the east), Beatrix Park (south), Frankedel Park (south east -ish), and Martin Luther King Park (also south).