During a dinner last week, for some reason (after a couple of white wines) we got the idea to make a little trip up to Volendam, primarily to get dressed up in traditional Dutch costumes – in which especially yours truly looks hilarious, being quite obviously not of Dutch descent…
Volendam is a little town just north of Amsterdam, famous for its picturesque looking old Dutch houses on a dyke, the fact that all people seem to have just one of 10 different surnames (anyone said inbreed? Shhhhhhh ;-)), many Dutch singers come from this place whose music is sometimes called ‘palingsound'(eelsound). This is because most importantly, Volendam is known for its fish.
Warning: extremely cheesy tune ahead
When we arrived, the first thing we did was getting our picture taken. Now as this is a public blog, I’m not going as far as revealing how incredibly ridiculous our group looks as old Dutch farmers. You’ll have to do with this lady, who kindly gave her permission to be shown here:
Once this was out of the way, we could go and do what everyone does in Volendam: eat fish. Loads of it.
The location we chose for our fish was a little shop on the dyke – long tourist and locals queueing up won us over.
As we just couldn’t choose (and this blog needs to be filled with all relevant dishes), we went for all the local favourites:
Broodje paling (smoked eel bun)
The absolute Volendam speciality, the poor things just don’t get a life here as tonnes of eel gets eaten around this place. And at high speed, as before I could get my camera out, it had vanished. Use this link instead.
The original Dutch sushi, herring is traditionally eaten raw with onions and optional pickle. Love it or loathe it – I must admit that I kind of like the buttery texture of this fish. However, be careful – this combination leaves you with a very foul breath. Unless you enjoy being turned down, have some mints at hand.
This is a fried cod snack, very similar to the English style battered fish. The only real difference is that kibbeling used to be leftover fish which people would fry up, and to this day it’s always served as bite sized chunks.
The verdict: well worth a short stopover!