14. Albert Heijn salads
You would probably not expect this to be on the list, but boy, do I miss this! One of the hardest things to deal with here in Guatemala is food. We have a great grocery store on just a ten minute walk from our house (including a killing hill in the neighborhood), but to me it is always a challenge to decide what to eat. The vegetables are not always clean and good, as well as the fruit, and I often don’t know if the product I buy is actually compared to the one at home. I am not a very adventurous eater, so for lunch I always prefer to eat just bread or a salad. But that is the thing with salads here… I never know if the lettuce has been washed with contaminated water and I also don’t know if I can eat the meat without getting sick. It is very common here to wash you vegetables and fruit with some desinfectant specially designed for food that you can get in any grocery store. You always have to be careful with how you prepare your food here and how you wash it, since tap water is also not clean enough. That is why I miss these simple little lunch packages from the AH. Especially the ceasar salad with cheese and croutons…
13. Milka chocolate
I know this is really not Dutch, but you can’t get it anywhere here. It would surprise you how expensive chocolate is here, while cacao is one of the biggest export products of Guatemala! But I miss my Milka, especially the ones with white cream and caramel pieces… yum.
12. Gevulde koeken
Yes please! The cookies here in Guatemala are not that good and fresh and I kind of miss these typical Dutch cookies. For anyone reading this and is thinking what the heck are those, here’s an explanation. Gevulde koeken (‘filled cookies’) are made of sugar, flour and a lot of butter and filled with a sweet, soft almond filling. Absolutely delicious and the perfect thing to eat with a cup of coffee. One of my favorites for sure!
11. Gehaktballen with mustard
Yesterday, Megan and I wanted to make nachos with ground meat, and it was actually quite a challenge to find it! Eventually we had to ask one of the employees and she pointed out a super gross looking package in the fridge that looked more like something you would give to your dog. Can we make nachos with this? Yes, you can. After grilling the meat it kind of looked like the meat we wanted, but it will never taste the same as my mom’s gehaktballen with mustard!
10. Lipton Ice Tea Green
Besides Coke, this is by far my favorite drink and I miss it! At home, I used to drink liters of this every week, but here I can’t really seem to find it- or at least not in big cartons.
9. Honey licorice
Honey licorice. My mom also brought me a bag of this heavenly candy for me, but unfortunately I ate the last one this week! I must say, I am pretty proud of myself for saving the bag for three months… Absolutely my favorite licorice in the whole world and I could eat bags of them if you let me. For all my non-Dutch readers, when you come to the Netherlands, go to the supermarket and look for a black bag that says Venco Honingdrop. You won’t regret it!
8. Dutch peanut sauce
The difference between Dutch peanut sauce (‘pindasaus’) and the one from Indonesia is that the Dutch one is often made with peanut butter instead of crushed whole peanuts. The Dutch one is a lot sweeter and it is so good with french fries or rice!
7. Lonka Caramel Fudge
As I am writing this I am trying not to finish the last bag of fudge that my mom brought when she came to Guatemala. I need to save it for the next three months and that is hard! Dutch candy is one of the best candy in the world, especially my fudge. Soft, sweet blocks of caramel with an incredible taste and structure. When I am back at home I’m going to eat them until I don’t like them anymore, so I don’t have to miss them when I go to another country again. They’re just so good!
6. Glacé cookies
One of my favorite Sunday-after-church-snack is a Glacé cookie. It is a typical Dutch pastry made out of a thick flat cake with a thin layer of pink fondant. It is crazy how much you can miss such a small thing from the Dutch kitchen!
5. Old cheese
Recently I told someone here in Guatemala that I really missed the old, Dutch cheese. “Old cheese? What does that mean?”, was his reply. Uhm, well, it is cheese that is aged for at least 10 months before you eat it. 10 months?! I love old cheese and I hate it that they don’t really sell it here. When you walk to the cheese isle in the supermarket, you will most likely find 70% cheddar cheese, 20% parmesan cheese and 10% other kinds of cheeses, like goat cheese or Brie. Maybe with one package of Gouda, if you’re lucky. And now that I write about my good old cheese, I also start to miss the old cheese-honey mustard-arugula-sandwich from the Broodzaak at the Amsterdam Central Station. So good!
I know it is only September, but the truffelpepernoten are already in the store and I can’t get them! Pepernoten are small cinnamon, suger cookies that are mainly eaten around December 5, when the Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas or Saint Nicolas Day. But the truffelpepernoten… oh man, I wish I could get them right now. This variation on the regular pepernoten are covered with a thin layer of white chocolate and soft cacao powder. Do I need to write more?
3. Knorr Wereldgerechten
I will admit it, I am not the best cook. I hate cooking and everything that has to do with food. I don’t understand foodies or food bloggers and I if I never had to eat ever again, I would be fine with that. Making dinner is a waste of time for me, so it might as well be good and quick. That is why I miss the Knorr Wereldgerechten (‘Worldly Dishes’ from the brand Knorr). They are easy to make, about 60% of what you need is already in the package and you only need to add the meat, the fresh vegetables and the salad. They are healthy, nutricious and easy to make and I love every single one of them, especially the Roti, the burritos and the Cantonese chicken!
2. Pickwick Tea
I strongly dislike Guatemalan tea. There, I said it. About 80% of the tea is made with red fruits, so the tea is sour, red and way too strong for me. You can hardly get a good mix of different flavors and there are not a lot of flavors that I like here. I am a tea junkie at home, but here I just can’t find the One. Thank God the Dutch team left some good Dutch Pickwick for me to enjoy. I look forward to the cold, Dutch winter, drinking tea with mom at the kitchen table, talking about our days. Rooibos, Forest Fruit, cherry, Turkish Apple, cinnamon, mango, sterrenmunt… can’t wait.
1. Frikandel speciaal
My absolute number one! Every Saturday is Fries Day at our house (keep your judgements, please) and most of the time we all order a frikandel speciaal too. It is just too good to skip! A frikandel is a typical Dutch snack, some sort of fried minced-meat sausage. A frikandel speciaal is a frikandel loaded with mayonnaise and curry (or ketchup, but I don’t like those kind of people) and onion. Lots and lots of onion… May sound a little disgusting, but if there is one thing I want to eat on December 15, it’s a frikandel speciaal!