Food: Amsterdam Part 1

Amsterdam reminds me a lot of back home. You’ll find mostly grocery stores here, not little markets. From our time here, I can say there are really two types of grocery stores.  You’ll find the big box stores and then the little specialty stores. We did our initial stock-up at a big box store call Albert Heijn.  It was a short 10-min bike ride from the house.  Yes, bike ride. No big stock-up shopping trips in Amsterdam, we made lots of little trips to the store because we always had to carry our haul home via bicycle. Nolan and I would take Bertha, our bucket bike, but we could still only carry so much. Everything was super fresh and nothing lasted long.  What we bought, we ate within a couple of days.

Here’s my research data on local market:

  • 10 apple varieties
  • 15 bread varieties
  • 6 milk varieties
  • 12 aisles

Here are a few things about the food in Amsterdam.

  • The cheese! Let me tell you, I’ve never had such great cheese. I also learned that Gouda (pronounced nothing like you think) is considered the “throw” away cheese for locals.  It’s the cheap cheese use for quick sandwiches, it’s not “good” cheese.
  • Like in London the dairy and yogurt were amazing. It’s hard to explain, but the dairy is richer and creamer. I’m still attempting to stick to the low-carb, so I eat plain yogurt with berries almost on a daily bases.  The milk was interesting because there were really only 2 varieties; full or half milk and then there were 3 brands.  As for the creamer, that took me about 10 mins and 2 different workers to find, which I eventually found with the yogurt.  Both workers were very confused when I said it was for coffee.
  • The color of food is really different. Nolan found Fruit Loops at the store, which apparently were on “his list” the day we went to the store, so they made their way into the cart. They also tasted different and I noticed they also didn’t leave that really nasty film in your mouth.
  • Nolan’s favorite part about Albert Heijn was all the pets.  Yes, you heard me correctly, pets.  Outside of the store were hooks for people to leave their animals behind while in the store.  Nolan loved visiting and petting the animals while the owners were in the store.
  • Finally, my two downfalls at the grocery store … 1) I found this amazing popcorn,  Proper Corn, with several really great flavors. My favorite, of course, was the Sweet Coconut & Vanilla.  2) Tony’s Chocolate. I mean, this stuff was really dangerous!  I first found it at the actual Tony’s Chocolate store and thought it was something at like a novelty shop, but then I realized Tony’s Chocolate is like Dove Chocolate in the US.  It is everywhere and it is amazing!  I did get smart enough to buy the small bars rather than the big ones, but I mean … amazing.

Here are a few photos from our shopping trips!

^Nolan and I with Bertha!

^This is the A-mazing popcorn.  If you ever find it, buy it!

^Fruit Loops colors.

^Albert Heijn was inside of a shopping mall, so this was what the entrance to the store actually looked like. There weren’t any pets on the day I took this picture, but I’ll see if I can grab one before we leave Amsterdam.

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