Tag: amsterdam

amsterdam, part four: the greasy underbelly of the city's food scene

oh so much mayonnaise

mmm…nothing like a blanket of mayonnaise to stimulate the appetite. lest you think tastes in the city of amsterdam are so refined as to produce only plentiful cornucopias of fresh produce and traditional artisan cheese wheels, i thought i’d share some photos of the darker side of the city’s gastronomic offerings.   if you despise the deep-fried, cringe at cholesterol, and fear fattiness in full force, shield your delicate eyes from the following gallery of wonders.

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amsterdam, part three: dutch hockey stadium food for the win!

fresh fruit cups at the stadium

in the wise words of the irish legend eoin flinner, the food at wagener hockey stadium in amsterdam is ‘absolutely savage.’  i don’t know if it’s a dutch thing or a european thing or we’re-not-in-kansas-eating-deep-fried-anything-anymore thing, but i’ve never seen food like this at a sporting event.  sure,  i’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for a good old fenway frank and garlic fries are part of the fun at A’s and 49ers games,  but i was seriously impressed by the freshly made sandwiches and the bountiful displays of fruits and vegetables. check out the mozzarella and tomato caprese sandwiches on huge baguettes below:

mozzarella tomato sandwiches at the hockey tournament

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amsterdam, part two: a quest to experience all the city's local (and legal) specialties

what’s the first thing you think of when you think of amsterdam? what’s a specialty the city is known for that makes travelers from all over the world flock to this metropolis of canals and churches? what famous item is wrapped up in the identity of this global destination and truly makes amsterdam amsterdam?

obviously, it’s the raw herring. if that’s not what you were thinking of, it should be.

fresh herring in a bun

discovering local foods is one of my absolute favorite things about traveling. it’s a great excuse to talk to people, to make new friends with random strangers, shopkeepers and restauranteurs, to learn new things about food and culture and identity, and to sample some delicious and often deliciously weird things along the way.  sanne, one of our very gracious dutch hosts, recommended we try the fresh herring, which has generally been lightly salted or brined to conserve.  for you history buffs, apparently herring has played a major role in the historical and economic development of the netherlands dating back to the 14th century. unfortunately, we forgot to follow up with a recommendation for a good place to get the herring. luckily, the fantastic foodiefest street of haarlemmerstraat came through for the win as i randomly walked by a classic herring vendor on a bridge right near the apartment. turns out that stubbe haring is actually considered one of the best herring wagons in town. success!

stube herring for the win

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amsterdam, part one: exploring an amazing foodie street in a city of munchies

an insane array of cheese in the dutch cheese shop

i knew i was in a city of good eating when one of my first morning stumbles was into a shop called ‘cheeseland’ with wheels of emmenthaler the size of a monster truck tire or a dog bed for a large-ish golden retriever.  to give you a sense of scale, that wedge has a larger diameter than my kitchen table (not that you’ve seen my kitchen table, but it’s of a good size).  hellooo and welcome to amsterdam.

the reason for my cheese shop visit was thanks to a few days in holland hanging out with my friends rootster and flinner, two of my favorite people who live far away in chengdu, china, whom i clearly do not get to see often enough. these two party legends emailed and said ‘hey we’re going to be in amsterdam next week! come meet up!’ and i said ‘hmm….okay!’ and a week later found myself enjoying all of amsterdam’s myriad sources of entertainment.  i love living on a continent with affordable train travel, even when you live on an island. amazing.

since i got in on a fairly late train, my first real experience with amsterdam’s quality food came on a solo morning tour of the streets around our friend’s apartment near the central train station. i left root and flinner to catch up on sleep in a new time zone and ventured out to get coffee and munchies. and just so you know – it was 9am so i don’t mean that kind of coffee or that kind of munchies -  those came later in that day (remember mom, it’s legal there!). haarlemmerstraat, the street right outside our friend’s place must be some sort of gourmet thoroughfare because i visited two cheese shops, three bread and pastry shops, an olive oil store, a spanish and an italian delicatessen, a lebanese bakery, and two juice bars over the course of the trip.  i knew it was a good neighborhood when i immediately ran into this chocolate and sweets shop:

unlimited delicious shopfront

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