While grocery shopping in Holland, I can usually find everything I need at the Albert Heijn, Dirk, or BioMarkt, though there are the occasional frankenfoods from the US that I crave with a vengeance. The foods/ingredients that I have missed while living abroad include:
1) Maple Syrup. This is abundant and cheap stateside, but here you can only find the organic, super fancy kind at the health food shops (BioMarkt has a great selection). Rather than serving pannenkoeken with (DUH!) maple syrup, you instead get schenkstroop…which is something like mollasses. Not. Even. Close. C’mon dutchies, get it together.
2) Canned Pumpkin. Most of the year it’s a nonissue. Unless of course you want to make a pumpkin latte at home, and first need to cut, deseed, and broil the pumpkin for 30 minutes all for a cup of coffee. Go to Starbucks, you say? Guess what…they’ve not heard of a pumpkin latte. Yes…it’s ridiculous.
3) Baking soda. Yeah, I don’t exactly crave this ingredient, but this is a totally normal ingredient for baking. Good luck finding this at the grocery store. You have to go to a drug store and ask for zuiveringszout. You will get a creepy little green and white box with a baggy of powder inside. Food grade? Sure. Seems legit.
4) Tofurkey. There are a few brands of veggified versions of delicious meat…you know…like Fake-un (Bacon), Soy-sage (Sausage), and WHAM! (ham…only more in yo’ face). But the Tofurkey brand is quite elusive. Still searching for a Euro veggie sausage to make Czech dishes like paprikash and goulash. Any tips in the right direction are appreciated.
5) Candy. I consider myself to be a healthy person. But to be frank, I often struggle to find balance between a shot of tequila and a shot of wheatgrass, catch my drift? I like to “indulge” when the need presents itself. Same with candy. Although I
dreamed about despised those times of year when there were mini candy bars laying about the office back home, I find that I really miss it sometimes. You can only eat real Euro chocolate for so long before you crave the ‘Merican originals. Well, thanks to my mama, I have been receiving small packages every so often FILLED with mini candy bars. When I see that an envelope has arrived, I scramble upstairs, throw my bags on the ground, and gorge on mini candy bars until my stomach is ready to explode. Crunch bar, Reese’s cups. Almond Joy. Oh my! Yes. YEs. YES. YESSSSSS!!!!!!!
But alas, I know that these are in fact frankenfoods.
Frankenstein (noun): A monstrous creation that usually ruins its originator
Food (noun): material taken into an organism and used for growth, repair, and vital processes and as a source of energy; nourishment in solid form
This is exactly why this easter I wanted to attempt a veganized, organic and natural version of the Reese’s cup egg.
Vegan Reese’s Cups Eggs
*Makes 6 eggs*
For the filling:
1/4 cup organic peanut butter
2 Tbsp maple syrup
touch of sea salt
dash of cinnamon
For the chocolate:
2 tablespoons cocoa butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 Tbsp maple syrup
In a bowl, mix together all ingredients for the filling. Next, either push into egg-shaped molds, or make egg-shaped peanut butter drops onto a cling wrap film, and place into the freezer for about 20 minutes, or until hard.
Once the peanut butter is firm enough to handle, use two spoons to coat the peanut butter ball in chocolate, and then place it back on the freezer tray. Leave in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to harden. You can also use coconut oil instead of cocoa butter, or nut butters in place of peanut.
If you are using your observation skills, you will notice that I had six peanut butter eggs, but the finished, chocolate-covered product yielded only five. I had to “test” them of course, and since I wasn’t certain about the result, I tested two more, leaving three for Hubby. He also tested them, and confirmed my suspicion…
They are delicious.