Spring by Kathryn White

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Friesland: The Food

One of the interesting aspects of travel to another country is observing their culture and lifestyle including the food they eat.
In Friesland, people shop on almost a daily basis for their groceries, buying them either from supermarkets (very small and efficient shops) or local shops such as the butcher, baker or cheese shop. One of my favorite things to do while traveling abroad is to visit a grocery store. I love wandering the aisles inspecting the food variety, taking note of the organization of each aisle as well as the selection of the products. It is also interesting to observe the dutch women as they carefully choose and select their food items, shopping almost daily because they like to buy fresh produce and freshly baked bread. They buy only enough for several days as they live so close to the shopping and usually bike to the 'winkels' or shops, and need to be able to fit everything in their fietstassen or saddlebags on their bicycle. This photo is taken outside of the Hema,a doarpswinkel or department store
in the Joure where you can buy food items as well as clothing and household goods. The dutch always take their own sturdy bags on their shopping errands and pack their own groceries in those bags.

Grocery Store/Boadskipje

I loved the amazing variety of freshly packaged produce, wishing we could get that here as it sure would make cooking more simplified.

Can you imagine having such a variety of cheese, all being of the finest quality at an affordable price?

And the dairy products...such a wonderful selection!
While researching the variety of products, I came across this blog, A Touch of Dutch, that will give some interesting insight and comparisons to our grocery stores.
You can read more about it here and here.


The bakeries in Friesland sell a wonderful array of breads, rolls, pastries and cakes, freshly prepared and often still warm.
We biked here one afternoon after our shopping, to take in the bakery experience with a cup of coffee met gebak...sa lekker!

Can you imagine the aroma of all this lovely fresh baking?
Lekker beppe, sûkerbôle
(a silly frisian saying that means yummy Beppe sugar bread)

Look at all the hearty whole grain breads:

At Home/Thuis
A typical breakfast in Friesland, includes the broodtafel or bread table with an assortment of items to put on bread including cheese, meat, as well as other condiments such as the chocolate sprinkles you see in the photo below:

A typical meal would include gehak/spiced braised meat and potatoes, along with fresh vegetables/groente, this one made by Mem/Beppe:
And for a light meal, the huzarensalade or potato salad we had with friends was wonderful served with fresh bread:
We were invited for an afternoon to my Aunt's house where we met my Mom's two sisters and one brother along with their spouses. My Aunt showed gezellige gastvrijheid or cosy hospitality as we were treated royally!
The Frisians really know how to extend hospitality!


Can you guess what kind of restaurant this is?
Does it look remotely familiar?
We have them all over North America
and they are hugely popular with children...

Don't you love the autumn touches in the decor?

Yes, it is McDonald's Restaurant in the Joure!

This was the second McDonald's restaurant in Frylsân

and the first McDonald's with McDrive (Drive-Thru)
to open its doors in 1992.
It is located near the famous roundabout
where 3 main highways come together.

This restaurant was remodeled
for a more elegant, modern look in 2009.

Don't you just love the sheep grazing in the foreground?
Where else do you see this happen but in the Netherlands!

Restaurant in Giethoorn:

Dutch Kaas Pannekoek or pancakes served with cheese:
An Uitsmijter... eggs, ham served on bread: Patat frites met mayonnaise and a kroket in the Joure:

Kibbeling (battered cod fish) in Hindelopen:

When presented with your meal,
the dutch will be quick to say:
Eet smakelijk!
While the Frisians will say:
Lekker iete!

Enjoy your meal!