Amsterdam: food

I’ve been here but one day but have already sampled some of the culinary delights of this city. More are to come.

After arrival we asked where we could find a good place for Dutch pancakes, and it turned out one was not far away: the Pancake Bakery in the Canal District (scroll on the menu at link to see the pancake selection). These are substantial pancakes, especially when drizzled with molasses served with a wooden spoon from a giant open crock of the stuff at each table. It turns out that even the “savory” pancakes, like the two below, benefit from a little sweetness.

Ham, cheese, and pineapple pancake:

Apple and bacon pancake:

Dutch cheese in a local grocery store (I need to try some aged Gouda):

The French Fry (frites) are kings in Holland and Belgium (by the way, the Dutch I’ve talked to here call it “Holland” rather than “The Netherlands”). Anthropomorphized french fries are everywhere, like this one:

When I was here about five years ago, I stayed in a cheap hotel in the red-light district and every day would go to this big frites operation on the Damrak, the main street running south from the Central Station. I’m pleased to report that it’s still in operation (though not the most famous frites stall in the city), and churns out a fresh, hot product covered with the topping of your choice.

There’s always a line after it opens. Note the name: Mannekenpis, which can only refer to the eponymous “pissing cherub” statue in Brussels (Belgium is of course the epicenter of frites).

The pile of frites in the middle must be faux-frites, as they don’t use them (they might be a big plastic display); here all the frites are freshly made in oil on the side, and served with the dressing of your choice. Those choices include ketchup, “frites sauce” (mayo, the favorite), curry sauce, peanut sauce, and about ten other toppings. I got the classic: mayo. There are enough fries in a “large” serving to fill up three people! Hot fries are tossed with salt (below) right after draining, and the topping ladled on.

The goods—a cardiologist’s nightmare:

There are many hot dog stalls as well as raw herring stalls; I’ll eschew them both but noted that one hot dog stall here used the superfluous greengrocer’s apostrophe, as well as a dash between “hot” and “dogs”. And what are the scare quotes around “cold drinks”? Is this code for marijuana, or do the drinks only purport to be cold? Such are the mysteries of the Netherlands.

Tonight: a 23-course Indonesian rijsttafel, culturally appropriated by the Dutch from the Indonesians.

Lagniappe: The first live cat I saw in Amsterdam (I haven’t seen any dead ones). It was lying on a table by the window inside a restaurant. I wonder if they clean that table before they open the restaurant.

Tomorrow: a visit to the Poezenboot, the world’s only floating cat shelter!

83 Comments

  1. Jenny Haniver
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Here in the States, wouldn’t that first “pancake” be called Hawaiian Pizza?

    Godverdomme! I am salivating over the frites and cheeses

    • Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      A pizza has ingredients on the surface (mostly) – a pancake mixed inside. Does that help? I for one cannot tell if the ingredients are mostly inside in this case.

  2. Dominic
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I think the cold drinks belong to the hot dog!

    • Dominic
      Posted March 25, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      If I were called Doug & I sold hot dogs I’d call my business Hot-Doug’s hot-dogs!

  3. Simon Hayward
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    The cat is cleaning the table, it is acting as a living duster (with tail action), it probably has an employment contract 🙂

    You need to check the ketchup status of the hot dogs.

    • boggy
      Posted March 25, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      In NZ recently we stayed in a Chinese owned house. They were very insistent that we removed our shoes on entering but in the kitchen there was a cat prowling on the worktop.

    • Posted March 25, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Also, it distributes allergens to de-sensitize people. There is a theory that we clean too much today, meet various compounds too late and this is why they cause allergies more often.

      • Christopher
        Posted March 25, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        And everything tastes better with cat hair, right?

        • merilee
          Posted March 25, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          But of course!

  4. Posted March 25, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Cold drinks in Europe. Please report further. That would be news. I always heard they did not serve cold drinks. Room temperature was what they called cold drinks.

    • Posted March 25, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Never had a warm drink in Europe, or the UK. I’ve been many times.

      UK beer comes at 50°F (10°C), which is perfect for beer that has good flavor (now, if one wishes to stun one’s taste buds into coma, then fridge temp. is the way to go.)

      • Posted March 25, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        It actually comes warmer than chilled because it’s cask conditioned, which means that the fermentation process is finished off in the cask in the cellar of the establishment in which it is served. The temperature at which it is served is whatever temperature the cellar is at, although I guess there is an optimum.

        By contrast keg beers are pasteurised or equivalent before being put in kegs and being shipped to the bar. I’m pretty sure that they are chilled in order to numb the tastebuds, as you say, but that doesn’t mean all keg beers are bad.

        • Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

          Indeed, if I am served a too-cold beer (very common in the US), I (usually 🙂 ) let it stand until it gets to an appropriate temperature.

          I also will not drink a beer from a bottle or can, thanks you very much. What’s the point if you can’t taste it properly?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 25, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      I confirm jbillie’s report. Dark ale is at the correct tasting temperature – 44° to 45°F or even 49°F for the fruity, aromatic beers. This will seem warm to some Americans where a lot of joints seem to keep all their draft lines at say 38° F for everything & they put the bottles chiller far too cold [helps Budweiser seem like an acceptable beverage when it freezes ones lips off].

      We do have the more ‘chemical’ lagers at a very chilly [33° – 38° F] to hide the rank taste & smell. Eurokids don’t know better they want beers at Cola temps.

      What we don’t do much of in the UK is serve complimentary iced water while customers choose their orders or even while they’re eating [nor free coffee refills].

      • Posted March 25, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        They have stopped serving water over here as a routine. They will bring complimentary water if you ask for it.
        Than goodness (is saying that acceptable on this site?) they still have unlimited coffee refills here. Most restaurants also have free refills for tea and soft drinks.

        • dvandivere
          Posted March 26, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

          Not sure what you mean by “here,” but it sure isn’t Holland. You can ask for “kraanwater” (tap water) but a lot of places won’t serve it, and you’ll never get a free refill of coffee, tea or soda.

          • Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

            Keine leitungs Wasser? Pas de l’eau de robinet?

            I would find that annoying!

            I have a strong aversion to paying for bottled water (unless it’s necessary for health reasons; but even then I normally treat my water.)

          • Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

            I think OG means the USA.

          • Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

            Sorry. By here I meant Georgia, USA.

            • dvandivere
              Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

              Interesting! I moved from the US to NL back in 94, and even on visits back I’ve seen tap water everywhere.

              It is slowly changing here in Amsterdam, as people realize how idiotic bottled water is. They’ve put in a bunch of public water taps and bottle filling station in the last few years.

  5. Posted March 25, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    My wife and I think the raw herring in Amsterdam is the best. Especially if you can drop into a nearby pub (braunhuis?) for a nip of genever.

    We saw a pair of beautiful cats in a window of an antique shop there. Gorgeous.

    In short, I envy your visiting Amsterdam. Enjoy!

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    … “frites sauce” (mayo, the favorite) …

    According to our man in Amsterdam, Vincent Vega, “they drown ’em in that shit.” He seen ’em do it, man.

  7. Posted March 25, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    My grandfather always calls it “Holland” also.

    Try this restaurant: Restaurant Marius
    Barentszstraat 173, 1013 NM Amsterdam, Netherlands

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted March 25, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      One of my sons-in-law is a quarter Dutch, and he and his half-Dutch mum also always call it Holland.

      Could the inverted commas round ‘Cold Drinks’ be because the words are in English and the local language is, er, Dutch?

      • Posted March 25, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        Well, they’re not quotation marks, they’re asterisks – *COLD DRINKS* – so maybe it’s just for emphasis.

        /@

        • rickflick
          Posted March 25, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          Sure. Cold as in little snow flakes. Like the air conditioning switch on the dash of my car.

  8. Joe Dickinson
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of Mannekenpis, when the UC Berkeley (Cal) Band performed at the World’s Fair in 1958, we purchased a full size replica as a souvenir. As the youngest (most naive?) member, I was elected to carry it through US customs, uncertain how prudish government officials might react. No problem, and it still sits in the Bandroom lounge. Fast forward 50 years to a reunion back in Brussels in 2008. It turns out one can, for a modest fee, have the Manneken dressed for a day in an outfit of your choosing. So, on the specified day, he was decked out in a Cal Band uniform (with open fly?)

    • merilee
      Posted March 25, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Beat Cal, says Stanford girl. One of my classmates put a banner to that effect on the Leaning Tower of Pisa (and also in Red Square).

  9. rickflick
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    It’s lunch time here. You’re making me hungry!

  10. Posted March 25, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    You are in Holland, which is like saying, you were in Illinois before. Holland is a coastal core region of The Netherlands, with the better known cities and harbours, but is of course a synecdoche for the Netherlands as a whole, too.

    • Posted March 25, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Very well said.

    • dvandivere
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

      Well, if you really want to be pedantic, he’s in Noord Holland.

      • Posted March 27, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        At home, Jerry can drive three days and barely reach the next block in Chicago. But here in Europe, he might cross the street and find himself in Zuid-Holland, or Luxembourg out of a sudden.

  11. Joe Dickinson
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and after several trips to Amsterdam, I don’t remember having those pancakes. I guess we need to go back.

  12. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    That’s a sharp looking cat. I wonder, do they still make wooden shoes there. Maybe shop around, see if you can find a copy of the Mueller report?

  13. Vaal
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Awesome food!

    This time last year when visiting Amsterdam I was at that very Mannekenpis in your photo, eating frites by that french fry sculpture. It was raining and damp and I had a raging cold but I’ll be damned if I was going to miss eating frites there.

    When I eat fries/frites in Europe I always go for the curry sauce. No one offers curry sauces here in Canada/Toronto with fries and even the very few times I’ve seen it, they just don’t nail the sauce the way it’s done in Europe. Heavenly.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 25, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Vaal. What you want is the English product Harry Ramsden’s Chip Shop Curry Sauce [great! available in multipacks on Amazon UK, but shipping to Canada maybe a lot] or failing that Knorr Curry Sauce Mix or Bisto Chip Shop Curry Sauce Mix. All of them are a yellow powder to which you add boiling water, stir & wait. It’s the same stuff as used by nearly all the chip shops I frequent in the UK.

      Amazon.ca sells the Bisto version, which I haven’t tasted, but the price is a right old inflated rip off – definitely cheaper to ship from Amazon.co.uk.

      OR

      you can buy a $5.99 CAD canister of the Bisto from A Bit Of Home “Best of Ireland & Britain in Canada”, they have the above online site & a retail store just west of Toronto in Mississauga, Ontario. Minimum online order is $30 though, but maybe there’s other stuff you’ll want to make up the value.

      OR

      I’ll ship you Harry Ramsden’s myself via the mail. I’ve got loads of the stuff [it comes in large individual sachets – a sachet will do four fish & chips servings & I must have a hundred of them]. THEY LOOK LIKE THIS

      • Vaal
        Posted March 25, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Michael, thank you for that info and offer!

        All that is going in to my notebook, and I will look in to the options you gave me.

        Cheers!

      • Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        I’m writin’ this shit down! 🙂

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 25, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Oh & before I hit on Harry Ramsden’s I’d mix up my own from various spice powders & keep in a little lunch box in the freezer as a dry powder – easy to spoon out the desired amount as a powder, it stays loose & spoonable in the freezer.

      • merilee
        Posted March 25, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        What do you mix the curry powder with?

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted March 25, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          A spoon handle is good – thin to force it’s way through the various powders

          • merilee
            Posted March 25, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

            No, I meant what do you add to make it “liquid”.

            • Michael Fisher
              Posted March 25, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

              Add boiling water, swizzle it until thinner than you want & wait five for thickening to occur.

              THE MIX RECIPE:

              ** Madras Medium strength curry powder

              ** Buy or make dried apple – if not really dry then put in oven smash into small pieces in a plastic bag w hammer. You MUST have apple in chip shop curry sauce!

              ** Onion powder [plenty – it’s a thickener as well]

              ** Garlic powder

              ** Ground cumin

              ** Ginger powder [the more ginger the more ‘Chinese’ the curry]

              ** Turmeric for colour

              ** Cornflour or any fine white flour [for thickening, but too much flour spoils the taste]

              ** Chilli flakes. Optional & very few so the tongue contacts a flake only every other bite – gives a buzz

              Mix everything in a tiny batch & test with boiling water – when it’s the balance you like [might need sugar to get that sweetness & seasoning too] make up a big batch – dry without water & freeze.

    • merilee
      Posted March 25, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, we can get some pretty good aioli with fries in the Toronto area, but I’ve never had them with curry sauce. Sounds good. Never put catsup or vinegar on fries. Plain or with aioli.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted March 25, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        A real malt vinegar on chips is essential!

        • merilee
          Posted March 25, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          I like vinegar, but not on chips.

      • Vaal
        Posted March 25, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        merilee,

        I must strenuously disagree. Ketchup and vinegar are perfect with fries. They are to my mind made for each other. (No doubt influenced a lot growing up in North America – but there are reasons why certain combinations become so ubiquitous in any country, because they work!). In fact, my favourite is to combine both vinegar and ketchup on the fries.

        For me the reason is that fries tend to be salty and greasy with a big bland potato base, so they just cry out for a bit of zip from either the ketchup or vinegar. I do like dabbling with aioli of various flavours too, but especially if the aioli is on the blander side – e.g. like a mayo – for me it all gets a bit bland and sort of monotonous in the “all umami” kind of way.

        • merilee
          Posted March 25, 2019 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          Really good crispy browned fries are great with just salt snd pepper, imho. I’m making myself hungry🙀

          • rickflick
            Posted March 25, 2019 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

            I’m making myself hungry.

            Me 2. It’s spreading like a yawn. 😎

        • Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

          I can definitely see mixing vinegar and ketchup for chips. most (USA) ketchup has too much sugar in it for me. Adding the vinegar would help.

          • Michael Fisher
            Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

            Even UK ketchup is on the sweet side though it varies a lot brand to brand. I was excited to see various manu’s now do ‘unsweetened’ ketchup in that no sugar is added, but all of them that I’ve looked at have sweetener added under various guises – the most common being sucralose. Does my head in! Toms are sweet to begin with, why add any sweetener – sugar or otherwise?

            • Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

              +1

            • merilee
              Posted March 26, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

              Although one often adds maybe 1 tsp. Of sugar to a large pot of tomato sauce to counteract any bitterness. I actually only like catsup on hamburgers and hotdogs.

      • Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

        I do like Ketchup and vinegar on fries; but I much prefer either aioli (with or without lemon) or (my personal favorite) tartar sauce.

        When I get fish and chips, I eat the fish plain or with malt vinegar and eat the chips with the tartar sauce. Yum.

  14. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    It is a long time ago I was in Holland (or the Netherlands for that matter), so my info might be slightly outdated.
    Yes, Manneke Pis definitely refers to the Brussels icon. ‘Vlaamse friet’ refers to the northern parts of Belgium, aka ‘Vlaanderen’. The ‘frites’ were invented in Belgium and still considered the best, hence the reference.
    Confusingly, the Dutch often call them ‘patat’, like in “een zak patat met mayonaise”. I like to add -in addition to the Mayo- some small sour pickeled onions. And served in the traditional ‘puntzak’ an inverted-cone shaped paper bag.
    I used to have ‘spekpannekoek’ (bacon-pancake) in winter, I guess the pineapple is a new addition.
    I know you don’t go for the ‘maatjes’ herring (raw herring half digested by their own enzymes, a treat!), but you will really not regret some smoked eel. The best is found in the smokeries in the ‘coastal’ (the Zuiderzee has become the IJsselmeer since they built the ‘Afsluitdijk’ in the 30’s) towns of North Holland. Accompanied by some Jenever, of course.
    Cold Drinks -I think- refers to fizzy sweet drinks (Eg Coke), what in South Africa is called ‘gaskoeldrank’.
    The best beers you will find in Belgium, although when I last was in Holland they already had quite a few Belgian beers on offer. My favourite Trappist beer is Orval, but I’m not sure you will easily find it in Holland.

  15. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Timely, I had just eaten (love “pancaeks” – as they have to be spelled when you stuff them into your face).

    Tomorrow: a visit to the Poezenboot, the world’s only floating cat shelter!

    “Puss in Boats”, matinee at 5!

  16. Posted March 25, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Have you tried uitsmeister, Jerry? I think you}d like it.

    /@

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 1:59 am | Permalink

      The ‘uitsmijter’ (litt. ‘out-thrower’: a nightclub bouncer) is a simple open sandwich with ham and cheese topped with two ‘sunny side up’ fried eggs. Simple, but very edible.

  17. P. Puk
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    The frites are pre-fried. That’s what the big pile is.

    When you order them they are fried a second time and finished in just a few minutes.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 2:02 am | Permalink

      Correct, good frites need to be fried twice, and they need to cool completely in between.
      If you don’t, you’ll get South African ‘slap-chips’ (the name says it all).

  18. Bob
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    RE: French Fries: Not “a cardiologist’s nightmare” Rather, a cardiologist’s next payment on the Mercedes.”

  19. Patrice Brennan
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Mske sure you go to the poezenboot well before its opening time. I was in Amsterdam a few weeks ago and there was a long line of other cat fans waiting when I got there.

    • Posted March 26, 2019 at 3:06 am | Permalink

      I went yesterday about an hour past opening time, but the wait was only 10 minutes or so. I have pictures that I’ll put up soon.

    • dvandivere
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      Really? I’ve been there tens of times and never had to wait. Odd.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      I was pleased to see that the Poezenboot has a prominent warning against tilt windows (aka pivoting windows) on their home page.
      In the nineties I lost a beloved cat due to them. Cats get stuck in the V-shaped opening, and trying to wriggle out they destroy their internal organs and spine.
      My poor “Poessie” was completely paraplegic and according to the vet her internal organs were irreparably damaged. She had to get the T62.
      It can’t be said often enough, if there is a cat in the house do not open your tilt window, it is a deadly trap, as if specifically designed for killing cats.

  20. BJ
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Whoa, going to a Michelin rated restaurant. Hope you wear your fancy pants!

    I’d love to go to Amsterdam one day. I’ll have to remember this restaurant one I do.

  21. Gabrielle
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    *Cold Drinks*

    About 20 years ago I was on a business trip to Mechelen, Belgium (in Flanders), and in the company canteen (cafeteria), they served Coke at room temp. I naturally pointed out to my colleagues that the proper mode of service would be chilled Coke with ice added.

    One colleague declared that drinking cold beverages was bad for one’s health. He felt that this was too much of a shock to the system, that apparently would send one’s internal organs into partial failure. He was further surprised to hear that we put ice in Coke even in the winter. I told him that the taste was off without the ice in the drink. I didn’t convince him much.

    And then he leaned in and asked the big question – Was really true that we Americans have refrigerators that dispense ice and ice water from the exterior of one door. I told him that this was indeed true. He, with complete seriousness, asked “Why would anyone need this?” “Because we Americans want the convenience of getting our ice without opening the freezer door, and because we put ice into nearly everything we drink, including water.” He was completely shocked. Well, I was shocked to find out that people drink Coke without ice.

    It’s strange how such a little thing (ice in drinks) can evoke such strong feelings.

    To be fair, he did say that he like Hershey’s chocolate, which I considered quite the complement.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      I very rarely drink coke or other *cold drinks*, but in my experience it is served in Europe at about 3-4°C, not icy, but pretty cold, fridge temperature. Pilsener and other lagers are also served pretty cold, beers of higher fermentation are often served a bit warmer, still cool though, like 8-10°C. Never lukewarm.
      Talking about ice in drinks, in South Africa you often get ice cubes offered (in a separate glass, Ceiling Cat be blessed) when ordering wine, even dry red wine.

      • Posted March 26, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        Your first paragraphs corresponds very closely with my experience in Europe, generally.

        As they say about the US (accurately): We serve our white wines too cold and our red wines too warm. (And all beers too cold.)

  22. Posted March 25, 2019 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Those are asterisks for emphasis, PCC(E), not quotes.

    -Ryan

  23. Posted March 26, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    Holland is the western province of the Netherlands, so the name is often used in the same way that England is when referring to United Kingdom.

    As a geophysicist I’m a trifle miffed that you refer to Belgium as the “epicenter” of frites. The epicenter is the point on the Earth’s surface ABOVE the focus but I think I’m now flogging a dead horse on this widespread mis-usage.

    • dvandivere
      Posted March 26, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      Um, no. There are twelve provinces in total, North and South Holland being two of them. If you want to talk about the western part of the country, you’d have to include the provinces Utrecht and Zeeland as well, maybe also Flevoland.

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted March 26, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

        Utrecht and the new province of Flevoland are considered Central, but I agree about Zeeland.
        Curiously Zeeland is pretty flat and quite a bit of it below sea-level, while New Zealand, named after it, is predominantly mountainous.
        Of course Mitchell and Webb have a brilliant take on that:

      • Posted March 27, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        Fair enough on the pedantry of geolocation of the current North and South provinces but combined, Holland is essentially the area encompassing the three most important and populous cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Den Haag) and is effectively the “Home Counties” of the Netherlands. Zeeland has about one twentieth of the population of the Hollands and has about as much relative importance as the Isle of Wight does to the rest of south-eastern England. I’d classify Utrecht and the neo-province of Flevoland as more central than part of a binary East-West demarcation.

  24. Posted March 26, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget to try the Space Cakes. I recommend trying half of one the first time, otherwise you may experience “brown wall” syndrome. If you eat one in a café, make sure you’re no more than half an hour from your crib.

    • Patrice Brennan
      Posted March 27, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Lol i ended up buying 2 nice jackets after my spacecake and then sat and had beers giggling to myself. Unfortunately i live on the gold coast in australia and am unlikely to get much chance to wear those jackets.

  25. Posted March 26, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Fun to see stuff from national cuisines I know nothing about!


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