Sunday, 16 June 2013

Sauce for the Flanders

When it comes to dining, Utrecht features a vast array of choices. There is leisurely fine dining, with diverse international cuisines and wine lists. There are also many charming, homey cafes for faster and lighter fare; and even faster, some very tasty take-out in interesting combinations such as Indian/Surinamese and Thai/Vietnamese, not to mention pizza and shoarma kapsalon. But for a truly fast guilty pleasure, one needs look no further than the nearest Vlaamse friet stand. Flemish (Belgian, not French) fries, served in paper cones, fresh, hot, and salty. But the best part is the sauce. In the Netherlands, there are nearly as many types of friet sauce to choose from as there are types of black licorice – and that is going some!  

The basic sauce is, of course, mayonnaise. However, there is also official “frietsaus,” which, as far as I can tell, is just a lighter version of mayonnaise. And, you can, of course get ketchup if you must, or even better, curry ketchup! But beyond that, there is chili sauce (chili and mayo), cocktail sauce, piccalilly sauce (mixture of pickles, turmeric, crunchy vegetables and mustard), mustard sauce, green pepper sauce, garlic sauce, Samurai sauce (sambal and mayo), curry sauce, Andalouse sauce (mayo, tomato paste and paprika), tartar sauce, Joppie sauce (this is some sort of secret sauce that seems to include mayo, curry, and onions), and sate sauce (peanut sauce). You can also get a “Frietje Speciaal,” consisting of fries with mayo, curry, ketchup, and raw onions), or a “Frietje Oorlog” (meaning “fries war,” referring to the messiness quotient!), consisting of fries with mayo, sate sauce, and raw onions. And, the newest sauce featured at Mannenken Pis? “Wietsaus” – yes, weed sauce, marijuana flavored (no, not Alice B. Toklas fries, as regrettably, it contains no THC!).  

Still not fast enough for you? Well then, time to hit the wall – the ubitquitous Febo Automatiek! A wall on the street with rows of small square compartments with clear doors, each with a ready, hot snack inside; you can peruse the selections on foot or even on your bike. A veritable red light district of junk food! What’s on display? Frikandel,  a sort of minced-meat deep-fried hot dog. Or Bamischijf, a square disk of breaded, Indonesian-style fried noodles. KaassoufflĂ©, cheese in a puffy pastry, and gehaktstaaf, a rod-shaped meatloaf made of mystery meat, probably a combination of beef, chicken, pork, and vegetables. And then there are the krokets, crispy cylinder-shaped deep-fried rolls, including sate krokets, filled with chicken and peanut sauce, and vleeskroket, filled with meat. There is crispy kip corn, which is chicken breaded and fried in corn meal, and kip krokant, spicy fried chicken. A broodjebal, i.e., a meatball on a bun, and numerous burgers to choose from, including a grill burger, a cheesy grill burger with “unieke grillsaus,” a double grill burger, and even a Samuriburger with, you guessed it, Samurai sauce!  

Available all over the Netherlands, what is sauce for the Goois is also sauce for the Flanders! Partake at your own risk!

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