So, after a long search, I came upon a local source for my precious American hot sauces. I found EICHHOLTZ!!!
Overlooking this place many times, I found a site online that suggested they might have what I wanted. Eichholtz specializes in American and British foods that can’t be found elsewhere in the Netherlands. This had to be what I was looking for. This place had to be the answer to my wishes!
Upon entering, I was blown away by the selection. It was like walking into a tiny American grocery store. Kraft Mac & Cheese, a cornucopia of Jello flavors, Jif Peanut Butter (Crunchy and Creamy!), all sorts Kellogg’s Cereals, KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce, and a modest section dedicated to of all of my favorite hot sauces! Heaven… Louisiana, Texas Pete, Crystal, a plethora of Tabasco varieties, and a small row of tiny Frank’s Red Hot Sauce bottles. Eureka! I’d hit gold… or so I thought.
In an attempt to ensure myself that I had not happened upon a mirage in this mighty Dutch food desert, I picked up a bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce. It was real enough, but what was this? Could this be right? Could they really be charging eight euros for a $1.15 bottle of hot sauce? That’s more than ten dollars. That’s almost a 1000% mark up! All along I had thought I was in a food shop and not at the snack counter at my local multiplex. Surely someone had mislabeled this single bottle of hot sauce. Upon further inspection I found that almost everything in this tiny shop was marked up beyond belief. It’s not that I didn’t expect to pay a premium for food imported from the US, but this was not going to work. I was desperate, but I’m not stupid. There was no way I was going to pay that price. No.
So the hunt went on. Remembering what I used to do in the US when I had a taste for Chicago style giardinera, I gave Amazon.com a look. In Holland we can’t use the US site, but we had used the UK site before, so I gave it a try. Sure enough, they had exactly what I was looking for. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce! Individual bottles, three packs, and even a one gallon jug of the stuff. Now we were in business. The prices weren’t great, but good enough. Seven pounds for three 12 oz. bottles of liquid nirvana. After the sticker shock I experienced at Eichholtz, I had no problem dropping the cash.
Three days later, I was roused from my slumber by a buzz on the intercom. It was here! I dashed out of bed like a kid on Christmas morning, slapped the button to buzz up the delivery guy, and sprinted downstairs to receive my prize. I tore through the no frustration packaging and opened a bottle. One sniff and I knew that my odyssey nearly over. I immediately set off for the local market to get the ingredients I would need to finish my quest for my hot wing dinner.
Not wanting to dine on wings alone, I waited for the wife to return from work. I presented her with the following:
One steakhouse style wedge salad with BACON, homemade Blue Cheese Dressin’, and five perfect American Style Buffalo Wings. In no way was this a fancy Haute Cuisine meal, but it was absolutely perfect. Best homemade meal I’ve eaten since I’ve been here, no contest.