One of our ~followers~, Anna, asked if we were Dutch and oh my lawd are we ever (half) Dutch! Our papa is from a small province in the south of the Netherlands, a historied legacy of Catholic potato farmers who spoke only in Zeeuws, a dialect incomprehensible to most of the country. We grew up visiting our cousins in Holland almost every year, and as a result consider ourselves minor experts in the (purely academic, sociological) study of Dutch snack foods.
The Dutch are not a classical cuisine culture, but maybe more as a result of the extremely down-to-earth approach to food than the actual quality of what they make. Because the food there - in restaurants and grocery stores - is incredible. Of course, Nel and I generally focus on grocery store snacks (above) and greasy snackbars with frikandel (hot dog boiled in OIL), kaassouffle (basically deep fried cheese), fries with mayo and peanut sate sauce and other frittered delights because of our priorities in life. However, if you are a fancy foodie and prefer gem lettuces and ramps you can get more than your fair share; the Netherlands are, after all, one of the largest exporters of agricultural and food products in the world.
Hagelslag and Calve Pindakaas: we’ve talked about this before. Nothing compares to Dutch peanut butter and sliced bread, and putting chocolate sprinkles on top and calling it breakfast? GODDANG.
A bottle of white wine: because everything tastes better when you’re buzzed.
HARIBO: this is a bit nostalgic, since we lived in France from 1990-1994 as wee lassies. I loathe marshmallows but these bananas are the best, especially when they get stale; crack the bag open a day before you plan on eating them. Dragibus are oversized, delicious round jellybeans. Pinballs are sort of the sour version of Dragibus. Whatever you do, never buy the little fried eggs. Once before a trip to Switzerland we were each allowed to get a bag of Haribo for the train, and I was lured into the eggs’ cute trap and spent the entire trip extremely upset and jealous of Nellie’s strawberry softies.
Milka with Tuc: Milka is a wonderful super-creamy type of chocolate bar. a Tuc is a French brand of the most delicious, buttery, crispy salty cracker you can even imagine times two. They made the Tuc tiny and jammed in a Milka Bar and it is unbelievably delicious - the buttery, super saltiness framed by soft milky chocolate.
Conimex Nasi Goreng mix: Conimex is a popular Dutch brand of grocery store fast Indonesian food; this mix is delicious in fried rice with cut up bacon and chicken and fried egg.
Fristi: a delicious sweet yogurt (or “joghurt”) drink for kids; it’s shelf stable because duh, mega-pasteurized boxed milk is big in Europe. It’s got an iron tang I could never get behind, though.
Vla: vla is a very important custard and pudding thing that usually comes in big milk cartons and you just fill up your bowl and frost it with whipped cream in a can and call it a day.
Albert Heijn Blueberry Muffin Yogurt: this isn’t some Yoplait Whips Key Lime Pie bullshit. This is full-fat yogurt with crumbly chunks of an actual blueberry muffin floating around inside. It is unbelievable.
Lotus speculoospasta (“speculoos paste”): you know Trader Joe’s crunchy cookie butter? They’ve had this in the Netherlands for years. Decades, even. You probably feel like you’ve been living in the Soviet Union knowing that now, don’t you.
Chocomel: is very delicious canned chocolate milk and appropriate for all occasions. We have never tried to mix it with alcohol but I imagine some Bailey’s would be out of this world.
There you have it - our souls laid bare upon this picnic bench outside the Buikslotermeer Albert Heijn. Dutch pals, what are we missing?