Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Food-shoppin in Nijmegen

I did one blog on eating out in Nijmegen. Which as I explained, is a tricky business. What about buying food in shops? Well, it actually isn't too bad. There have been questions from some of y'all back home as to the food here. So I have decided to compile a few of my favourite items. When it comes to stocking the fridge, Nijmegeren aren't too bad at it.

1. De Rit Volrogge honingkoek
The latest discovery. You wouldn't even think about buying a cake in an Australian supermarket, but here they sell these ginger and honey cakes which really aren't too bad, especially once you've got used to the level of sweetness of dutch desserts (I am now able to drink a Chocomel hot chocolate with a cake and not expire immediately from over-sweetenedness).

The De Rit brand ones are a step above, coming from the health food shop, for your 100% bio (organic) honey cake, which is made from rye flour. If you want to get your honey cake really nice and dark, try rye flour. It seems to work.

Recipe (alright, ingredients): 33.5% Wholemeal rye flour (who ever heard of white rye flour! I don't think it has a skin), 27.9% honey, rye grains (or something called bloem), then it has some other chemicals or something and also of course the old cinnamon. So there you have it, bung a huge amount of honey, sugar and a bit of rye together with a dash of cinnamon and you could have some yourself.

2. Pickles
Another good supermarket product is pickles. You can wander right into your Albert Heijn (the most ubiquitous supermarket around) and grab the home brand pickles (go for zuur 'sour' -not zoet 'sweet') and you'll find they are quite delicious.

3. Beer

Plenty of beer in the supermarket. No separate sealed section just another aisle. You can get Grolsh here, although not in the funny bottle, they seem to be getting a bit sick of that here. For a start all that glass is heavy on the bike. Instead of a slab you can get a plastic crate that sits nicely on the bike rack.
(a beer accident, illustrating the plastic beer crates, googling images is a terrible waste of time)

4. Veldsla

This mysterious salad green is not found in Australia, not surprisingly, since it is a delicate juicy kind of baby green, that looks like it could be a baby buk-choi or something, but never grows up. Translated as 'field lettuce/cabbage' it seems to me it probably used to grow in the shade of grasses in the field, but now is probably hydro. It doesn't exactly taste of anything but tastes delicious as a salad, on its own or with lettuce. You have to eat it soon after you dress it - it kind of melts in the dressing after a while. I was getting it at albert heijn in a little bag, but recently discovered the boxed variety at the health food shop - much stronger and with a longer life.

5. Other greens
Even your usual garden variety green veges just taste better here. I think they like the unlimited water supply (except for the 3 week drought we had). So I thought I'd just mention the better ones together here:

Leeks - these are so much juicier here I overcooked them for months, I just couldn't get used to the fact that they cooked so quick.
Green beans - like leeks these are picked smaller here which makes them tasty.

Asparagus - Also taste delicious. Have avoided the white ones even though dutchies seem to have a seasonal obsession with them - just can't quite see the point or how they could taste as good colourless.

Lettuces - very nice!

On the negative side - can't seem to get a decent pumpkin here. They have these orange-skinned round things which are so hollow there's hardly any pumpkin there. Plus they're a bit heavy for the bike.

6. Potting mix

(My happy plants on my balcony)

Potting mix isn't really food, but since it's unlikely I'll write a list of best nursery products I have to mention this potting mix. It is the most amazing stuff, so delicious (to feel, I'm not that nutty). It has the nicest texture, the plants love it and it hardly ever needs watering.

.... to be continued


esther said...

hello! i'm glad you are blogging lots.. i have been too busy to bother but it's good to see your blog growing up very nicely. your plants look very cheering too.

Intrepidexpat said...

Hi Estie,
Glad you like it. You're my only commenter so far but a few other people have admitted to reading it. Catherine requested food information, she had offered to send a package so I thought I should show that I have enough provisions here

adam said...
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diktan said...

thanks for the food recommendations! makes life in Nijmegen seem a little brighter. it's not that the place itself is so horrible, it is just so lonely.. it's good that i have a big family in the field to make up for it. i found a few delicacies in the Dutch cuisine as well - they make excellent pancakes without eggs and milk, the health food store have wonderful cinnamon cookies with generous pieces of dark chocolate, and a very good biological appelmoes and tasty natural licorice can be found in coop;)