Eten Glorieus Eten!

Food glorious food! Some people eat to live and some people live to eat. I am one of the latter. Leaving home is hard. You say goodbye to family and friends and your kid’s friends and their school friends and your neighbors AND your favorite restaurants. Before we moved, my husband and I tried to frequent all our favorite restaurants so we could savor all that we would miss.

Here in Amsterdam, there is a plethora of outstanding food. For some reason, food just tastes better. It could be the missing preservatives, hormones, pesticides and additives that do not get thrown into the growing of the produce and the meat. Oxfam rated Dutch food number one in the world in 2014 for being the most plentiful, healthy, nutritious and affordable. Aside from Australia, the top 20 countries on their list were all in Europe. Lucky lucky me!

Ok, I know what you are all thinking, Dutch cuisine? Really? I say Really! Let me rattle off just a few:

1)Kaas/Cheese – Dutch cheese is phenomenal and widely available all over the NL. The large round orange circles in the cheese shops will be sliced to your specifications to take home and are packed with flavor – my personal favorite is oude kaas (old cheese) that is aged and creamy and a little dry at the same time.

2) Stroopwafel – this is probably the most widely known pastry in the NL and I used to buy these at Trader Joe’s whenever they had them in stock. Who wouldn’t like a syrupy caramel-like cookie, especially if you can get one in the center hot off the hot plate oozing with sticky goodness?

Dutch-food-Stroopwafels.jpg

3) Bitterballen – These little round balls have a crunchy breaded outside with a warm and delicious filling on the inside, kind of like a combination of flavored mashed potatoes and delicious gravy and a bit of meat too. A favorite of the Dutch snacks to be eaten here at a restaurant or café, and order a beer to enjoy them with.

4) Frites/French fries -Those of you who follow my blog already know my fondness for the potato fried to perfection here and I have to say, the Dutch do it right. They will come with a side of mayonnaise, but you can ask for ketchup too.

5)Pannenkoeken/Dutch pancake -Thicker than a French crepe, and thinner than IHOP’s specialty, the pannenkoeken can be eaten with powdered sugar and syrup, but the locals like them with all kinds of toppings including eggs, ham, cheese, even fruit.

6) Erwtensoep/Pea Soup – this delicious heavy thick green soup is usually found in the winter months and is packed with flavor.

7)Sinasappelsaap /Orange juice – The orange juice here beats any Florida juice I’ve had, ever. You can get this fresh squeezed at the Albert Heijn (self serve) and many other little shops and it’s divine! The sweetness of the juice is beyond delicious! And my daughter loves ordering it and she loves saying it too.

Aside from these traditional foods, I have yet to be disappointed with what I bring home from the grocery store, especially the organic fruits and vegetables in season. Nor have we been let down by the many restaurants we have frequented already. Even my fussy teenager is trying new items on the menus over here and expanding her food repertoire. As far as food goes, we are pretty happy. There hasn’t been time, or reason, to miss our old haunts back home and for now we will keep exploring the restaurant scene. But, I’ll be damned if I can find me a cocktail in this amazing city! What I would do for a grey goose cosmo, extra sweet! More on that next time.

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