Sunday Market

Westerpark more so than other parks in the city of Amsterdam, is a real culinary epicenter. On any given weekend there seems to be at least one market or festival with handcrafted goods and food stalls nestled in the park. I spend a lot of time reviewing the food truck scene here but Amsterdam has an equally thriving “food tent” scene I’ve been discovering as well. Where the truck scene is largely a place for comfort food and the easily identified bite, the tent scene has more exotic ethnic foods that draw you in not just with the cuisine but with the creation process. Last Sunday I forded my way across a city of mist and fog for the Sunday Market event.
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Very Silent Hill, right? There was incredible fog last week across the Netherlands. This is one of my favorite features of Dutch fall so far.

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Westerpark isn’t just a park with trees and nature, but it also used to be home to the westergasfabriek coal gas plant. All of the buildings you see here were part of the gas factory until it ceased operation in the 60’s.

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So creepy and cool. This event was held both inside and outside of the old gas factory buildings that run through Westerpark. It was probably the largest event of this kind that I’ve attended at the park. Now for food!

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Smoked eel sandwich from De Lekkerste Paling. Smoked eel is considered something of a delicacy in the Netherlands. It’s often found cured and has a flavor somewhere between ham and salmon, and just like those two foods it has beautiful fat. This food isn’t a favorite of mine exactly, but I’ve never seen it so fresh. The guy was sitting right by the tent cleaning the eels and they were smoking them in a rack right there. How could I say no? I got a simple paling brodje. The way the fat from the fish melts into the bread is really something.

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Fresh apple cider. The taste of fall.

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Who doesn’t like tasty buns?
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I love seeing people cook.
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My friends from Pinch! I attended their dumpling dinner after the Markt van 1001 Smaken because their asian fusion dumplings were soooo good.
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Freshly friend falafel. I love the display here and these guys were all in traditional outfits.
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The next step in my dumpling quest and my pick for the best food at the Sunday Market, Pierogi.
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Sonia and her mom make these traditional Polish pierogi fresh and boil them right when you order. Fresher than fresh!
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They were offering four fillings: Pumpkin with ricotta, meat, sheep’s cheese with potato, and mushroom with cabbage. All were totally incredible. I highly recommend looking these ladies up at your next food festival!

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