Like I said before, there is a lot of fine food in the Netherlands, and a lot of it can be had at the farmer’s markets.
Chicken and poultry, whole birds, parts, seasoned – all kinds.
Fish – some I recognized, some I didn’t.
Whole smoked fish is widely available.
There’s an amazing variety of olives, pickled vegetables, and prepared appetizers & snacks.
What you don’t see much of is red meat, like beef or pork, unless it’s made into sausages.
I had never seen so many types of mushrooms.
Of course there are produce sellers.
but the breads really got our attention. You see the Berlinerbol? When John F. Kennedy made his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, what he didn’t know was that slang term. So he really said, “I am a jelly doughnut.”
I’d like to point out that despite this No Carb Left Behind culture of eating, I did not see anyone worried about gaining weight (I never subscribed to that low-carb crapola anyway).
If you get hungry while shopping, there are booths selling crepes (made as you wait), poffertjes (a kind of tiny, fluffy pancake), fresh-squeezed orange juice, and cups of fresh fruit. At Westermarkt, two cheerful, lively men singing “Rocky Raccoon” dish up cassoulet, split pea soup, and sandwiches of ham or sausage from the biggest frying pan you’ve ever seen.
Elsewhere, a serious man with a scalpel slices proscuitto off the leg to make sandwiches.
So did we just look, or did we actually eat any of this? Hell yes, we ate it. Not all of it, but we tried.
Below, a spread from the Ten Katemarkt near our apartment – clockwise from top: Turkish pita from a Turkish bakery, resting on a baguette; French emmenthaler; cippolina (pickled onions); roasted eggplant on hummus; a type of crisp green olive that I have forgotten the name of; garlicky hummus with cumin; tzatziki; in the center: peppadews (South African pickled sweet cherry peppers, filled with some kind of cheese that was like creamy love).
More later on eating in Amsterdam!