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Fast food, the Zeeland way

Fancy a quick snack, yummy and/or healthy? Fast food is what we do (and slow too!). After a day on the beach, some crispy hot fries, cool. At a beach pavilion, or from the stall at the access point. Unroll your towel, sit down, stare into the sunset, bless the fries and smile. Best in an old pointy paper cone. Mayonnaise? Something completely different? Lekker!

At times like this, a fish lover turns to fried fish chunks, kibbeling. Or freshly fried white fish in batter, lekkerbekje. Maybe fried mussels, with fresh sauce ravigote. Kibbeling and lekkerbekjes are ubiquitous, but best in view of the water. Sitting on a dike. Bovenop d’n diek. Right from the fish stall. Those gulls are after your food, not you, but be careful. The word is out. Hear them?

On the lekker healthy side, omega oil-wise, a brined herring (maatje) will work for you. ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’ means it’s from the first catch of the season. You say, a herring a day keeps the doctor away. We intone: ‘Haring in het land, dokter aan de kant’. Hold it high, your head back, let it down in a controlled glide. Or in a soft roll, sprinkled with onion. A high-end specialty is a roll with Schouws eel (paling). Once a symbol of luxuriating prosperity, almost yesteryear now. But still popular: several bakers in Zierikzee will help you find one. Eat it roll turned over, so you can remove any bits of the fin .

If you’re more of a sweet tooth, we can help. A Zeeuwse bolus pastry, finger-fed in sweet sticky pieces. Come October, come the custardy tart from Groede in Zeeland-Flanders, Groese paptaart, sprinkled with brown sugar. Op de Groe they still bake them in a real oven. Like the baker at the Vlaemsch Erfgoed heritage bakery. His pancakes are sublime (we say ‘zalig’), so too the mini-batter poffertjes all using local Gemaakt Vlegel flour. Best eaten in a mill-cum-pancake restaurant. Gezellig.

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