>> Holland International Market | Eat the World Los Angeles

Monday 23 September 2019

Holland International Market


EDITOR'S NOTE: An updated version of this article (15 December 2023) is available as part of the Historical section of our Substack page. Check that out here:
For those that do not initially recognize the flag of the Netherlands flying in front or who might not have their glasses on to read the small black text high on the facade, this small Bellflower storefront still has a lot of clues as to what lies inside. At the bottom of the windows are tranquil photos of windmills behind fields of beautiful multi-colored tulips and if that is not enough a large circular painting incorporating another windmill, more tulips, and a couple wearing wooden clogs adorns the front.

This is definitely the type of place that someone who was visited Holland (or not!) can go to fulfill all their stereotypical impressions of the country. Besides the front, the store is filled with big round blocks of gouda cheese, has a shelf devoted to stroopwafels, another to black licorice, and even a selection of clogs, some wooden and others in house slipper format.

But the store is more than that, it caters to as many desires that a Dutch person might be able to acquire here in Los Angeles. The options of candies and cheeses are excellent and include much more than you would find at another European specialty store. But the Dutch presence in LA might be more than you think, enough to warrant the presence of a consulate and amongst other events, an annual party in late April to celebrate the birthday of the king (an official holiday in the Netherlands).

Even for the uninitiated, the store is worth a good wander. Did you forget to buy your friends souvenirs on a recent trip? A whole display of refrigerator magnets can help with that.

Best wooden clog selection in Southern California.

And in that same vein, a bag or tin of stroopwafels (above) always makes a good gift for anyone, regardless of the occasion.

Sure, the Whole Foods probably offers a few different types of gouda, but here the fridge is full of it, as well as boere and leyden options that might be new to you. The latter has cumin and caraway seeds in it for flavoring.

Their online store, which can ship to all 50 states also makes a note of their selection of Indonesian products, which of course have played a roll in the national psyche and cuisine ever since occupation of the Dutch East Indies. Indeed there are multiple aisles here with ready made curries and powders, stacks of the beloved packaged ramen Indomie, and all manner of products from Indonesia that the Dutch crave and need.

And then there is an intriguing amount of candy on offer, much of which is licorice-based...

The store has only been open for five years now, but seems like an established part of the community and is well-traveled by customers all around Greater Los Angeles. Even for those of us without an ongoing need for freshly made bitterballen, Holland International Market is still worth a stop the next time you are nearby.


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