Last Sunday, the 18th of March, I woke up dazzled and hungry after a busy Friday & Saturday in which lots was consumed.
I was too lazy to get out of bed, too uninspired to make breakfast, so I stayed in bed, awake and browsed the IPhone. It was around 10. I was wondering what to do that day and didn’t feel very energetic. Or quick. Or awake, but I couldn’t sleep anymore. Then I read that there was a NeighbourFood market @ the Westergasfabriek, in the Westerpark in Amsterdam. I remembered I visited the 1st edition, I was not so impressed then. Then I saw something written like; “Did you go out? Are you hungry? Want to cure your hangover? Forget about making breakfast and come to the Westerpark to have your breakfast. Just make sure you wake up before 15h.” Hmmmm that sounded perfect… I hopped in the shower, jumped on the bike & went to the park. I got more and more hungry on the way….
When I reached the Westergasfabriek, I saw some marketstalls outside, there were some raindrops, there was a Dutch girl baking very goodlooking hamburgers and I kind of instantly decided I wanted one of those. The hamburgers were € 4,– or € 5,–; a very decent price for a hamburger in amsterdam. They looked tasty. They smelled great. There was also a stall with grilled vegetables on a sandwich, looked great too, but to kill my hunger I was really craving for some meat. The sweet waffles I saw I was not interested in. I decided I shouldn’t go for the burger immediately; there could be more choice inside, so I went into the factoryhall.
I immediately stumbled upon an Italian Mister from whom I bought a heavenly capucino, decorated with a heart. With the coffee I walked around and was amazed by the smells, the decoration, the beauty, WHAT A WAKE UP! I wished I could visit this market every Sunday! I was happy I came so early, some people were still setting up their stands, it was not too busy too walk around and all the food was freshly made and actually in some stalls, still cooking…
The first stalls I was interested in, was ran by some Greek food-lovers. I spoke to the people of De Groene Griek (The Green Greek), who import their olive oil from Greece. They told me about their oil and about the island of Lesbos and said; “Too bad you’re drinking coffee, so you can’t try the oil”. I told them I’d go for a walk, finish my coffee and come back, after all, I had only just woken up.
Next I past an Italian stall… my eye fell on them ’cause their ingredients, many vegetables and breads, looked real. The boy & girl working at the stand didn’t have customers yet, were not used to standing at a market yet, and had to even call the owner of the place, Mondo Mediterraneo, to ask what was the price for the bread I wanted to buy. It didn’t matter. They were super-polite, I had time and felt relaxed. The stone-oven-baked-bread from Puglia looked gorgeous and indeed tasted much better than a Dutch bread. This is something I bought to take home. They do food and catering, I’ll check out their place soon.
I picked up a free Vega magazine and then I saw what was going to be my breakfast. Something much more heavenly than a hamburger; I was happy I didn’t immediately go for the burger outside. You may have seen a pic of my breakfast already, I posted it live last Sunday; http://dlcsmanagement.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/breakfast-good-morning/.
It was similar to what the Dutch know as (Indonesian) bapao’s, but these “braised pork buns” as chef FongYee Wong calls her very popular and very delicious specialty, are much tastier, very VERY heavenly I would almost say, I think they’re one of my new favourite foods! The pork meat is braised in stock, the steamed buns are excellent, she made pickles from rettich & carrot, added some chopped peanuts, grated coconut and chillisauce too if preferred. After I ate this bun I felt regenerated. I later bought another one to bring home. I spoke to Ms FongYee Wong and the lady that acompagnied here, I just had to ask her where she’s from and where this food comes from. The explosion of flavours reminded me of Thai food, but I thought the two ladies did not look Thai (Not that I’ve met many Thai people in my life). She told me she’s from Singapore, and this food could be described as Malaysian food. I’d love to meet her again, I’d love her to teach me about food too. And if I ever organise a party or event, I’d hire her in a sec. to organise some pop-up food on location. I’m sold. Check out the Baoproject for these amazing pork buns. Chef FongYee Wong will present her buns at Claire Sullivans next pop-up dinner My Table too, so keep an eye on her! Unfortunately I will have to miss the April 3 one. When I do visit one of these pop-up dinners, of course I’ll let you know all about it.
So I had coffee, food, I could finally think again.
I passed by the Groene Griek again, where I tried the very good olive oil from Lesbos. I ran out of Croatian olive oil and when I came home I regretted I didn’t buy a bottle. It was obviously natural. They proudly showed me the picture of the old woman who makes the oil.
My eye then fell at their neighbour, Olivity, a Greek stall full of natural, vegan delicasies, made with olive oil, ran by Ms. Caterina Tzoridou. I loved everything she offered on first sight, and was now ready to taste the olive oil delicasies. I was totally impressed by the beet & walnut dip, for some reason I didn’t buy any to take home. I did buy handmade vegan lemon-poppyseed cookies, suitable for sugar- and lactose- intolerant people, a piece of Tiropita; feta cheese crumbled pie and some coconut cake. Caterina Tzoridou, the owner and founder of Olivity, a very conscious food loving Greek woman, even gave me some cookies to try at home. Her store is in her house for now, so appointment required, but on her website you can get a bit of an impression of the well let’s say it again; heavenly Greek foods she creates.
When I left the place, with some food-goodies to test at home, I felt much better than when I woke up, and was ready to REALLY start the day. I felt tempted when I saw some stalls putting up cocktails, limoncello and prosecco, I thought it was a good time to head back home.
Haha how many times did I use the word heavenly in this post? Sorry for that!
Next edition; Sunday 22 April, from 10.00h (It’s always in the Westerpark, 3rd Sunday of the month, but the exact location in the park will change).
Do I see you there for breakfast????
More info (There are marketstalls available for the next edition too!); http://neighbourfoodmarket.nl/ and https://www.facebook.com/Neighbourfood
Mondo Mediterraneo http://www.mondomediterraneo.com
Chef FongYee Wongs Bao Project http://www.facebook.com/BaoProject
and to stay up to date; https://twitter.com/#!/BaoProject
Ms. Caterina Tzoridou’s Olivity http://www.olivity.nl/
and to stay up to date; http://www.facebook.com/pages/Olivity/199209113472457
Ms. Claire Sullivan’s pop up dinners in Amsterdam; My Table http://www.mytableamsterdam.nl/