Wednesday, August 4, 2010

TIME OUT: One fine Saturday

What do you do on Saturday mornings?  Sleeping until noon?  Jogging?  Having breakfast? These were HT couple's usual Saturday morning in the land of merlion. 

Here in the land of windmills and clogs, we still maintain the same routine, until one fine Saturday, we just have to go to town to buy...guess what? shoes, bags, clothing? Nah!  We need long string beans! (i'm not sure if this is Asian but I don't see long ones in supermarkt).

Utrecht, where we are staying is smacked at the center of the Netherlands.  It's the fourth largest city in Holland but it maintained its historical atmosphere with old buildings and architecture and nature at its best.  Cycling and walking around without going shopping was never boring.

There is a so-called Saturday market at Utrecht Town.  (i think Wednesdays as well).  I'm not sure if this is widely practiced in the Netherlands but I kind of like the concept.

It was pretty busy, so first stop we headed was...of course the vegetables and fruits section.

hubby greedily took a kilo of string beans

I'm an artichoke lover, but haven't seen it like this before...not on pizzas and plates

this is how the market looks like :) no fancy cemented ceilings, who cares if it rains?  Then it becomes a wet market :) Pretty flexible huh?

I was surprised this has more customers than the veg and fruits stalls...i wonder why?  let's check out!

Ah!  No wonder there's a queue!  According to "rainey-pedia" (based on mere observation of a Filipino in the Netherlands), Dutch I would say is one of the best consumers of brood(bread).  And has one of the most number of breads eaten in a day.  I saw colleagues eating lunch with a tall carton of milk finishing in one go with 3 bread buns. Hubby eats 5 slices of bread for lunch without noticing (because he's eating my share too!).  Maybe this is their secret for having long limbs and a few centimeters above us.

In fairness to the bakkerij (bakeries) here, they have a wide range of breads which you don't get bored from and good for the pocket too!

With the number of Turkish immigrants in NL, there is a good market for all types of Turkish breads.  

Holland would never run out of kaas (cheese).  Displayed all over the market, I was amazed with big blocks of it.  You can use it for self defense with a dairy kick!  They cut a few pieces for tasting.  See that hand, he's about to dig in!  Just like us, he didn't buy a single piece a free small piece of cheese was enough to suit our stomach.

Doesn't Pesto Basilicum Cheese sounded good?

 how about Pesto Tomaat?

Saturday market wouldn't be the same without these oliveeeeeeees.  Yes! lots to choose from to suit your personal taste.  I remember when we bought some olives at Jones the Grocer and hubby didn't stop whining how expensive it I understood completely.

now for fresh seafood, look how Dutch shops in the vismarkt (fish market)

hubby trying to blend in with  co-Dutch after so many years

Vers van het mes (Fresh from the knife)...

fresh from the grill and can immediately dig in if you can't wait to have your seafood fare at home.

Another dutch staple...

bike wheels, bike accessories...there's always a need to buy something for your bikes.

 bike locks and saddles you fancy are all available.

I did enjoy just walking around and looking at the local scene.  And, the verdict:  it was worth waking up early on a Saturday morning.


  1. I love checking out markets when in foreign countries. The lovely blend of sight, sound and smell!

    Those cheese looks amazing! Bread, cheese, olives and perhaps some ham? I could eat that everyday for breakfast!

  2. Same here Daniel. I just love checking out the local scene especially their food! And I eat olives as snack here :) I assume they're healthier than chips? :)

  3. The colors look so vibrant! If i were you, i think i'd be visiting the market almost every other day! Haha :P

  4. Haha...every Saturday definitely...:)

  5. The Saturday market is the biggest, but there's a smaller and somewhat fancier version on Fridays, as well. It looks like you want to some of my favorite stalls. The one in the second photo is an excellent source for some of the slightly more exotic (by Dutch standards) fruits and vegetables. I always go to them for my okra, although the nearby tokos also sometimes have okra. There's also a cheese stall close to that veggie stall that often sells three cheeses for €5. That and some of the bread from the stall you showed, and maybe some shrimp from the fish stall, and you can have a great meal!

  6. Hey Alison, thanks fro the tips! I'll check it out when I'm back there. During Fridays, is it in the same square?