Posts Tagged With: Albert Heijn

Crazy flavors (Or: Red velvet kruidnoten, anyone?)

Did you notice flavors are getting crazier every year? Marco recently took a photo of some red velvet kruidnoten (English Wikipedia) at Albert Heijn:

Apparently this flavor was the winner of the ‘kruidnoten thuisverkiezing’ or ‘kruidnoten home vote’. I can believe that.

Still, it doesn’t beat the Lay’s potato chip flavor “Baguette with garlic butter”. That was memorable!

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Anyone up for cookies? (Or: Spotted at Albert Heijn)

While shopping at Albert Heijn I noticed they had gingerbread men baking mixes:

The box is in the upper right. Of course I’m not sure if it is actually gingerbread, since the box calls them “Winter holiday cookies”, translated.

And even though you can’t really see it in my photo above, if you go to AH’s website you will see that the box says (in the bottom left): “Good for Halloween, Sinterklaas and Christmas!”

I’m trying to imagine making gingerbread men for Halloween, but I can’t.

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Don’t eat those bagels! (Or: Safety warnings)

For the first time in my life (at least, that I can remember) it was useful to pay attention to the safety notice sent out by the local grocery store, Albert Heijn. In this case the notice was about the sesame bagels they sell. I first heard about the issue on Tuesday when they sent customers an email about it.

I’ll admit I had no idea what “gewasbeschermingsmiddelen” was, but Marco explained it was basically pesticides – during a routine safety check they noticed that the amount of pesticides left over on the sesame seeds was too high. After the email I didn’t think too much about it for two reason. First, because the original dates listed didn’t match the date on our package and second because we already ate two of the four bagels over a week ago and didn’t get sick. (These are bagels which you finish baking at home with expiration dates 6-8 weeks in the future. They are also packaged in two groups of two, which is always handy when there’s only two of you.)

So on the one hand I’m thinking “Okay, different batch, and we didn’t get sick from what we already ate… let’s keep it.” and on the other hand I’m thinking “Hmm. I’ve seen this happen before. Let’s keep the remaining bagels, but not eat them right away. Just in case they change their mind.” Which they did on the following day, as you might be able to read in my screenshot. Now it says that they are removing all sesame bagels from the store shelves as a precautionary measure. So into the trash our poor remaining bagels go. Thud. We never even got the chance to invite you over for breakfast…

Helaas. Or as Dutch kids like to say because it rhymes: Helaas, pindakaas. Which translates to “Unfortunately. Peanut butter.” Which isn’t as cool as it is in Dutch, I know.

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Aged cheese (Or: Jokes at a local Albert Heijn)

Here’s a silly joke about cheese for you, spotted at the local grocery store, Albert Heijn:

In English: “Age isn’t important, unless you’re cheese!” Haha. Such a silly joke. But a bit of personality at a chain grocery store as big as Albert Heijn is always nice to see.

Here is an interesting article spotted at The Guardian: Slowly does it: chord changes in John Cage’s 639-year-long organ piece. Or check out the article in Dutch over at at nos.nl.

The name of the work is As Slow As Possible (ORGAN/ASLSP) and it started playing in 2001. According to the Wikipedia article, there have been 14 chord changes to date, with the previous chord lasting 6 years and 11 months. Chords are changed by adding or removing organ pipes.

The performance is scheduled to end on September 5, 2640… It’s hard to imagine that.

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Let’s just skip to Christmas (Or: Kruidnoten spotted!)

Marco spotted some kruidnoten (Wikipedia) by the local Albert Heijn today. If you’re keeping track, today is 31 August. Traditionally they appear in the grocery stories by 1 September, although we spotted them on 23 August back in 2018. So we seem to be on track this year.

Flavored kruidnoten are also available already. Caramel sea salt, white chocolate, truffle, stroopwafel…
And some speculaas

Marco was sweet and bought some gevulde speculaas (Albert Heijn recipe) for us. It is speculaas cookies filled with almond paste. Yum yum yum.

Of course you can’t blame anyone for wanting to skip to Christmas (and New Year’s, and 2021…) in these crazy times. Give me a shout when you put up your Christmas tree. Good riddance to 2020, I say!

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Miniature shopping cart (Or: It’s so cute!)

Today I noticed a miniature shopping cart by the local Albert Heijn. It reminded me of the toy-sized groceries Albert Heijn was giving out with a valid purchase some years back. They were called keukenmini’s or kitchen miniatures.

Not much else here to say today, beyond this: have a lovely weekend and stay safe! And if you’re in the Netherlands, avoid those weekend raindrops.

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Courgette curry (And: A very special beer)

Today’s dinner was a very lovely courgette curry which I stole from Albert Heijn recipe section. We’re trying to eat less meat this week, and I think this recipe different hit the mark:

And I now realize my American readers might be slightly confused: courgette is zucchini. Courgette is more often used in French and British English, while zucchini is used in American English. But since I didn’t really cook with zucchini when I lived in the States, it will forever be courgette for me.

The beer… ah, yes, the beer. That is a gift from a coworker. It’s a beer from a brewery here in The Hague. Eiber is another word for stork, which is also featured in The Hague’s crest of arms. This beer was brewed in honor of the beer makers’ daughter, born in March. See a photo of her at indebuurt.nl. And it is tasty! Marco and I were thrilled with this gift.

In other news:

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If you like hagelslag, try these… (Or: Variations at Albert Heijn)

Hagelslag in Dutch is basically chocolate sprinkles. I like to eat them occasionally, but I’ll admit I don’t eat them in the traditional way: on buttered bread. The butter is needed to keep the hagelslag from sliding off the bread as you raise it to your mouth. No thanks, I’ll skip the butter and take a risk. …and listen to the clink clink clink as a few pieces of chocolate fall off and crash into my plate. It’s all good.

I recently saw that Albert Heijn came out with variations on the traditional sprinkles theme:

The brownie bites caught my eye first. However I did not purchase them as I am afraid that I would eat them directly out of the box. Yum. Strooifeest, seen at the top of the box, translates to something like “sprinkle party”.

Oh, to be a kid again and enjoy eating that much sugar with breakfast. I have fond memories of eating Rice Krispies cereal with a few spoonfuls of sugar at my grandparent’s house. Luckily I was already too old for sugary cereals by the time Reese’s Puffs hit the market in 1994, which is a chocolate and peanut butter cereal. Very American, really. I remember being quite shocked that anyone would put peanut butter (or peanut butter flavor) into cereal. But it seems rather normal these days…

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Temptation at the checkout lane (Or: It’s not quite like the US)

In the last year Albert Heijn started adding candy and other snacks to the area by the self-service registers. It’s not very tempting though, probably because they don’t have that much room to show off the “goods”:

So, five choices generally. And they aren’t well-stocked and they don’t look that appealing visually. At least try to get the barcodes looking a bit more similar, please? Although I suppose there will come a day when I desperately need that extra purchase to get me over ten euros to get a stamp. If you get 10 or 20 of those you can usually get something good (if the promotion is right).

In other news:

  • I don’t know if you remember the train derailment in The Hague at the start of the year, but the report of what went wrong was released earlier this week (omroepwest.nl). The type of train that derailed is often used in routes which require hard and frequent braking, however the maintenance schedule for this train type did not take this into account. The train’s brakes were worn, causing two wheels to completely derail and damage to a few dozen meters of track. A conductor and passenger were both injured, but not seriously.
  • Did you know that the Show/hide formatting marks button in MS Word has the nickname onderwater tekens or onderwaterscherm in Dutch? I mean the button which shows you carriage returns or non-breaking spaces. In English that translates to “underwater marks” or “underwater screen”. In other words: looking under water to see what you normally can’t see. Hmm. It’s not the formal name, of course.
  • Great, now I am thinking of the MS Word paperclip. “Clippy” was his name (theverge.com).
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What is your R number? (Or: Corona dashboard)

Last week the RIVM (Dutch ministry of Health) released a prototype of the Corona dashboard which can be found at coronadashboard.rijksoverheid.nl.

As you can see it shows things like ICU intakes and hospital intakes averaged over the last three days (6 and 8.7), number of infected persons per 100,000 residents (9.9) and the very well known R number, which is currently 0.87. There are also data points about nursing homes and a list of data points they are looking to add in the coming weeks.

In completely other news: sometimes trips to the grocery store can be very, very interesting. Today I wanted to grab a water bottle however there was already another customer there looking at multipack water bottles. Okay, he was right in front of what I needed, so I decided to wait. Even in non-corona times, it would have probably been perceived as rude, and it’s not like he would take that long right?

Wrong. After 2 minutes of semi-patient waiting I decided to look at my watch to start timing the rest of this experience. He had a pack of water in his basket already and he would grab another slightly different pack and look at the label. He would then put it into his basket and then pick up something else and look at the label of that water pack.

After the first minute someone else stopped and was clearly waiting to grab something from the water as well. After three minutes I did start to get a bit impatient, but tried to keep it from showing on my face. It must have been obvious that I was still standing there waiting, right? The other person was behind him on the other side of the aisle, so I could forgive him not seeing her. In the meantime about 15 people walked down the middle of the aisle, probably wondering what the heck the bottleneck was. But this was the last item I needed to get, and I was morbidly curious to see how this would play out.

After switching out the multipacks in his basket about 5 times, and staring at labels about 10 times, he finally picked one, grabbed the rest of his stuff and got a move on. The other customer politely waited for me to grab my water which I quickly did. Her and I shared a smile, neither believing what we had just experienced. I whispered fijne dag while deftly grabbing my water with my left hand. Total time it took him: 5+ minutes. Total time it took me: about half a second.

But now I have a good story for the blog, so it was worth the extra five or so minutes, right?

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