Memorable Meals: Episode 6, Fish in Volendam

Summer came very early this year. I?ve told you about that before and about the fact that I am definitely not complaining! Fortunately, the beginning of the warm weather coincided with the Easter break. We had a few days off to do nice things as a family. Something which I very much enjoy.
Some days we went for long walks in the dunes and forests. Other days we took little drives around the more scenic areas in the Netherlands. Of course, we also visited food markets and bought wonderful things for our first outdoor meals (always the highlight of the season).
One of the most memorable trips though, was a visit to the Dutch fisherman?s town of Volendam, located on the banks of the IJsselmeer. We?ve been there before and I have loved it from the very first time. It?s always bursting with tourists so whenever you walk through the boardwalk, you hear every language and see every culture imaginable. What I love most is the authenticity of the town and its quaint, tidy little houses. One thing I always have to wonder is how the people who live there can remain friendly when they have masses of tourists walking by their front door every day.
We?ve eaten in Volendam a few times and each time has been lovely. As expected, the fish there is excellent, and for a fish lover like myself, that only means one thing- seafood paradise! Volendam is particularly known for its smoked eel but you can also enjoy traditional Dutch herring with onions or stop for a basket of fried fish to go.
That?s exactly what we did during our last trip, and what a memorable meal it was! We decided to stop at a small fish shop for a treat and a drink. The shop is located within close proximity to the tiny beach at the end of the touristic part of the boardwalk and you can order your fish to go or eat it at the small bar inside. There was enough room to sit, so we sat at the bar and had a glass of Spanish rosé while we waited for our order. In the meantime, there was lots of cheerfulness going on around me in the form of excited tourists coming in and out of the shop or stopping by and debating whether or not they wanted to eat there. Too bad for the ones who just walk on by!
Kirstie and I ordered a basket of fried shrimp and calamari and Hans had kibbeling (nugget-sized bits of fried cod). What joy when our food arrived! Steaming hot, crisp and smelling fresh like the ocean! Just the look of those plump, little shrimp and the golden rings of calamari had my tastebuds exploding before I even took the first bite! Seriously, this was some of the best fried fish I ever had, and the garlic sauce that I ordered on the side was also fantastic. I don?t think I?ll be walking past this place the next time we go to Volendam. In fact, I?m very hungry after writing all of this and thinking back to that meal, so as far as I?m concerned, that should be very soon!

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