Flower Power - Springtime in Europe travel blog


Down the hatch - Tasting Jenever

Jenever and Bitterbol

Port Wine, Mustard and Cheese

2019-04-14.Taste of Amsterdam

Today, we went on a taste of Amsterdam tour. It was quite nice as we got to traverse parts of the city we had not seen previously and the guide was very knowledgeable and interesting. Since there were only 6 of us, it was even nicer. First, we tasted cheeses made by the Reypenaur company. There were milk and goat cheeses to taste from the youngest aged to the oldest and what a difference! The young goat and cow cheese was lovely, creamy and unctuous. As the cheese matures, it dries out and crystallizes and the taste is very strong with a crunchy bite. What was interesting was learning what cheeses go with what wines and liquors. The cheesemaker had us taste the "old cow" cheese which made me grimace. Then, she gave us a glass of port, asked us to taste the cheese again and then mix it with the port in our mouths. What an incredible difference. All of a sudden, the sour taste was transformed into a lovely, though sharp flavor. Amazing what port will do for what is apparently awarding winning but in my mouth, awful tasting cheese.

Then on to the Poffertschutes! The Dutch pancakes whose taste would remind you of funnel cake but much puffier and lighter. Yum! Finally, we got to eat Bitterbollen, a croquette like meat filled fried ball and drink Jenever, according to the Dutch, the original "gin" whose recipe was messed up by the English. Picture the taste of grappa and you have the taste of this Jenever, though later, we did have some that tasted much much better. Same with the bitterbollen. Depends on who is making it.

Still it was so interesting to go to the various local places with a fun and interesting guide to try to local delicacies. Just hand me a plate of the Poffertschutes please!

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