What a Gouda Win It Was
Sorry, the pun was too much for me to resist. Yes, I won $50 of Dutch cheese from the Holland Shopping Centre! The win also conveniently occurred close to my open house party, so guests got to enjoy the following (see pic):
- Pesto gouda: green and very delicious
- Asparagus gouda: surprisingly good
- Medium aged gouda: a classic, must-have
- Goat’s milk gouda: a nice alternative for the lactose-sensitive
- Smoked applewood cheddar: not Dutch, but delicious!
- Tomato basil havarti: again, not Dutch, but still yummy!
Holland Shopping Centre: Not Just Dutch Cheese
If you haven’t been to the Holland Shopping Centre, I recommend you take a trip out to this New Westminster shop. It really has all things Dutch: salty and sweet licorice, croquettes, stroop waffles, tea towels, Heineken beer glasses, dishes, wooden shoes, and of course, Dutch cheese.
Also, the day I went to pick up my winning cheese, I had one of their deli sandwiches. I was very overwhelmed by the huge choice of cheese. I ended up asking the clerk to slice what she thought was the tastiest Gouda and add it to my turkey sandwich.
Connecting with My Roots
One of the reasons I love visiting Holland Shopping Centre is it helps me to connect with my Dutch heritage. My grandfather came to Canada from The Netherlands when he was 18 years old, but I have several cousins who still live there. I’ve been to The Netherlands five times, and have been fortunate enough to visit Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Maastricht, and several other cities over the years.
My family, and the Dutch people in general, are very hospitable. You’ll experience what they call ‘gezellig‘. It’s this feeling of coziness, warmth, and a certain untranslatable feeling of oneness with the space you are in. I’ve felt it in Dutch bars the most, and I’m always happy to give recommendations as to where to visit!
My Dutch Bucket List
I would love to return to The Netherlands again soon, and there are two things I would especially love to do. The first is to see the Aalsmeer Flower Auction. It seems amazing that something so beautiful and fragile as a tulip can require such intricate processes to move it from one location to another.
The second activity would be a walking tour of sorts. I want to see many of the original buildings that were the inspiration for the KLM houses. These little Delft houses are given to business travelers who fly KLM. We received these two houses on our honeymoon flight home (even though we weren’t flying business class). Also, Little Kingdom By the Sea is a great resource for finding out all the stories behind the houses.