Dutch cheese farmers traditionally take their cheeses to the town's market square to sell them. Teams (vemen) of official guild cheese-porters (kaasdragers), identified by differently coloured straw hats associated with their forwarding company, carried the farmers' cheese on barrows that weighed about 160 kilograms. Buyers sampled the cheeses and negotiated prices using a ritual system, called handjeklap, whereby buyers and sellers clapped each other's hands and shouted out prices. Once a price was agreed, porters carried the cheese to the weigh house (Waag) and weighed the cheese on a company scale.
Gouda cheese has been traded on the Goudse kaasmarkt for over three centuries. Nowadays, it is open from mid-June until August, every Thursday morning between 10:00 am and 12:30 pm. Farmers from the region gather to have their cheese weighed, tasted and priced.