This is an overview of Dutch and Indonesian ingredients that Guus, one of our correspondents, has found in the Triangle area in North Carolina. He moved to the United States five years ago and there are certain flavors that he just cannot go without. This overview may also help you if you live in other parts of the country.
As a regular rule, you can get pretty much everything via mail order, and of course you can get things shipped from Holland. But it's nice to know that many products are available locally as well. The list below is about the ingredients. There are many good books & websites about dishes such as boerenkool and stamppot -- what we're trying to do is give you suggestions on where to find the right rookworst to accompany it!
If you have suggestions or questions please add a comment and we'll be glad to update it. At the end of the article you'll find details of the stores mentioned.
Folks I met at a gathering of a Dutch club recommended "Butterball everyday smoked turkey sausage" as being an especially good replacement for the Dutch rookworst. As of September 5, 2009 I have not tried this myself but there's one in the fridge that we'll do our research on.
In general, Polish kielbasa sausages are quite similar to rookworst. Both Butterball and various brands of kielbasa are widely available in Kroger, Target and other grocery stores.
Many places sell Belgian beer of course, but in Durham there's a larger selection than usual in Sam's Quickshop. Huge selection, friendly folks.
If you know of a local store that carries Grimbergen Triple, please let me know.
A Southern Season has the largest selection in the Triangle.
Not my favorite, but I've seen Calve curry sauce in A Southern Season.
It took me a while to figure what the equivalent of speklap is in English. It's a thick cut of pork belly, either with or without a layer of fat. You can find thick cuts like that for example in the Grand Asia Market in Raleigh, NC.
The American name for Kapucijners is marrowfat beans. It's considered a rare bean in the United States and you won't find it in regular stores. According to Local Harvest.org they are available from an organic farm in Mt. Ulla, NC, which is about two hours west of Durham.
Whole Foods occasionally sells Dutch Honey Cake, produced by De Rit, a Dutch company.
All right, an exception on my 'no mail order stores in the list' rule, but this is the only way to get pre-made krokets in the States.
Based in Michigan: http://www.thedutchstore.com/meats.html
Based in Connecticut: http://kaasnco.com/
I'm sure it's expensive, with at least $30 in shipping costs. The krokets will be sent to you packaged in dry ice.
Shoarma & knoflooksaus
A "Dutch" classic is to eat marinated chicken/lamb/pork on a pita bun with lots of garlic sauce. Real shoarma (shawarma) can be found in restaurants in the US, for example at the Lebanese place in 9th Street in Durham, but if you prefer to cook it at home, here is a good recipe for the shoarma spice blend.
Whole Foods carries regular sized stroopwafels from Shady Maple Farms, a Canadian firm. They're good, but the best stroopwafels can be found at Trader Joe stores. They have very small, bite-sized stroopwafels that are delicious. They are produced by Daelmans Dutch Pastries Ltd.
I don't really consume maple syrup, but the Dutch (Frisian) brand "Friesche Vlag" is available at A Southern Season.
The Dutch love bread, and eat sandwiches for breakfast and for lunch. Whole Foods carries a wide selection of good, luxurious breads.
However, my favorite for regular 'during the week' sandwiches is the bread of 9th Street Bakery. This is a bakery based in Durham, NC and while they don't sell directly to the public, you can find their bread in Kroger and Whole Foods stores throughout the Triangle. For example, our Kroger at Hillsborough Street in Durham has it. Good, solid bread -- delicious.
Indonesian food is very popular in the Netherlands and ingredients for it are easily available in every supermarket there. I don't pretend to know the real Indonesian kitchen very well -- the ingredients below are those for "Dutch Indonesian" cooking more than for real Indonesian cooking.
This took me a while to find. Is sold as Roasted Blachen (Trassi Bakar). Ultimately I found it in the Oriental Store in Raleigh. Note: you have to look in the fridge! This store carries at least 2 more versions of trassi. The Roasted Blachen is pretty much identical to the Dutch Conimex version.
There are also many liquid versions available ("shrimp paste") in more stores but they are not roasted and are different in flavor. I would not recommend them as a 1-on-1 replacement of trassi. Someone mentioned that he uses (Thai) fish sauce to get a similar flavor. It may be a decent replacement but again won't be exactly that good old trassi flavor.
Ketjap manis, or kecap manis in Indonesian spelling, is sold in many different places. A Southern Season sells the Conimex brand, but Grand Asia Market and The Oriental Store have a real Indonesian brand (ABC) and The Oriental Store carries a second Indonesian brand also, 'Cap Orang Jual Sate/Aneka'.
Sold even in regular supermarkets. The Thai 'chilli sauce' is really the same thing. If you want the Conimex brand (but why bother), A Southern Season usually carries it. If you want real Indonesian brands then The Oriental Store is the place to go.
Only A Southern Season seems to sell this. Sambal manis is basically sambal oelek with added sugar and I've seen some recipes on-line but not tried them yet.
I have not found this condiment yet. In the Netherlands it's sold by Conimex but I have not seen a ready-made version here. Luckily, it is not hard to make yourself.
Kroepoek or krupuk is sold in many Asian stores. In in Grand Asia Market they carry Komodo, an Indonesian brand. Pre-baked kroepoek as it's often found in Dutch supermarkets is not common in the US. I've seen "shrimp taste cookies" but they're not exactly kroepoek. I haven't tried them but they are wheat based cookies with added shrimp flavor.
The ones you bake yourself such as Komodo are the real deal and very delicious.
I've brought laos from the Netherlands since I didn't know its translation (galangal root/Thai ginger) but in fact I've been able to find all Indonesian spices in the States pretty easily. Try Grand Asia Market for the more exotic ones (such as galangal root).
Here's a good list with translations: http://home.kpn.nl/wpschouten/Spice.html
Grand Asia Market
1253 Buck Jones Rd, Raleigh, NC
The Oriental Store of Raleigh
3601 Capital Blvd # 101, Raleigh, NC
(The entrance is actually on Old Buffalo Road)
A Southern Season
University Mall, 201 S Estes Drive, Chapel Hill, NC
621 Broad St, Durham, NC
(selection in other stores in usually the same, no specific reason to go to Durham if there's one closer to you)