On The Road With RL Reeves Jr: Visiting The Godmother Of Dutch Charcuterie Diny Schouten

De Pasteibakkerij is the charcuterie workshop of Diny Schouten and Floris Brester

Once a year I clamber aboard a big jet airplane and fly to Amsterdam, Noord Holland. It’s my lone annual vacation and as soon as it’s over I immediately begin dreaming of my return the following year.

A highlight of each of these treks is a visit to De Pasteibakkerij, a tiny charcuterie shop in Amsterdam Zuid. It’s run by Diny Schouten, and Floris Brester, two writers who long ago gave up pad and pen for butcher’s knives and cutting boards.

De Pasteibakkerij is the charcuterie workshop of Diny Schouten and Floris Brester

The pair make a formidable combination.

Walking into De Pasteibakkerij is like visiting your favored Aunt Margie’s kitchen. There are baskets of farm eggs, freshly baked loaves of bread, jars of marmalade, packages of butter, shelves filled with cookbooks, and a cold case filled to bursting with rilletes, pates, bowls of fresh radishes, packets of boudin, blood sausage, and a host of more exotic meats.

Big hanging bellies of pork bacon complete the picture.

De Pasteibakkerij is the charcuterie workshop of Diny Schouten and Floris Brester

This is where the conversation on Dutch charcuterie begins.

Pork is sourced from Boerderij de Lindenhoff in Baambrugge, a short journey of less than 10 miles. If you prefer your meat local then this is the next best thing to rearing pigs in the courtyard behind your apartment off Reguliersdwarsstraat

De Pasteibakkerij is the charcuterie workshop of Diny Schouten and Floris Brester

Occasionally you’ll see a tremendous pig head in the shop. It likely came from Panhof, the small hog farm of former veterinarian Bert Waterval who’s raising a cross of PiĆ©train pigs and Durocs.

Ethical hog farming is taking place across the whole of the Netherlands.

De Pasteibakkerij is the charcuterie workshop of Diny Schouten and Floris Brester

I live in the epicenter of boudin production in the US, Louisiana, where the French Cajuns hold dozens of meat markets and grocery stores where tens of thousands of links of boudin are sold each day.

De Pasteibakkerij is the charcuterie workshop of Diny Schouten and Floris Brester

Schouten and Brester’s boudin is as good as any I’ve ever purchased in Acadiana.

If poultry holds more appeal to you than pork De Pasteibakkerij sources from Pieter van Meel’s sons; Thomas, Wijnand and Maurits who took his company over upon his untimely passing in 2012. There is none finer in Noord Holland.

De Pasteibakkerij is the charcuterie workshop of Diny Schouten and Floris Brester

Karel Goudsblom provides the loaves of fresh bread. The old Dutch baker has made a name for himself by sourcing grain from Korenmolen de Zandhaas as well as salt from Brittany France. He’s producing breads the likes of which have rarely been seen in the Netherlands.

De Pasteibakkerij is the charcuterie workshop of Diny Schouten and Floris Brester

I love nothing more than procuring a bottle of Cantillon from Sterk, a few hunks of cheese from Abraham Kef and an assortment of charcuterie from De Pasteibakkerij. There’s a picnic table near the charcutier’s establishment and on a sunny April afternoon there is no finer way to break bread in the whole of Amsterdam.

De Pasteibakkerij is the charcuterie workshop of Diny Schouten and Floris Brester

Address:
Hoendiepstraat 2
1079 LT Amsterdam
M 06 5347 5512 (Diny Schouten)
M 06 8112 0032 (Floris Brester)

De Pasteibakkerij is the charcuterie workshop of Diny Schouten and Floris Brester

During the research portion of this piece I stumbled upon a list of ‘five-star pig farmers besides Bert Waterval from Dalfsen. Here are eight pig farmers from this region.

De Pasteibakkerij is the charcuterie workshop of Diny Schouten and Floris Brester

They are De Vijfsprong in Vorden, Mangalicahof in Zuidwolde, Mazzelpigs in Wijhe, Ouwendorperhoeve in Garderen, Santing-Meyling in Ruinerwold, Naoberhoeve in Echten, Veluws Land in Vaassen and Twentse Scharrel in Markelo.

Perhaps there are some budding charcutieres living in the Netherlands who can use the above resource to good effect?

De Pasteibakkerij is the charcuterie workshop of Diny Schouten and Floris Brester

About RL Reeves Jr

I'm a writer living and working in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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