Friday, May 23, 2008


I love Dutch things. I have some very dear friends in the Netherlands (Hi Ilona and Fatima!) and very fond memories of my visits there. Nederlanders are very cool people, they are open-minded, fun, fashion forward and tend to be the tallest people in the world. That's a change for me, for once I wasn't one of the tallest women in the room, something very strange indeed.

Since the Dutch colonized a few places, their current culture is influenced by some of their former foreign colonies such as Indonesia and Suriname which often shows in the food available there, I ate a lot of nasi goreng, a delicious rice dish and bami goreng, a noodle dish. Going to rijsttafel, the rice table, is common. Rijsttafel is what a Indonesian banquet table is called. If you go, bring your appetite, because there will be much to eat, all of it terribly delicious.

Dutch cheese is wonderfully delicious, I'm partial to aged Goudas, especially on a ham and cheese toastie, perfect bar food. If you are in a cafe, you must be prepared when ordering a cheese sandwich, a broodje kaas, to order the right type of cheese, jonge kaas or oude kaas. I also love, love , LOVE black licorice, and the Dutch kind isn't foolin' around. It's called drop, and it isn't pronounced with an O like hop, but like mope. Drop isn't too sweet to begin with, but then you have zoute drop, which has salt added, I really like that stuff, and even more, I love dubbel zoute drop, with twice the added salt. Those crazy Dutch.

My last favorites are sweet , vla and Chocomel. Vla is a thin pourable custard. It comes in milk cartons in chocolate and vanilla flavors, as well as ones like banana which I'd never have because banana custard is an aberration. Vla is freakin' deelish. Chocomel is just a yummy chocolate milk brand. I like my chocolate milk to be thick, and this stuff is. Every once in a while I find some in an import store, and I'm in heaven.

I would love to be able to go to Amsterdam this summer and visit my friends, but alas, the dollar is in the bucket, and instead of vacationing, I need to find a job. I'll dream of pleasant idylls in the Vondelpark instead. Kraak & Smaak will help tide me over. Dutch boys do good.

"Squeeze Me"

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