Broodje van Kootje

Literally, "broodje" is Dutch for "little bread," but in practice the word is used to mean both what we mean by "roll" and what we mean by "sandwich." The Dutch add that "je" or "tje" at the ends of words to mean "small" or "little," and children are often nicknamed by making the same addition, so "Kootje" is the nickname little Koot was called as a child. (In Dutch, by the way, the "oo" is pronounced "oh," not "oo," and the "je" is pronounced "yuh" — so "broodje" is "bro-tyuh," not "brew-gee," and "Kootje" is "co-tyuh," not "coochie." And, while I'm correcting your pronunciation, the "v" in Dutch is pronounced like our "f," so it's "fahn," not "van." Repeat after me, then: "bro-tyuh fahn co-tyuh." Get it? Got it? Good! Now try Vincent van Gogh!)

Okay, that established, Broodje van Kootje is a chain of sandwich shops in Amsterdam. The one in the picture is on the Spui — forget it, this one you will never pronounce correctly! — right around the corner from the Begijnhof. The photo was taken on August 13, 2001, and that's Lynne at the far left and Becca on the other side of the table.

A broodje half om — my favorite! — is a little buttered roll with both corned beef and some Dutch mystery meat that I suppose is closer to Italian mortadella than anything else, liberally salted and peppered. Yummy! Heerlijk, zelfs!

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