Delectable Delft

30 09 2008

Delft, The Netherlands

While in Brussels, Gage and I took a little side trip up to the Netherlands to go and visit our buddy Jacqui. Talk about small world; while standing in the train station waiting for Jacqui, who is from Australia and we met in Slovakia, we bump into a guy named Piotr who is from the Netherlands and we met in our hostel in Gdansk. Apparently this is not all that infrequent when doing constant travel, but it’s still weird. In any event, though this trip took only an afternoon, it does deserve some special attention because of two factors; 1) the food of Holland and 2) our cool friend Jacqui.

Dutch is another one of those fun languages that we’ve run into that just seems to have no basis in reality. It is a language that probably inspired Dr. Seuss. Of course this also makes me wish that I spoke it because I want to sound that cute when I talk. This is why it’s handy to have a fluent speaker (i.e. Jacqui) around in order to sample all of the glories of Netherlands’s cuisine. After hearing all of my rantings and ravings about the glories of Torun gingerbread, Jacqui decided to introduce us to the local version, speculaas. This stuff comes in the crunchy and bread variety. Although I wouldn’t place it above Torun gingerbread on the basis of health statistics alone, there is one thing that the people of Holland and I agree on, and that’s the fact the gingerbread makes a wonderful breakfast. Of course the streets also have more bikes than cars, which means that they can afford to have speculaas for breakfast.

Thankfully she brought a big purse

Luckily Jacqui brought a big purse

The other guilty pleasure of Holland would be the caramel laden waffle crisp called the stroopwafel. Though you can purchase these suckers in the grocery store (and we certainly did) you can only get the real deal fresh off the streets where a woman working a stroopwafel cart will take a waffle crisp larger than your head, ladle it with more caramel than physics would say that such a thin wafer can hold, and then top it with another wafer slice. Yes they sell many drugs legally in Holland, but these stroopwafels are by far the most addictive.

She's eating all my stroopwafel!

She's eating all of my stroopwafel!!

I would also be remiss if I did not mention Holland’s famous cheeses. If you are a person like Gage, Jacqui and me, you will understand the sheer joy coursing through our veins when Jacqui led us into a local cheese and meat store. Not only do the people of Holland make wonderful local cheeses, they also import a bunch. In fact, out of all of the coutries we visited, this was the only place where we could find a hunk of cheddar cheese (the missing ingredient to Dave’s chili). It’s amazing what you miss when it’s not so readily available.

Of course all of these lovely delicacies can be found all over Holland, as Jacqui attested to, so why Delft? I suppose I should mention that Delft is arguably the most picturesque city in the Netherlands. It is called the Venice of Holland due to the labrynth of canals. Though small and short on attractions outside of food and architecture, it was a wonderful place to spend the day. Thanks to Jacqui for sharing a little piece of her pseudo-homeland with us. We miss you already.

For more pictures, click here.




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