by Leile One
Yes, yes, y’all – straight from the mess hall…I have just returned to the States from a refreshing blast through Western Europe. Sure, we saw some museums over there and some foreign rap music and everything, but what was really interesting was the food. Basically, they eat really wild shit over there, ALL the time. For instance:
Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs. “Pancake House Upstairs”. This is the real IHOP, if one indeed existed. You go up these stairs that are more like climbing a ladder than climbing stairs, I’m talking HELLA steep. There you are greeted by this guy - he is both the proprietor and the one who makes the cakes. It’s actually like you’re hanging out in this dude’s kitchen while he’s cooking up some marvelous shit, rather than sitting in a restaurant. There are only about four tables in the whole place, so we were lucky to have available seating immediately. I ordered the bacon and apple pancake, and put syrup on it just like normal, which worked out surprisingly well. You can also get such dishes as salami, cheese and tomato pancake. Or perhaps pear, egg nog, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream pancake is more your steez. Either way, you can get it here.
Febo. Just how impersonal could food get? Febo is one of the main fast food chains in the Netherlands, known as an “automatiek” type of establishment. Basically the restaurant is one gigantic vending machine; the food sits in these little illuminated warming-boxes and if you put the proper amount of money in you can open the door and have it. There is nowhere to sit in there and the overt philosophy is “buy the food and get the fuck out of here”. They sell regular stuff like chicken sandwiches and pile of french fries, for the most part. I’m surprised this idea hasn’t caught on in America yet. In fact, I read on Wikipedia that America did have automats like these back in the early 1900’s: for a time, they were the hip places to go eat. Predictably, the rise of the “drive-thru” format with Americans and their cars ended up pushing these mostly out of existence within our cities back in the 1950’s.
Mayonnaise. The rumors about how the Europeans really go crazy for mayonnaise are, strangely, not at all exaggerated. When I told people I was from America, the first thing they would comment on is how “That’s where they invented mayonnaise,” or “You come from the land of mayonnaise,” and so forth. And I’m like, word, but if anything, THIS is the land of mayonnaise. You don’t see us putting it on hot dogs and shit…goddam.
Pile of hallucinogenic mushrooms. Yep, it’s for real. In Amsterdam, you can cold buy a bag of psilocybe cubensis ‘shrooms like it was straight groceries, no problem. You can get them at virtually any coffee shop, along with your hash and your Northern Lights and what have you. Or, perhaps more amusingly, you can go to a specific store called “Magic Mushroom”, which specializes in herbal druggery. Can you imagine the bizarre sensation of purchasing a bag of ‘shrooms from a fiftysomething white woman, who urged us to “Have fun wid’ it”? The store also sells other crazy shit, like this “herbal speed” which you snort just like the real meth, except it’s made out of plants or something. They have a trial version right on the counter, which you are invited to make lines out of and sniff with these little pastel-colored sniffy-straws they provide. Not as good as the real thing, but it did put a little pep in my step. Thanks!
Katja Biggetjes. Roughly translated, this means “gummy pig heads”. The company also makes other gummy animal heads, like Gummy Ape Head (“Katja Apekoppen”), and Chewy Panda heads. These are delicious but pretty intense in a way, and eating them while tripping on the mushrooms I mentioned earlier presented a special challenge. They were just so CHEWY, to the point that eventually I was like, “I can’t deal with this. I can’t consume these right now.” And then I spit an un-chewed pig head into the wastebasket and was just standing there, staring at it, like “why is this a food that exists”. Then I convinced myself that Katja Biggetjes is probably rich in various vitamins, seeing as how it’s made of real fruit, and things seemed okay after that.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
by Leile One