Netherlands, Edam. Men loading cheese on their 'stretchers' at the cheese market of Edam. Edam is a Dutch fortified city, which was founded in the 12th century. In early days Edam was an important shipbuilding town. Edam is famous for it's Edam-cheese and it's cheese market at the square next to De Waag (cheese weigh house), which was build in 1778. Straw-hatted cheese bearers used wooden "stretchers" to carry the cheese, from about 1778 until 1922.