Posted by: patriciamar | April 12, 2010

Train Picnic Envy

I can’t deny that this is quite the lifestyle we are having.   Even Matt’s grandpa, who has been retired for more than 20 years, says when he dies, he would like to come back as Matt.   After Italy a week ago and the south of France a week before that, we are now back on the train, the Thalys this time, on our way to Paris to see my cousin, Alyssa, who is studying there this semester.

As we sit in our cozy reservering verplicht seats (reservation required), I can look diagonally across and down the aisle of the train and watch the most extraordinary woman.  This woman is obviously Dutch, and definitely knows how to travel by train.  As soon as the train pulled away from Rotterdam Centraal, she filled up a little (typical Dutch) cafe glass with white wine and set out a beer for her husband.  Next came the plate, yellow and plastic, and then a large packet of crackers, a few for her, a few for her husband, and a few for the person across the aisle that she just handed a small plastic cup of juice to.  After the crackers came a nice silver knife and next, well, my mouth starts watering just thinking about what comes next.  Cheese, delicious Dutch cheese.  Old Amsterdammer, to be exact, I can tell by the waxy black rind.  She starts to make blokjes, nice large blokjes, like they give you in a Dutch cafe when you order a plate of cheese as an appetizer or snack.  After the Oud Amsterdammer, a salty, flavourful, native Dutch cheese, she pulls out a soft and stinky round of French cheese and begins to spread it on crackers.

Maybe she wanted variety in her cheeses, maybe she figured she was on her way to France so she ought to pay a small tribute, either way, I glance down sadly at my peanut butter and jelly.  While it seemed like a good idea at the time, now it just seems like quite a pitiful excuse for a train picnic.


  1. hi! what kind of cheese is old amsterdammer? is it like gouda?


    • Hi,

      It’s a lot like the very old gouda (zeer oud gouda), but not quite as salty (the old gouda is Really salty if you’ve never had it). It is creamy like gouda, and always comes in a black rind. If you happen to live in the U.S. You can get a pretty good piece for $5 at Trader Joe’s right now.


  2. thanks!


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