Friday, October 17, 2008

Bier Automaat

No, this isn't your typical American Pepsi machine... this one serves Heineken! I discovered this in our hotel, and by golly, I was obligated to give it a try. Yep, it works! Heineken in a can for €1.50. Homer would definitely "woohoo!" about that.

And, speaking of bier, it turns out that Dutch restaurants serve ridiculously tiny beverages -- that is, unless you order beer. If you order soda, water, or sparkling water, you invariably get a glass 0.2L bottle and a tiny tumbler to pour it into. 0.2 liters is 6.8 ounces, meaning less than 1 cup! For €2! For reference, a typical American vending-machine soda, at 20 oz, is thus just about exactly 3 Dutch servings. What I find interesting is that in the same restaurant with the 0.2L sparkling water, ordering a beer gets you about twice that volume, always poured neatly in a glass meant for the exact brand of beer you're getting, and often with a little paper skirt at the bottom to absorb the condensation. I think this disparity clearly illustrates the priorities here! Also, if the tidy, normal-sized beer isn't enough, in some places you can order a grote bier, or large beer, that is just about a pint -- perfect for the Brits in the house, I guess. I haven't attempted to order a grote water, but I have successfully gotten a carafe of tap water.

Back to the vending... Automaat is my new favorite Dutch word which appears to be used for any kiosk/service/vending machine. The machine that dispenses parking passes is a parkeer automaat; an ATM is a geldautomaat or bankautomaat; a coffee dispenser is a koffieautomaat; etc. For an interesting assortment of verkoopautomaten, or "machines that sell stuff," see this page. Based on all my newfound knowledge of automaten, and the aforementioned pictorial examples, I assume that the Heineken-hawking Pepsi machine may be properly called a Bierautomaat -- my new favorite machine.


ljc said...

Would this be an auto automaat?

MJM said...

Yes, Jenny, that would be an autoautomaat. Pure genius. Thanks!

Steve said...

Hilarious - I miss European culture sometimes.

jkkroon said...

Sadly one of the enduring memories of our family trip to Holland when i was 12 was eating cheese croquets out of an automat. Doesn't get much better than deep fried cheese out of a vending machine!

MJM said...

Jeff, I can picture you doing that today, not just at age 12. I still haven't tried a croquet. I was asking colleagues at work about them and the consensus was I should avoid them! I have to try, though!

JK68 said...

I am Jeff's mother, I do remember the boys thought a vending machine for food was the best. I even learned to make cheese croquettes when we got home.
I would like to introduce you to "Chufi" who has wonderful food information on the eGullet forums.
Be sure to check out her blog, this thread on Amsterdam dining, and Markemorse's blog on immigrant style dining in A'dam. All great info....for a foodie anyway.