A quick simple trip to the supermarket has changed a bit since moving to Amsterdam. First, I never used to go to the grocery store for the major weekly shop. I’d get Coles, and then later Woolies to deliver it to me. (nasty supermarkets full of annoying people and queues!)
So when I got here, I needed to start grocery shopping again. Hindered a little by the language, though in all honesty, packaging is the same everywhere. And if you can’t see the product to figure out what it is (chicken fillets or vegetables) there’ll be a picture of what is in the packaging on the front. Mostly we eat fresh though, so no problems there.
What hindered me more initially was the fact that whatever I bought, I had to carry home. In our first apartment, that was up 4 flights of really steep stairs, in the second apartment that was a kilometer and a half home (though then I also used Mavis the bicycle). There’s only so much will fit in paniers.
In our third apartment we now live close and it’s only two flights of stairs. I also managed to get the kitty litter delivered to us (this relieved much of the weight!).
What I have found is that groceries here are either in bulk, or are in daily/two day serves. Which is awesome! Nothing goes off before you eat it, but you also end up back at the grocery store every other day. I guess given the size of the kitchen and the storage capacity, this makes sense. Like so. Standard household vegetables look like this.
In some ways this is incredibly convenient! With just the two of us, a loaf of bread would go off before we ate it, and often used to. But when you can buy a half loaf, there’s no such wastage!
Though I’ve yet to be convinced by what the locals put on their bread, I know my niece and nephew love hagelslag and vlokken. Check out all the types and flavours! (*shudders*)
I can get behind the massive cheese selection though! This is only about a third of this market’s display. The Dutch are wacky for their cheese! But there’s no cheddar or tasty. Cooking-wise this took a little adjustment.
Which goes well with the supermarket wine selection. I know it’s fuzzy, but all of these shelves are Australian wine. Rosemount, Yalumba, Lindemans. You name it.
I can’t think why, but this one scares me.
Though we’re no longer living with the Pyrmont Fish Markets just down the road, we do have other options in walking distance. We’ve bought a few pieces of fish here. They also have a good selection of more esoteric things like rabbit, hare, duck, and some delectable truffle crisps!
They are also the closest source of the widest selection of herbs.
But through all the learning of new customs, and new ways of doing things, the thing that I still haven’t gotten used to is the tea stations in Albert Heijn.
Yes. They expect you to stop your grocery shopping, with a basket full of things out of the fridge section which you’ve already been through, and have a complimentary tea!