During the break in showers today, I took tram #16 from Muntplein ("Mint Square", named after the Mint Tower, as in money, not an herb) to AlbertCuypStraat (Albert Cuyp Street). This market has everything. I took photos to take you on a little tour. They have:
Olives and various treats for Tapas
Furniture (fancy carting those home on your bike's handlebars.)
A vendor selling only chicken.
Nuts, dried fruit and the like.
Fish heads (to make stock or feed animals, perhaps?)
Lingerie and other clothing (no dressing rooms).
Luggage and bags.
Fruits and vegetables.
And of course, flowers. It is Holland after all!
I bought a flounder fillet for dinner; some "youngen" (young and therefore more mild) Dutch cheese; two mini melons (only 1.50E for both); more of those fantastic strawberries; a zucchini; lettuce; and, of course...
They also have food vendors at the market. I heard that the Benelux countries, particularly Belgium, have fantastic fries, which they serve with mayonnaise. The fries are actually cooked twice. Once in a lower-temperature oil to cook the potato and a second time at a higher-temperature to brown and crisp it. I broke down and tried a small size. It is served in a little paper cone, with the mayonnaise squirted on top, and you eat it with this little minature fork (no fingers). I, of course, not having the fine motor skills to manage the little fork engrained in me from a young age, promptly dropped a mayonnaise covered greasy fry onto my new shirt. I ate about half of my "small" cone and threw the rest away. Apparently, the dutch smaller-portion sizes doesn't extend to the fries. They were nummy, but I think I'll wait until I'm in Belgium to have more.
Upcoming events: I am going out to dinner tomorrow (Wednesday) with my friend, Frank Karsten. He is Dutch. He was a foreign exchange student at Foster High School during my freshman year and he took me to my first prom (Sorry, no photos to post). I don't know where we are going, but I am crossing my fingers that it is someplace that has something other than tostis kaas!
Also, a Dutch food that Marlo and I saw featured on the Rick Steves video is raw/pickled herring (topped with chopped onions, no less) sold at stands near Centraal station. I promised Marlo I would try it (she even thought it looked good). I'll be going by Friday, I promise, and will post pictures here. I figure it can't be that much different than sushi.