Monday, March 06, 2006

MAANDAG IN DEN HAAG

Wow. Dutch food is fucking bananas, y'all! Not that I've even eaten any yet. Like I'm going to put some of that cockamamie crapola in my mouth? Not a chance!

Imagine dog food, but for a dog without teeth. If you're able to extend your mind this far, you will be that much closer to nailing the consistency of what the Dutch call "Salade." Believe me, "Salade" is not salad; it is flesh-toned pats of fine ground meat or fish mixed with five times the body's natural requirement for mayonnaise. "Salade" comes in a wide variety of flavors ranging from Zalm (salmon), to Kip (chicken), to, most repugnant, Rundvlees (beef).



One is meant to spread this luncheon diarrhea on bread and, I suppose, suppress one's gag reflex and choke it down.



Whoever be the One to do this deserves an entire special-effects trilogy devoted to him, because it is truly brave work.

Whenever I touchdown in a new country I like to check out the supermarket. Why? Because I am quirky and charming and NO BULLSHIT when it comes to my interest in food. Holland's most ubiquitous supermarket is the Albert Heijn chain, and the aforementioned "salades" seemed to be its speciality. Interesting side note: they were able to visually nauseate me to such a degree that I actually dry-heaved. Here is what my dry-heave sounded like: "Oooh-wat! Ooooh-wat!"

I made this sound over by the "salades," and I made it when I went over to the meat department. There I was introduced to another packaged version of luncheon diarrhea called, insultingly enough, Filet Americain.



What is so American about raw, pureed beef I don't know, but the Dutch spread this UNCOOKED abomination onto bread for lunch as well. Apparently, the Dutch will put just about anything on bread and call it a meal.

I AM NOT KIDDING.

Case in point: I noticed that the Albert Heijn had a remarkable selection of sprinkles, which they call Hagelslag, and I thought it seemed weird that the Hagelslag would be in the lunch section of the store. But maybe I need to check myself before I wreck myself when it comes to what I conceive of as weird, because Hagelslag being in the lunch section isn't weird. What IS is that Hagelslag is to the Dutch what Cheerios are to Americans -- it is a BREAKFAST food, but the Dutch don't pour it into milk; they pour it into a well-buttered baguette and are all, "hello day, now I can face you." Only they say it in Dutch, not English. And they have sprinkles in their teeth.

Fortunately, my older brother and I decided NOT to go the Dutch route and instead we made a kind of picnic meal together with ingredients we felt sure would not induce vomiting. These included Oud Kaas (old cheese), Camembert (for 89 cents!), baked bread from the Turkish market, a fresh mushroom saute, sundried tomatoes, a bottle of Bulgarian Cabernet, and a couple of Swiss chocolate bars.

Okay, so maybe I will exist on chocolate and cheese on this trip, but you know what? Don't judge me. And you know what else? It was good, cheap, and there was no smearing required.

6 Comments:

Anonymous johan said...

Welkomen to my kountry!
Glad you love our food. So far.
But, as THEY say.
This is just zee beginnig!
Ya??
Goot.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stop making me laugh out loud at work! wait, i take that back.

you may continue.

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