The Aldi store has come to Austin, Texas! Or rather, to Pflugerville, but that’s close enough. When I read that it was coming I was thrilled, because on the Dutch International Cookbook/Kookboek Facebook page I regularly see posts by folks elsewhere in America and Canada showing photos of their Dutch and German finds in Aldis. Now it’s here, so today I decided to include a trip to Pflugerville in my list of errands.
On the way up there I was enjoying the anticipation. What would I find? Definitely speculaas. Maybe gevulde koeken? A bigger or at least different selection of drop than at World Market? Proper Dutch Calvé peanut butter would be great. Nasi kruiden, curry saus, nagelkaas, who knows?
When I got there, I parked the car and crossed the parking lot, doing my best not to grin stupidly at everyone I made eye contact with — I was that excited. When I got to the entrance I realized I’d forgotten my grocery bags. Back to the car. And back to the store, where it turned out I needed a quarter to get a shopping cart. That’s right, I read about that. Smart. But I discovered that I’d left my wallet in the car. Good thing I needed a quarter for the cart — imagine having loaded up a cart and standing in line forever (the place was bustling) and finally getting to the cashier, only to find out I didn’t have my wallet with me! So back to the car, got my wallet, back to the store, got my cart and in I went. Talk about building up the suspense!
Right at the beginning of the first aisle I found fig bars. Yum! Not Dutch and not actually that hard to find elsewhere, but promising. That promise quickly turned into disappointment. It was a small store, with only a few aisles, so it didn’t take long to see everything, and there was NOTHING Dutch. NOTHING! Well, there was roggebrood, but they have that at HEB, the main Texas grocery store. They’ve had it for years; it’s no big deal, so finding it at Aldi DOESN’T count.
I walked out of the store without having bought anything. I sat in my car and cried for a minute, and then I did what I always do to make myself feel better — well, when it’s too cold to binge on ice cream, that is — I went to Goodwill and got some terrific finds. Later I went to World Market and bought muntendrop, stroopwafels, Wihelmina pepermunt and speculaas-flavored tea. And halva, which isn’t Dutch, but I used to buy it at the Turkish store in Amersfoort and I haven’t had it since, so it counts.