Sunday, November 3, 2013

Foods making us happy in Leiden

One of the things that we were not expecting to be so wonderful here is the food.  Our Dutch friends helpfully warned us before we left that clothes and electronics would be much more expensive in the Netherlands than in the US, but they also said that food would be cheaper.  What they didn't tell us is that the food would be delicious.  Here are two of the star ingredients we are so delighted to be eating:


We had heard that potatoes are a staple of the Dutch diet.  One of Van Gogh's peasant paintings is called "The Potato Eaters"; we saw it on our trip to the Van Gogh Museum:

The Potato Eaters
Even now, french fries with mayonnaise are standard fare alongside Dutch cuisine, even if that cuisine is pancakes.  But now we know why the Dutch eat so many potatoes: Dutch potatoes are amazing.  (Something about the soft, wet soil and the mild winters, I'm guessing.)  We've been eating potatoes chopped in soups, sliced and baked with vegetables, and about once a week mashed as the topping of shepherd's pie:

Yes, Clara and I ate half of the pie so you could have a cut-away view.  Not because it was so delicious we forgot to photograph it first.


Okay, it's true: we're not yet in the habit of photographing our food before we eat it.  As further proof, here's a picture of the same dish as above, now not-containing roman apple cake:

We've made this cake several times and each time forgotten to take a picture for you.  When we post the gluten-free recipe, we'll include a photograph then.  But to give you an idea of how delicious this cake is, we fed it to a friend who afterward told us he had never before enjoyed a baked apple dessert.  Yet here is this friend, all smiles!

Some of you may recognize a game of backwards-IZZI being played.
Another way our lives are improved by the apple products here is the applesauce.  Since I'm allergic to the sulfites used to bleach most non-organic sugar, we do a lot of shopping at health-food stores, at one of which Clara found this gem of a product for 1 euro per jar:

Ingredients: apples.
It tastes like apple pie.  Sweet and tart with a beautifully thick texture... we have it on pancakes, mixed into rice pudding, or by itself as dessert.  Yum!

Delivery Burgers

Now you can order online!
Just kidding!  We got this advertisement for delivery burgers in our mail.  We're not using them in our cooking (for multiple reasons), but it is one of the foods making us happy here in Leiden.

Have you ever traveled (or moved somewhere) and been blown away by the food? Tell us in the comments!

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