Saturday, February 05, 2011

A Belgian grocery bag

I always love to roam through grocery shops abroad and see what I may bring home for my cooking. When in Brussels I always visit Delhaize in Anspach Laan 63 to buy a few goodies  to take home. Here is what I found in the supermarket shelves. 

Maasdam cheese

Maasdam cheese is a Dutch cheese not unlike Swiss cheese and the Norwegian Jarlsberg cheese Made from cow's milk, it is aged for at least 4 weeks. It is a semi hard cheese with a slightly sweet, nutty aroma.

Like Swiss and Jarlsberg cheese, Maasdam has holes  created by the ripening process, and a smooth yellow rind.

The Maasdam is a new product, introduced 1984 by the Baars company under the Leerdammer brand. It is now made by other Dutch companies under the name Maasdam.

I love these firm nut flavoured cheeses. The Delhaize range of Maasdam cheese should be served in thick slices on fresh white bread, with a good glass of red wine.

Say cheese!!!!! - read story here

Nut ham from the Ardennes

Belgians produce very good cured products. I remember the delicious displays of specialties at different delis in the beautiful town of Dinant in the southern region of Wallonia.

Some has called it the Belgian equivalent to Parma ham. It is a relatively lean meat, with little intramuscular fat. It has a nutty flavour and is produced with a relatively low amount of salt.

This 180 gram package of Noix d'Ardennes is produced under the Marcassou brand. It is flavoured by thyme, coriander and nutmeg.

I used the ham as a base of one of my open sandwiches. Nut ham from the Ardenne region was placed on a layer of Dijon mayonnaise, egg terrine, and spanish peppers and served on Danish rye bread.

A New Year's Day brunch - see story here

Chorizo - a spicy Spanish sausage

I try to stock up on Spanish cured products while being abroad. Even though they are relatively expensive within EU-countries, these delicious high quality products are insanely expensive in Norway. This due to taxes to protect inferior quality domestic products from competition.

I bought spicy hot chorizo with a decent amount of olive oil, garlic, salt and devilishly dyed in red hot pimentón. This variety of chorizo made by the Palacios group was semi hard, between a cured and fresh raw sausage. Delicious, sliced on toast with just a little olive oil.

I recommend chorizo served pintxo style, with pesto on a toasted slice of baguette.

Pintxos - easy basque bite-sized delicacies - read story here

More international culinary shopping bags 


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