The other day, Nora posted a picture on her blog. It was an innocuous photo, that had nothing to do with her post. She did mention to me that she had thought of me as she put it in her post after I wrote to her saying I now needed to go out and buy the product. The picture was of a litre carton of a Dutch custard called vla, nicely place in a lush green field. (I'd also like that green field, but apparently a snow storm is on its way). Vla comes in various flavours, like chocolate and banana, but by far the best flavour is vanilla.
I was introduced to vla when I lived in Holland many, many years ago. The family I was billeted with for for my first six months introduced me to many of the common Dutch foods, which had I been staying on my own (as I was for the rest of my time there) I would never had known about. Every night they had yogourt for dessert. every freaking night. This was back in the late 1970s and yoghourt was not as much of a staple food yet. It was also very different than any yogourt that we had in Canada. This was plain yogourt and not sweetened in any way and it had an entirely different consistency. We added our own sugar, which were large granules. Having been used to only refined sugar, these granules were a wonderfully tasty novelty and I added lots of them to my yoghourt. Then, one night a boat of this custard appeared on the table along with the bowl of yoghourt. Not being sure what the custom was, I watched as everyone spooned up the yoghourt into their plates (I seem to remember we used plates instead of bowls) and then poured a dollop of this custard on top. Then they gently swirled it all together. I followed suit. Yummy. Or to use the Dutch vernacular, lekker. Who would have ever thought of mixing custard and yoghourt together? The correct proportion of vla to yoghourt will yield a delectable flavour burst of tart and sweet.
It has become comfort food to me now, second only to warm rice pudding.
hagelslag, which are chocolate sprinkles. I hadn't planned on it. I have almost gotten myself sick of chocolate and Nutella over the Christmas season.
But then, I thought about how good that would be, on fresh, white bread with a thick layer of butter holding all the little sprinkles in place....
except I came home and realized I only had rye bread. and no plain yoghourt.
(4.47 euros - go ahead, break my heart and tell me how much it really costs)
I tend not to look at too many of the items in this store since everything but the fresh foods is imported, it tends to be rather expensive. And pretty much everything of the other kitchen supplies you can now get here and not only in Europe. Except for this one thing I have been searching for in vain for years.
and there, on top of the deli counter, for some inexplicable reason was a jar full of these.
This must be the best kitchen utensil since the spoon - a flessenlikker, literally a bottle licker.
And on the link I added for the wikipedia explanation of vla I discovered that this implement was actually designed to get all that liquidy goodness out of the tall glass bottles it originally came in. Unfortunately, vla now comes in cartons which still makes getting all of it out difficult. Apparently it is almost unknown outside the Netherlands. I can't wait until I need it to scrape the sides of the Nutella jar.