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Sprinkles for Breakfast

travel eat restaurant hagelslag netherlands

I didn’t know about hagelslag before visiting Amsterdam, but my local friend quickly filled me in on this Dutch food.  When I first heard the word, I couldn’t escape the image of Scotland’s traditional dish, Haggis.  I was very, very wrong thinking that.  Hagelslag isn’t sheep innards simmered in a stomach at all.  It’s actually buttered toast topped with sprinkles.

Delicious, right?  Can’t go wrong with butter, bread, and sprinkles.  But even with only three ingredients, hagelslag is pretty tough to eat.  Frankly, it has some engineering failures.  I love me some sprinkles, but only when they are well secured by more sugar.  Hagelslag lacks either frosting or a glaze to hold down the sprinkles.  As wonderful as butter tastes, it fails as an adhesive.  These Hagelslag sprinkles are completely loose, precariously balanced on frictionless bread and prone to falling off if you don’t eat the bread completely horizontally.  With every lift of the bread, a few more sprinkles roll away and meet their unfortunate fate of hitting the ground, uneaten.  I tried to eat over my basket so I could eat the rebel sprinkles later.  This is when I discovered there is no dignified way to eat a handful of loose sprinkles.  Try it.  It’s impossible.

It seems like the Dutch have learned to overcome these hagelslag pitfalls and are going back for seconds.  They even sell hagelslag in their grocery stores.

store bought Dutch hagelslag

And this is a breakfast item, which isn’t really strange, I guess.  Having a little something sweet to start the day seems to be a Western World favorite.  Americans have donuts, and the Dutch have hagelslag.  But there must be some way to make these chocolate sprinkles more easily spreadable on bread.  Like, some kind of spreadable chocolate.  Wait a second, that’s Nutella!  Far be it for me to try and change a nation’s traditional food choices, but seriously, someone tell the Dutch about Nutella.  It would solve all of my eating problems when I visit their country.

10
Oct 2011
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
DISCUSSION 4 Comments
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Amsterdam’s Sarphatipark: hard on spelling, easy on the eyes

Amsterdam may be one of the most relaxed cities I’ve visited.  And everyone living there can’t be pot smokers, so I don’t think you can attribute their relaxed vibe on just marijuana.   Whatever the cause, I like it.  Like, they have all those bikes, which is great for the environment and keeps you in shape, but it’s not the fastest mode of transportation out there.  They could be all driving cars or motorized scooters and get places much faster, but that’s not what they want.   It’s refreshing.  And then all the parks they have just keep that chill feeling going.  I went to a pleasant little park called Sarphatipark.  It wasn’t anything fancy, but it was just perfect for a little break from all the relaxing.

Amsterdam park

And the great thing about Sarphatipark is there’s a little place to pick up some delicious food right across the street called Romios Griekse Traiterie.  I had quite a delicious gyro from there, but they have more selection than that.  Some really tasty Greek food, and the kind of preparations that are just right to bring to a leisurely picnic in the park.

15
Aug 2011
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
DISCUSSION No Comments
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Landed in Amsterdam: time to rent a bike

Made it safe and sound into Amsterdam.  This city is gorgeous.  Very photogenic.  I wonder how many people actually live here, though, since I feel I’ve mostly seen tourists.

Rented a bike today.  It’s been a while since I rode a bike, and I don’t care how the saying goes, it takes a bit of time to get back into the swing of riding one.

Have to go.  In a coffee shop with Jessica about to bike to a place that serves the “best gyros ever.”

23
Apr 2010
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
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Cork Airport! I’m finally here with a ticket for a flight that’s not cancelled!

It’s 4am right now, and I am sitting at Cork airport.  It is starting to look more like a reality that my 6am flight to Amsterdam is going to take off.  After six days of unscheduled travels, it doesn’t feel right that I’m about to travel to the place I was planning on visiting.  I hate to say it, but I’m almost a little disappointed.  Who knows what adventures I would have had if I took the ferry?  And now, whenever I tell this story–which I think will be often–I’ll come to Thursday and say, “And that’s the day I got on the plane and flew to Amsterdam.”  Then people will ask, “So you didn’t get on the 18 hour ferry?  You actually got to your final destination without spending a stolen afternoon in Paris?”  I will hang my head and nod.  “Yes, by Thursday, air travel was operating at 90% in Europe, so I never got that chance.”

I suppose I still could get on the ferry, but if I don’t have to go on it, it feels like I would just be doing it on some masochistic principle.  A three hour flight compared to 25 hours of transportation is a little easier to take.  And now I’ll have just about the same amount of time to see what I wanted to see (I changed my flight to leave next Thursday).

The check in desk is about to open.  There’s already a line.  I better get in it.

22
Apr 2010
POSTED BY travelbugrobert
DISCUSSION No Comments