In one of my first weeks in Amsterdam I discovered a brilliant concept/shop: Bilder & De Clercq. At first, you might think it's just a normal supermarket/food store, but it's more than just that. Bilder & De Clercq is a super smart concept which I'm surprised no one has ever thought of before (or at least I haven't seen it anywhere else before)
Instead of having rails and fridges filled with food, this store is made up of smaller sections. Each section contains all the ingredients to prepare a specific recipe, so basically all you need to do is choose the recipe which looks most appealing to you, take the different ingredients from that section, pick up the recipe and off you go. No need to think about what you're going to eat, just choose, pick-up and go! This is not only good for the lazy cooks among us, but also everyone who's up for trying a completely new recipe.
The great thing about this is, is that all ingredients are already pre-measured. For example, I saw one recipe which required a bit of butter, and instead of having to buy a whole 250 g. pack of butter, there was just a tiny pack which was just enough for that recipe. Same goes for herbs for example, where instead of having to buy a big bunch of parsley, Bilder & De Clercq got it all sorted for you in smaller bunches so you don't need to throw anything away at the end of the week (I have this problem so often with herbs!) This also means that no food goes to waste since you use everything for the recipe.
All the recipes are also quite healthy, easy to make and full of flavour. And of course once you've made the recipe, you can make it you 'own' next time and use a few different ingredients. This way, you get to cook a good meal and at the same time get away from your (possibly boring-for-the-taste-buds) cooking-patterns.
Aside from the meal-sections, there's also 'separate' foods like in normal supermarkets. The brands that are sold at Bilder & De Clercq are more special than at your regular supermarket, which makes shopping a lot more interesting. For example, they sell one of my favourite drinks: Fentimans Rose Lemonade.
There's also a small home-and kitchenware section
Fresh and home-made bread
There's two Bilder & De Clercq outlets in Amsterdam. The one of the Ceintuurbaan (centre-east of the city, in De Pijp) has a café inside, where you can have breakfast or some coffee with cake.
The cakes are home-made and oh my this carrot cake looked incredible, I MUST try it soon! I've already tried the muffins and they are super yummy, and I usually don't really think muffins are the most interesting sweets.
All-in-all, I think this is really a brilliant concept, a store with beautiful and appealing products which will surely inspire you (you can also just pick up one of the recipes or some ingredients). I'm convinced that this is really a good solution for people who are either very busy with work, not feeling very inspired to cook or some adventurous types who are in for something new. I can definitely see this type of place also work really well in London for example. I like it a lot!