Saturday, September 09, 2006

Broodje Ham

Broodje ham literally means "little ham sandwich." However, it's
used to refer to any kind of sandwich. Sort of like in Texas when
they ask if you'd like a Coke. Then they ask, "What kind? We have
Sprite, Dr. Pepper..."

When I was working at the large telecom company, I went into the
cafeteria every day and watched Dutch person after Dutch person grab
four or six slices of break. Then they would walk to the little
refrigerated area and choose from a selection of cheese, cold cuts,
and salads to put on the bread. This was lunch. This was lunch
every day of the week, maybe every day of their life. I could do it
once in a while, but I usually opted for the meal they offered.
Meat, potato and a vegetable. I just couldn't see eating that much
bread every day.

When I was at the nursing home, people regularly brought a little
baggy with a sandwich in it. The sandwich usually consisted of a
slice of bread, cheese or meat and another slice of bread. This was
sliced horizontally, stacked and placed in the bag. This was lunch.
Every day. I always ate the regular meal that I got as compensation
for my volunteer work.

Now that I am at the school every day for lunch, I find myself trying
to eat something very quickly in the teacher's lounge during on of
the two breaks that we having during the lunch-time part of the day.
(There is no real lunch time for us.) And what do I find myself
eating? Sandwiches. But I like a really good cheese - my favorite
lately is and older cheese with cumin seeds in it. And I prefer a
roll. It makes sense, but it's so unceremonious. But when it's
lunch time and I'm reaching into my bag for my sandwiches, I'd eat
almost anything I found. When it's time to eat, it's time to eat.
Maybe that's what the whole sandwich thing is about.

Filet Americane:

Something they have here that you will never find in the US is Filet
Americane. It's apparently a raw meat product in a thick sauce with
spices. It's spreadable. People love it. I think I've only eaten
it once, when it was passed to me on a piece of melba toast by one of
Fred's sister-in-laws. I avoid it. It's so strange to me that it's
called Filet Americane when it has nothing to do with America. It's
not a typical American dish. It's like french fries. It's like
something with Dutch in the name. Just tag the name of a country on
and it will be exotic and people will love it.


Anonymous said...

Hi Andy. This is how eager I was to hear about your job....I checked your blog! But I couldn't find the job one, just this one. Love it. Love you. P

Anonymous said...

a "broodje ham" is a ham sandwich, "broodje kaas" is a chees sandwich, a "broodje ei" is an eg sandwich, a "broodje pate americaine" is a raw minced meat sandwich.
a "broodje ham" does not cover everything. a bit more accuracy please.
a dutch anonymous

Andy Baker said...

Okay. I'll change it. What you say makes sense. However, I've been told different. Maybe I'm thinking of something else that has the words brood and ham in it. I know I've seen it. I'll think of it. Thanks for the anonymous correction.

Anonymous said...

A "broodje ham" isn't actually a sandwich. It's a roll or french bread white/brown with ham. Just thought I'd clear that up for 'anonymous' since I've had more broodje hams than hot dinners lol

Nice to meet you Andy, I'm a UK expat living in NL. Been here for 6 years already.. arghh :=)


Anonymous said...

And to be even more correct, it is not Pate Americane, but filet americain, at least in the little Dutch place where I come from.

Another Dutch anonymous who loves to eat filet americain on her bread

Anonymous said...

I think Andy means "boterham", not broodje ham. And yes, a "boterham" does mean a sandwich.
Doesn't matter Andy, it is nice to see I am not the only one who doesn't wanna eat bread for lunch!