One word for you. Amsterdam.
If you’re thinking I went to Amsterdam for a little taste of the redlight district and the notorious coffeeshops that serve anything but, you would be wrong.
Let’s be honest, I went to Amsterdam for the bicycles and maybe the Anne Frank House.
For those of you who have not been, Amsterdam is awesome, fascinating, and titillating. It is also extremely difficult to find any real coffee there. I won’t give you a play by play of our vacation in Amsterdam but I will point out some of the finer epicurean delights to be had in Amsterdam.
Instead of my 23 year old counterparts going into “coffeeshops” to buy illicit substances (read: pot), my girlfriend and I went into a shop and bought a cheese guillotine. You read that correctly, a cheese guillotine.
A little backstory on said guillotine…While you might know Holland for its windmills, clogs, and tulips, the Hollandaise (oh snap, cooking joke!) are quite proud of their wide variety of cheese–think hard cheeses like Gouda.
In true spirit, while walking around Amsterdam, drinking in the sights of canals, bountiful bicycles, and Dutch babes, Elise and I ran into a cheese shop. The shop offered us a cheese tasting with wine for 10 euros. I was hooked.
Apparently, we had stumbled upon one of Holland’s greatest cheese producers, the veritable Reypenaer family. Many of the signs in the building pointed out that they won the Ms. Universe of Cheese or some award for the past couple of years. Unlike a real Ms. Universe pageant, however, this cheese had substance to its looks. The light orange cow and sheep cheese had delicious nutty, earthy, grassy, creamy flavors that tasted like no cheese I have ever tasted before. Absolute perfection. Of course, three glasses of wine/port didn’t hurt either.
So if you are in Amsterdam, I encourage you to check out the redlight district first (it’s fascinating/unbelievable/slightly sad it exists), and the Reypenaer cheese shop second, you will not be disappointed. Also, do not forget the cheese guillotine. Any and everyone needs one.
Behind the surface, Amsterdam is full of culinary treasure troves that are just waiting for you to check them out!