Last weekend was back to what I really love doing… running around new places discovering cultural traditions through local foodie delights. Gala and I went out to Amsterdam for the weekend to visit our friend who has the wonderful opportunity to live and work in the Dutch capital for 6 months. We had a day to amuse ourselves whilst he was at work (providing the world with an iconic Dutch beverage Heineken) so we took the opportunity to research the local delicacies and hunt them down.

Amsterdam is iconic for its ‘sex, drugs and tulips‘, with a few thousand bikes thrown in there along with some beautiful canals. Gala and I quickly formulated our own catchphrase for the city; ‘cheese, pancakes and bohemian cafés‘.

The former cropped up on every street corner and more, tempting passers-by into cheese havens. We delved into four different cheese shops on our first afternoon and in all tasting was not frowned upon but encouraged, which is refreshing and great for us who like to discover through grazing then make our choice of purchase. Gigantic wheels, blocks and slices of cheese lined the shop walls, an array of cheesy creamy shades plus a rogue bright green fellow. This was a pesto flavoured cheese which was a tad fake and rubbery for our liking, but the other interesting combination was truffle cheese which left a fragrance that really hit the back of the throat. After tasting our way around the weird and wonderful inspirations we decided to stick to traditional Reypenaer which was much creamier than expected.

But cheese was not all that Amsterdam had to offer; Dutch pancakes and velvety coffee coming up in the next instalment!