Local Goods Store is artisans’ central

In the same reclaimed industrial space as the Foodhallen is the not-for- profit Local Goods Store, which sells products made by Amsterdam designers, from bikes to books. It was a welcome one-stop- shop in my quest for authentic Dutch products.

Here was the tea that I imagined I would find, one made from the spices made popular hundreds of years ago by the Dutch East India Company. “Amsterdam Blend” is composed of the “five most important spices of the Golden Age: cinnamon, sweet vanilla, crushed cardamom, ginger and pink peppercorns”. It was beautifully packaged by Citea, established in 2013.

I was delighted to find Brandt & Levie artisanal sausages among the offerings. I’d been drooling over the worstmakers’ Instagram photos, @Brandtenlevie, in the days leading up to my trip. Even more delightful was the display of little palm- sized pig-pink packages. What could be in them? My mind rushes in a flutter of excitement to an image of tiny blocks of pate. The box says Zeep, which would have been a clue had I been a Dutch-speaker. Instead, I continue my investigation by taking a deep whiff. Yum! Juniper and marjoram. Another box, another whiff. Yum yum! Clove and something else…(Bergamot and coriander, as it turns out). Surely these little boxes contain something delicious. I slide one open.

Soap!

“We are always working to see how we can best use the whole pig,” the company explains in their blog. Indeed, the fat remaining after the pig meat has all been eaten or cured, has historically been used for homemade soaps.

Sadly, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol wouldn’t let me bring my samples of the dry-cured sausages home with me. I just have to imagine what they must taste like as I lather up with the aromatic soap.