A Dutch Farmer’s Market

by Ann Marie Michaels on June 27, 2011

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Strawberries at the farmer's market in Holland

Probably the best day I had on our spring trip to the Netherlands was our visit to a farmer’s market in Arnhem. We went to the market during the day, after we toured a real working flour mill (windmill) and visited a horse butcher (that post is coming soon). That evening, we had a barbecue at our friends’ home in Hilversum.

Arnhem is a city southeast of Amsterdam, not too far from the German border. We were invited by one of my readers, and now new friend, Annette, who is a young mother of two boys.

Feeding the baby

Annette feeding her baby boy

Annette is a chiropractor in Arnhem (apparently chiropractors are quite rare in the Netherlands). Interestingly, Annette lived in Plano, Texas, just like I did (she grew up in the Netherlands but spent a few years in Plano and Dallas after high school). We also realized we had the exact same Phil & Ted stroller (only different colors). We bonded instantly!

I’m grateful that Annette was kind enough to take the time to tour us around. It was so fun to see where she shops for food. Since she is a WAPF member, she’s very discriminating about where her food comes from.

Holland farmer's market

The Dutch don’t really call this a “farmer’s market” like we do. They just call it a market. These open-air markets are very common throughout the Netherlands. And as you will see in the photos, the market stands are much fancier than what we are used to here in America, with fancy glass cases and computerized cash registers.

At the farmer's market in Holland

Children playing at the fountain

The weather was absolutely gorgeous that day. Very warm and sunny for the Netherlands. The children stripped down to their skivvies and played in the fountain (if Kate had been with me, she would have been playing there, too.)

Lekker!

Lekker is a Dutch word for delicious. If you go to a restaurant in the Netherlands and you enjoy the food, make sure you tell the waiter that the food is “lekker”. You’ll definitely get a smile.

Eggs at the farmer's market in Holland

There were lots of eggs, but Annette said she didn’t think all of them were from chickens on pasture. It was so helpful to have a tour guide.

Bread at the farmer's market in Holland

Some of bread was real sourdough bread, although most of it was made with commercial yeast.

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Obviously, there was tons of cheese at the market. You can’t believe the variety!

Cheese stand at the farmer's market in Holland

If you look to the right of the guy’s head, you will see the words GRASKAAS. That means “grass cheese” and it’s what we call grass-fed cheese, cheese that is from cows eating grass. It’s very cold in Holland during the winter so the cows are fed hay. But in the spring and summer, they graze on pasture.

Gras Kaas (grass cheese)

Graskaas (Dutch grass cheese)

Goat cheese at the farmer's market in Holland

Goat cheese

Buying raw milk at the farmer's market in Holland

Annette buying raw milk

Annette buys her raw milk at the Saturday market. She just buys one liter per week. I was astounded by this. We go through about a liter a day!

Raw milk farmer in Holland

This is the man who sells the raw milk. Yes, one man.

As you can see, raw milk is not common in the Netherlands at all. What you find at the supermarket is pasteurized, homogenized milk. They have been brainwashed like we have that raw milk is dangerous. When I spoke to my Dutch friends about raw milk, they made a face and said, “But won’t you get sick from drinking that?”

I saw a lot of skim milk, margarine and soy milk at the supermarkets, too. There were ads everywhere for “zero fat” yogurt. Obviously it’s the same multinational corporations that have hoodwinked us here in America that are over there pushing their processed foods (yes, skim milk and other low-fat foods are processed junk foods).

It is no wonder that I rarely saw a wide face among the Dutch children. They had narrow palates and many had braces and/or glasses. Annette said she herself was raised in the ’80s on margarine. And yes, she had to wear braces.

Organic grass-fed butter at the farmer's market in Holland

Organic, grass-fed butter

Annette also buys her butter and yogurt from the man who sells the milk.

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Organic, grass-fed yogurt

The Demeter brand is organic and the cows are fed grass whenever possible.

He wants his liverwurst!

Looking for liverwurst

Every week when they go to the market, Annette’s older son gets his favorite treat: liverwurst (liver sausage).

They had a variety of different kinds of liver there — from wild boar liver to jack rabbit liver.

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Eating liverwurst at the farmer's market in Holland

Eating wild boar liverwurst

He is so lucky that his mom found out about the Weston A. Price Foundation when she did. When I was a kid, I ate liverwurst every week — this is what I attribute to my straight teeth (I never needed braces).

The wild boar liverwurst was lekker! If the American border control weren’t so ridiculous, I would have stuffed my suitcases full.

Apparently there are wild boar that run loose in the Netherlands (we have them in America, too — they are very common in Texas). They can be a menace so it’s actually a good thing to hunt them so they don’t overrun the forests. If you haven’t had wild boar, it’s good eating!

Fish at the farmer's market in Holland

There was also an incredible variety of fresh seafood. I’ve never seen so many fish with the heads on in once place (except for maybe at the Bocqueria in Barcelona).

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If I lived there, I would make fish stock every week!

Fish at the farmer's market in Holland

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We ate fish pretty much every day for the two weeks we were in the Netherlands. You can get smoked fish or eel sandwiches at most cafes and delis.

My favorite fish, by far, was the raw herring (haring). They take raw herring, remove the heads and guts, and throw them in a bucket of salt water. I was told that they can stay in the salt water for up to a year.

Raw Herring

George and Seth eating raw herring

You just pick it up by the tail, dredge it in raw onions, and down the hatch! I know may not sound appetizing to eat raw, fermented fish, but it was truly delicious.

And remember, when you ferment food, you not only bring out more flavor, but you greatly enhance the nutrition. If you go to Holland, you absolutely must try the herring.

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Stroopwafel makers

We also had to have stroopwafel. Not exactly a traditional food… they are made with refined white flour and sugar-syrup. They were invented in Gouda in the late eighteenth century. These are what Dr. Weston Price called “the displacing foods of modern commerce”.

Stroopwafel!

Annette’s son didn’t really know what to make of the stroopwafel. I don’t think he had ever had it before — maybe once or twice? He didn’t seem to love it like he loved his wild boar liverwurst.

I had a few bites, and it was very good, but I’ll be honest, I wanted more herring and cheese.

Walking home from the market

The boys walking home from the market

Enter to Win Dutch Grass-Fed Cheese

There are just a few more days left to enter to win a selection of 4 grass-fed cheeses that I brought back from Holland. An $80 value! Click here to enter now!

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Meagan June 27, 2011 at 9:50 AM

SO fun! I am surprised to see the low-fat agenda happening over there too. It’s so sad :(

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jamie June 27, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Is there a good American source for liverworst or braunschwager (spelling?).

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cheeseslave June 27, 2011 at 11:44 PM

Yes, US Wellness Meats makes grass-fed liver sausages

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cindy June 27, 2011 at 1:51 PM

I’m looking forward to reading your blog and learning from you.

—cindy

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Iris June 27, 2011 at 2:20 PM

So nice to read a post from an American about the Netherlands! I am dutch and a wapf chapter leader not far from Amsterdam. If I knew you was coming, I would have given you a tour as well and would have taken you to a real farmer market, they do exist and it’s where you can get organic produce. Raw milk is hardly available in shops, but easily from the farmers themselves, there are also some milk supplie machines where you can get raw milk. As a family of 5, we get about 10 liters a week. Milking cows in the Netherlands are hardly solely grass fed, to make them give more milk they get extra feedings, especially during milking time, summer or not.
So if you are coming again someday, you are welcome!

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cheeseslave June 27, 2011 at 11:46 PM

Hi, Iris, Thank you so much for the offer. I will take you up on it! I plan to come again soon — maybe as early as this fall. I’ll email you!

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Lovelyn June 27, 2011 at 3:41 PM

I loved hearing about the farmer’s market. It looks like so much time. I’d love to try the fermented herring. Fish is my favorite and I’m a huge fan of fermented foods.

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Laryssa @Heaven In The Home June 27, 2011 at 5:41 PM

What a wonderful day! Everything looks so delicious!

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jeanmarie June 27, 2011 at 10:07 PM

This made me so nostalgic for my trip to the Netherlands about 20 years ago! I would love to go WAPF-style next time. Lekker!

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Laura B. June 28, 2011 at 5:08 AM

I like you on facebook!

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Laura B. June 28, 2011 at 5:08 AM

I emailed 5 friends!

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Laura B. June 28, 2011 at 5:09 AM

I also follow you on Twitter

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cheeseslave June 28, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Laura,

Make sure you go and post these on the actual contest page otherwise they won’t get counted!

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Iris June 28, 2011 at 6:57 AM

That is soon! I’ll check with my friend and the other Amsterdam chapter leader, I bet she will like to join us!

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Magda June 28, 2011 at 7:24 AM

What an awesome adventure!! Having been to Europe lately (Czech Republic – my inlaws live there) I can attest to the ‘nonfat veg oil’ mentality. It’s so sad!! Fortunately my inlaws have their own garden and eggs, the meat they buy there is not CAFO and my MIL made sure she had plenty of butter in her fridge for me! I couldn’t even begin to imagine living there (DH keeps mentioning it…): all milk is UHT shelf stable, I’m not sure how to find organic produce, etc… I did try a commercial plain yogurt made from cream and it was AMAZING!! So delicious and creamy-tasting.. same with butter: it tasted of fresh cream even though it was probably not grassfed and not organic… oh well.

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cheeseslave June 28, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Ahhh I love the Czech Republic. One of my favorite places in Europe is Český Krumlov. Have you been there?

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Cat June 28, 2011 at 9:17 AM

This post made me so happy, like a little kid! I live in NL and have such a hard time connecting to others but to see people also interested in WAPF and the amazing raw milks and the same kind of butter I use… also Loverendale makes THE BEST full fat kwark, it’s truly delicious! Looking at your photos of Holland just makes me smile… I adore your blog (long time lurker here) and visit often, just never said anything before. Guess I just wanted to say hi!! HI :-)

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Luke June 28, 2011 at 11:52 AM

My trip across Europe starts in Italy, and so far i love it ! Nothing beats home made stuff! Same spaghetti’s i was eating at LA Italian Restaurant are 2 times better ! Next comes Czech Republic Beer and fuzz cheese ! Dutch food ? Maybe il change my plans to include it as well !

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cheeseslave June 28, 2011 at 2:09 PM

If you are going to Tuscany try to stop at Ankhura:

http://www.ankhura.com/

It was the best vacation of my life! They will even do cooking classes, truffle hunting tours, and wine tasting excursions. We did it all and it was amazing.

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tessag July 4, 2011 at 7:06 PM

This place is so beautiful.

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Amber June 28, 2011 at 12:01 PM

OHMYGOSH!!! I WANT TO EAT IT ALL!!!!! :-D

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Daphne June 28, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Great post! I love living vicariously :) Thanks.

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Jo's Health Corner June 28, 2011 at 12:32 PM

I miss the European markets! Not to mention the raw herring.

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cheeseslave June 28, 2011 at 2:10 PM

I really miss the raw herring! I am going to try making it at home.

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Jo's Health Corner June 29, 2011 at 10:11 AM

I never made it myself but my grandmothers always did..I’m looking forward to reading your post once you do..

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Jenn@ Leftover Queen June 28, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Very informative post – your photos are beautiful!

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Sylvia June 29, 2011 at 7:09 AM

Great blog. I was thinking, that Europeans are offered the low fat products in the supermarket but at least they have the OPTION to buy raw milk, raw milk cheeses and many traditional products. They are not illegal in almost all of Europe as they are in many US states and Canada.

During and after World War II there were severe famines in Europe, and the US came to aid the starving masses through the Marshall Plan, supplying food products and financial aid. . Along with that came the margarine, and other yummy American :”foods of commerce” as Weston Price called them. This is one way that these products infiltrated the European food chain.

Some of the younger generation seems to have been brain washed, not only from US introduction, but also from the current ‘science’ and western medicine which also promote artificial foods of commerce. They are also cheap.
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But many people buy the healthy products or they wouldn’t be offered for sale. Gourmets, chefs, and those who appreciate ‘fine’ foods, want the food for the TASTE. Not only do traditional foods have taste, vs. lack of it…they taste wonderful and are a delight to cook with… . Not like soy and corn oil laden products which are tasteless and are not health promoting..

I am grateful for those merchants who make the traditional foods available for sale.
Sylvia Onusic

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Heathre June 29, 2011 at 10:00 PM

I live in Plano, TX! I would love to eat more raw local dairy, grass-fed finished meat, as well as fermented goods. I cringe when I see or hear, “low fat, no fat,” etc… It’s crazy…

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Bethany July 2, 2011 at 5:48 AM

Oh, what a beautiful market, just gorgeous…. oh and all that CHEESE !!! lol

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Karen A. July 4, 2011 at 2:38 PM

This pics are so fabulous! I am wondering- who won your awesome looking cheese prize?!

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tessag July 4, 2011 at 6:43 PM

How fun! I’d love to visit the Netherlands! We are going to Italy in a few weeks…I am excited to go to the “farmer’s market’s” there!

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ofthec July 6, 2011 at 1:59 AM

This looks like heaven!

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kandemom July 9, 2011 at 8:32 AM

It’s interesting to see how the low-fat diet is spreading to other countries. I like how you say that low-fat milk is processed junk food. I’ve never thought of it like that. I just saw this article about daycare centers in Colorado – http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/07/dolls_three_races_colorado_day_care_centers.php
The article’s main focus is about dolls, but I saw something about milk in there that caught my attention. “Children over age two must not be served whole milk without a note from a doctor”. It’s ridiculous that this country is so scared of fat that we have to have notes from a doctor in order for our kids to be able to have some. Maybe this is why so many people who eat a whole foods diet tend to homeschool their kids.

My oldest daughter is 3 and is in a preschool on our army post. I cringe when I see some of the things they are feeding her. I can’t tell her not to eat lunch there and I can’t send our own food, but I do tell her not to drink the milk! I explained how it is bad for her health and how we drink the milk that comes from our cow and it is healthy for us (we are part of a herd share and drink raw milk). The teachers told me that they are still required to pour her a glass of milk every time it is served, wether she drinks it is up to her.

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Karen A. July 19, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Yes! I can’t believe i ever drank skim milk!!

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Karen A. July 19, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Cheeseslave- are all Dutch cheeses grass fed? My favorite cheese is aged Gouda and I could not discern on Frigo’s website if the cows eat grass. (That is the brand I can get in my area.)

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toberli1978 April 15, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Yes, I m about to ask the same question too, are all cheeses from Holland grass fed, I got some Gouda cheese from COSTCO

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