The “Culinary” Tour
When other people research a place they are going to visit they usually look at the landmarks they wish to see, the museums they want to visit and the most interesting entertainment worth checking out. I leave some of that up to my family….like my sister who got us advance tickets to the world-famous van Gogh museum for this morning. We were there early and hardly had to stand in line at all. The crowd was not too bad either and there was plenty of time to contemplate the very thick paint strokes in many of the pictures. It was an experience.
But back to the research for visiting a new place. Mine is of the culinary kind. What do the locals eat? What is considered indigenous food and where can I find it? What is a “must try.” My browsing told me that the Dutch love pancakes with toppings (must try); herring sandwiches (avoid); have many Indonesian foods from the old colonial days (try maybe); and that they are batty about fries served with either mayo or satay sauce and that they can turn anything into a croquette.
Hence, after the high, fine art of the museums in the morning we went in search of good street food in the afternoon. Sort of both sides of the culture. We first tried our way through the free samples at a wonderful cheese shop. We feasted on fries at Vlaamse Frites, one with cheese sauce and one with curry ketchup, onions and mayo (yum). We went to Febo, a Dutch institution of automated food, and tried our way through a bunch of croquettes. And finally we found a pastry shop that had the most delectable apple and cheese cakes and bought some. Then we felt a little guilty because of all the junk food and picked up some healthy grapes at a small grocery and brought those treasures back to the hotel for later.
All in all quite a successful culinary tour. I am stuffed. Tomorrow….pancakes with everything that can be rolled inside….and of course some good cheese somewhere before it’s off to Africa on Tuesday.