Where to find "tastes of home" in Zwolle
After your arrival in the Netherlands and after indulging in all the Dutch food we have to offer (Kaas! Stroopwafels! Vla!) or frowning at our weird food habits (brood, brood, brood!), you might be looking for ‘a taste from home’. Before you start importing your own paneer or asking your mum to post that special spice from your home country, you might want to check more local resources. Alas, whilst Zwolle might not offer all ethnic ingredients, it does have a lot available.
Supermarket-wise, Albert Heijn and Jumbo are shops which, depending on the size of the supermarket, usually have a relatively broad range of ethnic produce. Some Polish, Middle Eastern, Japanese or Indonesian products can be found here. The main spices (garam masala, vadouvan, ras el hanout, etc.) can be also found at those shops. Look out for products from ‘Euroma’ and ‘Jonny Boer’ - Zwolle’s very own three-Michelin star chef who has his own range of spice mixes which are a decent quality with no added salt.
A one-stop ‘shop’ on Saturdays. Although I do think that the diversity has gone down over the past year, you can still find a good selection of vegetable stalls, cheese stalls, fishmongers, flower sellers etc. When the season’s right, you will find kouseband, different types of paksoi and other ethnic fruit and veg. Make sure to check all the different stalls as they all have different produce of varying quality available.
The market also hosts a herbal stand, located near Humphrey’s on the Melkmarkt. ‘Ewalds Kruidenhuis’ sells LOTS of spices, herbs and teas. A few stalls up from Ewalds Kruidenhuis is an olive stand which also sells dried meats, dips and spreads.
Looking for nuts, good quality medjool dates for iftar or dried fruit? The nut stand (Grote Markt, near the angel statue) has it all.
There is also a market on Friday mornings. This market hosts a special organic section (near Humphrey’s / Las Rosas) with vegetables, bread, different mushrooms, etc. as well as a fabric section (near De Grote Kerk, for those interesting in making their own clothes and home furnishings).
Are you coming from a country that grows mangos and looking for a mango that tastes like home? You’ll have to travel a bit further to the market in nearby Kampen and dig a hole in your wallet, but market stall ‘Gert en Gerdie Otten’ sell fantastic mangos between March and May. Specifically ask for “the good quality mango in a net”. This stall can be found in the centre of Kampen, next to the museum, on Wednesdays and Fridays. You can even check with them first before you make the trek to Kampen: https://otten-agf.jimdo.com/
Thomas a Kempisstraat, Vechtstraat and Diezerplein
Couldn’t visit the market, or the market doesn’t offer what you are looking for? Head for Thomas a Kempisstraat, Vechtstraat & Diezerplein. These streets offer mainly ethnic shops, varying from Turkish to African to Indian.
A few of my recommendations:
Toko Bali (Thomas a Kempisstraat), for Indonesian food (and also for affordable ready meals)
Özen Market (Thomas a Kempisstraat) for Turkish food
Get your paneer at Salah Uddin Market (Vechtstraat)
Akkoyun Islamitische Slagerij for your halal meats and also for decent baklava. (Diezerplein)
Piccolini for Italian food
The average Italian will probably be very disappointed while browsing a Dutch supermarket. Next to the Sassenport though you can find ‘Piccolini’ which sells only Italian produce to bring a taste of home to your Dutch life.
For expats looking for organic supplies, there are several options:
GoodyFoods (Blijmarkt), a supermarket (food, shampoo, female hygiene products, etc., also a good source for people with food allergies) near the Fundatie Museum
Franck (Diezerpoortenplas), a local convenience store, bakery and café
G&W gezondheidswinkel (Vispoortenplas)
Haverkort Biologische Slagerij (Assendorperstraat), for organic meat
Uw Stadsboer (Jufferenwal), local, mainly organic, produce
Help a fellow expat out – if you know of other places in Zwolle to get ethnic and organic food, comment below and let us know your favourites…