Monday, January 24, 2011

My Selective Dutch A-Z (Part I)

There are a few things to understand when in Netherlands and this is just a simple guide of words that I think would be useful when visiting the country.

A for Amsterdam

It is the capital and largest city in the Netherlands. It's one of the must visit places in the country filled with museums,beautiful canals, tourist attractions and the infamous Red Light District.

B for Bicycles and Bitterballen

Some claimed that there were more bicycles than people in Netherlands. One of the curious facts of the Netherlands: nearly 85 percent of the population own at least one bicycle. It's the most convenient way to get around as most of the paths are for walking and bicyles only.

Bitterballen is a savoury Dutch meat-based snack, typically containing a mixture of beef (minced or chopped), beef broth, flour and butter for thickening, parsley, salt and pepper. The bitterballen complements the beer very well and best eaten with mustard!

C for Cheese, Clogs and Coffeeshops

What's Holland without cheese? This country is indeed reknown for its excellent cheese and the largest exporter of Gouda, Edam, Maasdammer and Boerenkaas (farmer's cheese). The prices of this yellow delight is very affordable too! Take a visit at the cheese markets.

Wooden shoes, or clogs (klompen)are very popular in Netherlands. Although you don't really see people wearing them now, it's still a very popular souvenir.

If you're searching for a cup of aromatic coffee in Netherlands, don't be fooled by the outlets called "coffeeshops". In the Netherlands the term coffeeshop has come to mean a place where hashish and marijuana are available for personal consumption by the public is tolerated by the local authorities. The majority of these "coffeeshops" (in Dutch written as one word) also serve drinks and food. It is not allowed for a coffeeshop to serve alcohol or other drugs. You can smoke a joint in there but provided there is no tobacco as smoking indoors is banned. If you're realling looking for coffee, then head to the "coffee houses or cafe".

F for FEBO and Frikandel

Febo is a fast-food franchise that serves up its snacks in vending machines. It’s a simple process: You walk up to the window of the tastiest-looking treat, drop the correct amount in the slot, open the door, and take out your snack. Febo is still best known for its croquettes. Here are a few, yummy meaty recommendations: “kalfsvleeskroket” for those who love beef (€ 1.40), or “kipcorn” for those who crave a bit of chicken (€ 1.40).

Frikandel is like a minced-meat hotdog. It is a long, skinless, dark-coloured sausange that is eaten hot. Unlike other sausages, a frikandel is deep-fried. Sometimes it is served on a bun and is then called a broodje frikandel.

G for Gay

Since gay marriage has been legalised in Netherlands in 2001, it makes the country a popular destination for gay couples due to the tolerant attitude. The popular Amsterdam Gay Pride event is held every 1st weeked in August. There are several gay areas in Amsterdam, all of them not really far from each other. It's at a street with an unpronounceable name, Reguliersdwarsstraat, which is rather mainstream and 1990s style and (used to be) quite busy at the weekend. Nearby, at Amstel street with its several gay bars, many of them in traditional Dutch style and atmosphere. And finally there is Warmoesstraat with its gay leather and cruise bars and fetish shops. Look out for the rainbow flags!

H for Hagelslag, Haring and Heineken

When I was at the hotel breakfast, I was curious why besides the usual butter and jam, there were packets of chocolate rice on the counter. Then when I read the Amsterdam magazine, only I realised that it is a typical Dutch thing to do which is to sprinkle chocolate on the toast with a layer of butter and the chocolate rice is called Hagelslag.

Anyways, one of the must try while in Amsterdam is the Haring. The trip will not be complete without at least trying to eat one Haring. Haring is actually a the slimy little fish sold in street side stalls that the Dutch can’t seem to get enough of. It is eaten by holding the tail of the Haring and dangled over to the open mouth and must be eaten raw with chopped onions. I've tried mine here.

If you have not heard about Heineken, you must have been from another planet. This famous beer originates from Netherlands and when in Amsterdam, you can visit the Heineken Experience to get to know everything about the beer! Info here and tickets at Euro 15 each.

I for Ice-Skating

This is a popular winter activity in the Netherlands. On the streets during winter, you could see small ice-skating rinks created for people to skate.

To be continued.... Part II here.


KY said...

well, just how the hell do u pronounce kalfsvleeskroket? lol

Sean said...

ooh, i didn't notice the febo vending machines at all in amsterdam! sounds interesting and very convenient :D

thule a.k.a leo said...

so much time to search for all these A-Z thingy??

Calvin said...

Where's D & E? =)

li wei said...

will S be stroopwaffles? haha

Bangsar-bAbE said...

If only we have "coffeeshops" here. LOL

TY said...

Why the list? Thought you are suppose to be doing sun & surf plus get a handsome GO to apply sun tan lotion on you...haha

eiling lim said...

Ky: I have no bloody idea.

Sean:yeah it's so interesting to walk into a place full of vending machines for food!

Thule:yeah isn't this list interesting?

Calvin: that's why it's called selective.

Liwei: no la.. I didn't try that woh.

Bangsarbabe: haha I cannot imagine what would happen if it's legal here. They should legalise gay marriage first.

TY:haha GO applying sun block on me? In my dreams maybe.

Anonymous said...


Taufulou said...

geng eh you..sure takes alot of time for you to do A-Z. . .

interesting facts tho

foongpc said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing! This post looks like an encyclopedia on everything Netherlands!

So Coffeeshops are not really the normal coffee shops! How interesting! : D

Jeremy C said...

wow, very informative indeed!

can't recall much about amsterdam since i last visited more than 20 years ago :(

suituapui said...

I like B...B for balls. LOL!!! Yum! Yum!

eiling lim said...

Taufulou: So happened that I was inspired to do it cos it was interesting.

Foongpc: Yeah don't go in to the wrong shop for coffee.

Jeremy C: Time to revisit?

STP: haha... that's all you could think of?!!

Robin said...

Hi there. I don't mind you using my photo of my homemade bitterballen, but could you please add the photocredits? It's FotoosVanRobin, with a link back to the original photo (and recipe) at:

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