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The Maremma is known for its cultura contadina or peasant's culture. Every town has its own tastes and take on certain dishes. But no matter where you go, Maremman food is hearty, seasonal and plentiful. Here... Read more
What: Whoever coined the phrase “as American as apple pie” surely hadn’t been to the Netherlands. Dutch apple pie, appeltaart (or appelgebak), has been a quintessential sweet in the country’s cuisine for centuries, and countless cafes, restaurants, and bakeries in modern-day Amsterdam reflect this. A common accompaniment to koffie (coffee), and often served met slagroom (with whipped cream), appeltaart differs from American apple pie in a number of ways: It’s baked in a spring-form pan, making it instantly deeper; it’s much drier inside, not at all syrupy; it’s really chock-full of big, firm hunks of apple (and often raisins or currants); and it tends to rely on sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, rum or brandy, and other warm spices for flavor. Find a good appeltaart in Amsterdam, and you’ll be hard-pressed to eat anything else for breakfast there, ever.
Where: It’s not really a secret that Café Winkel (Noordermarkt 43), in the hip Jordaan neighborhood, has one of the best appeltaarts in the city. Fortunately, it lives up to its reputation. Bonus: The cafe is on a busy corner near a popular Saturday and Monday market, affording some great people-watching.
When: Mon, 7am-1am; Tues-Thurs, 8am-1am; Fri, 8am-3am; Sat, 7am-3am; Sun, 10am-1am. Mornings on the outdoor terrace here are your best bet, though you may have to wait to score a table.
Order: Ask for appeltaart met slagroom (€3,50), which is typically served at room temperature, and prepare to have your mind blown a little. The thick-cut apples are moist, plentiful, and interspersed with plump raisins; the crust is deliciously crunchy; the slagroom brings just the right creaminess to the buttery pastry and tart apple sweetness. Enjoy with your choice of coffee—if you’re feeling indulgent, try a koffie verkeerd, the Dutch equivalent of café au lait.
Alternatively: The canalside Villa Zeezicht (020-626-7433; Torensteeg 7, map) likewise gets huge props for its appeltaart (and outdoor terrace). Failing that, find your own local café and give its appeltaart a try—how bad can it really be?
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