shermarama: (bright light)
[personal profile] shermarama
I was thinking of doing something about the changing skyline of Rotterdam today, but since the weather really wasn't suitable, I went shopping instead.



Food in the Netherlands still confuses me sometimes, perhaps because it's close enough to British food that the things that are weird stand out more. Like the marzipan pig.
Marzipan Pigs
I mean, I get the idea of marzipan items in general, but what's the point in selling individually-wrapped chunks of it, like marzipan pork chops? The original thing they're cut from could have been anything, more or less, just with one edge painted pink.

Breakfast cereals are just breakfast cereals. Unless they're Pap & Go.
Pap & Go
('The tasty and complete healthy breakfast for every day!' I'm not really sure what this is, except possibly a really depressing sort of instant porridge.)

All crisps are pretty much paprika or bolognese flavour; Croky recently launched the exciting new flavour of paprika-bolognese.
Flavour Selection
Occasional diversions are satay flavour, which everything in the Netherlands is given half a chance, dangerous exotic imports like Cheese & Onion (note that's not Kaas & Ui) and a recent winner of an invent-a-flavour competition, the incomprehensible Patatje Joppie.

Can you even get liver sausage in the UK?
Leverworst

And I think it's also difficult to get drop, or salty liquorice:
Drop Department
I didn't get a photo of the whole drop department because I'd have had to have a wide-angle lens. As well as all the permutations of sweet, salty, hard and soft, there's also the shapes, which range from cars to fish to cats. Given that I don't even like English liquorice, and the salty stuff has a much stronger taste, I admit I've never even tried it.

So, since Dutch supermarkets are silly places, I went to the market instead.
Bij de markt
Just for size reference, the tall building on the left that you can't really see the top of is about two thirds of the way down the length of the market. There are landmarks down at the end, but, yeah, distant things not really visible today. Also some of the market is still behind me here.

As a market, it's appropriately excited about household necessities.
Stofzuigerzakken
(That's Dutch for 'vacuum cleaner bags'.)

You might want to stop off for some mussels:
Mosselhandel
(Fresh from their own boats every day, apparently.)

There's a lot of fish on sale, but it can be quite difficult to get to it:
Vishandel
(The hung-up towels are for customers to wipe their hands on after they've been handling the goods.)

Here's a better view of the fish, once I'd made it to the bar, as it were.
All The Fish
They have got proper everything, from cheap salmon offcuts to smoked eel fillets at €40 a kilo. I didn't even know you could eat moray, but I know where I can get some if I want to try.

Because it's a market, there's a regularly changing variety of tat on sale:
This Week's Special
This week's special is apparently creepy silicone baby dolls.

And another market mainstay is the cheese stalls:
Kaashandel
They do eat a lot of cheese here, which means a whole different vocabulary for it. The unspoken assumption is that everything is Gouda unless noted otherwise, but beyond that there's all the fine gradations of maturity and sharpness, whether it's farm style or from a particular season's milk, and then the variations with cloves or cumin or fenugreek seeds in (one in the foreground there contains nettles) and all the other cheeses that aren't Gouda, including all the (hard) goat ones. (There actually isn't much Edam.) You also always get given a taster of the cheese when you order it, even if it's one you already know well, which I can't say I mind. There's still that connection to the cheese as object and countable noun, where any particular one of them might not have aged the same way and might not be what you want today after all.

Not recorded here: all the clothes stalls, the Turkish bread stalls, the poeliers (poultry sellers), the fact that poultry is the only meat you can buy there for some reason, the opportunistic sellers of spare output from the Netherlands' enormous greenhouse industry putting out vine tomatoes for a euro a kilo, the junk/vintage bit down near St. Laurenskirk, the cheap make-up/perfume/hair-products stalls, the fabric wing down the east end of Hoogstraat, the big section of flower and plant stalls by the library, the by-weight nut and spice stalls, all the blue Bram Ladage vans (Rotterdam's near-monopoly frites'n'saus supplier), the single silver Ladage-but-not-Bram van which there must surely be a story behind, the stall that sells enormous freshly-made hot stroopwafels, the patisserie van, the man selling nothing but six different varieties of Dutch potato at the minute, the tea-and-coffee cart that I think serves the traders not the public and does a lot of rushing around importantly and getting in people's way, the unexpectedly expensive and slightly hipster stall that does interesting mushrooms and heirloom root vegetables (today they had some sort of red and white stripy beetroot) and the man who sells cored and peeled pineapples, which means in Dutch he gets to shout 'ananas, zonder jas!' all day. I like the market.

Date: 2013-11-16 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] boyofbadgers.livejournal.com
We definitely used to have liver sausage in Yorkshire when I was a nipper. That, garlic sausage, and tongue were the usual non-ham bits of charcuterie we would have for Saturday lunch after the weekly Asda trip. Though we didn't call it charcuterie back then, obv.

Date: 2013-11-16 09:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shermarama.livejournal.com
Looking it up now, it looks like Asda still sell it. It wasn't something that was part of my childhood, it must be said, but it's the sort of thing I wouldn't have eaten back then either. I quite like it these days, though, in a decent dark brown crusty roll.

Date: 2013-11-16 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] motodraconis.livejournal.com
All crisps are pretty much paprika or bolognese flavour; Croky recently launched the exciting new flavour of paprika-bolognese.

This actually made me laugh out loud.

Splendid market, I like the look of all that fish and cheese, sounds like heaven for me, and smoked eel is delicious. Nom!

Date: 2013-11-17 10:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shermarama.livejournal.com
I think anyone who likes markets would like this one, but yeah, I think you'd have a great time in the fish department. The Dutch fish names are often surprisingly unlike the English ones - cod is kabeljauw, 'cable jaw' (although that makes sense if you think of their barbels) while haddock is schelvis - but it's pretty easy to tell that an eel is an eel even if it's labelled paling.

Date: 2013-11-17 09:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghoti.livejournal.com
I like liver sausage, and it's one of the things that's not too difficult to find. Unlike heringsalat, which is only really accessible now through the magic of Ocado.

I also really like both paprika and bolognese crisps, and want to try paprika-bolognese and satay flavour crisps now!

Date: 2013-11-17 10:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shermarama.livejournal.com
I tried the paprika-bolognese and they were a bit of a disappointment, really. The warm of the paprika and the sharp of the tomato just sort of cancelled each other out. (Satay ones are totally the best flavour. They've got a bit of the heat of proper satay in and everything.)

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