Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Expat Tastes

I was recently having a bit of a twitter with a Dutch expat in England and she was telling me that every time someone comes to visit, or she comes back to the Netherlands, she raids Albert Heijn for essential supplies to take back.

"I'm curious," I tweeted. "What type of things do you get?" She replied,

"Well half the Albert Heijn! Cheese, ontbijtkoek, hagelslag, crisps (hamkaas, bugels) and I miss all vleeswaren - osseworst etc." "Oh, and magazines," she added.

I tweeted back,

"That's hilarious!! I bring back English cheese and 'proper' flavour crisps... and magazines & books. Funny what you get used to!!"

So we agreed she would send a lorry of English supplies over, and I would send it back full of Dutch goodies.A kind of Tesco - Albert Heijn shopping exchange scheme......

The idea of a Dutch expat lugging Dutch cheese over to England at the same time I was hauling a good piece of English cheddar back to the Netherlands made me smile and as her Albert Heijn trolley is filling with hamkaas and bugles, mine is filling with prawn cocktail and worcester sauce flavour crisps.

I do bring a lot less variety of things back with me each trip than I used to but there are still staples that the local Dutch supermarket just doesn't stock, so they go on list when we pop back or someone comes over:

  • jelly cubes
  • Branston pickle
  • Ambrosia rice pudding
  • custard
  • bite-size shredded wheat
  • crumpets
  • Bisto gravy granules
To sum it up she wrote,
"You can take the Dutch out of Holland but you can't take Holland out of the Dutch!"

Indeed, and you can certainly say the same about the English. Though it did make me wonder what foods I would miss from the Netherlands if I left..........

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