Saturday, December 09, 2006

Dutch Canadian Shoppe

I visited the famous Dutch Canadian Shoppe while in New Minas, NS. I'm not sure if it's really famous, but it feels famous to me and many of my colleagues. A co-worker is Dutch, as is her husband's family. They cross the bay frequently to visit his family in the Annapolis Valley, and always stop by the Dutch Canadian Shoppe. Sharon says it is the only Dutch shop anywhere around the Maritimes, and that all Dutch families make visits. I have heard so much about this place that I had to take the opportunity and snoop around.

In many ways, it looks like what you would expect- ceramic giftware, model cars, candy, garden accoutrements, and packaged goods. But when you look closer, you realize that those wooden clogs are meant to be worn (they're sized- Sharon says they're excellent for gardening), the white tiles with blue painted scenes are for your kitchen, and the percentage of licorice in comparison to other candy seems awfully high.

In the back is a deli, freezers and coolers holding a lot of different cheeses, knackwurst and other suasages and meats. I'm not a big mystery meat person, but I wished I could have bought some of these things just to try them out. There were also lots of mustards (I bought sweet Bavarian), special candies and chocolate for Christmas and packaged baked goods. I tried a Mozart ball which is a round chocolate wrapped in a foil stamped with Mozart's smirky face on it. Inside is chocolate truffle surrounded by hazelnut truffle and pistachio truffle- delicious and very expensive. The Dutch lady told me they are a German Christmas tradition. I also picked up some "Roca" which is also popular- it seems to be a rectangle of toffee and nuts dipped in chocolate. We haven't opened them yet. They also had a big display of chocolate letters (Santa leaves you your initial), chocolate twigs, chocolate shells, and almost anything else you could imagine eating in a chocolate form. There were also lots of crackers, cereals, soup mixes, cakes and cookies.

The centrepiece of the store is a self-help island of candy, dominated by licorice. Dutch licorice seems always to be black, smelly and salty. Educated by Sharon, I'm wary of the stuff. Apparently, people love it or hate it. I haven't got past the smell yet, but it would be a fun taste experiment (to give to someone else).

Stop by if you're in the area. You can find the Dutch Canadian Shoppe at 28-9121 Commercial St. and you can call them at 902-682-8298.


Anonymous said...

It is not the only shop of its kind in the maritimes, there is also the Atlantic Dutch Shoppe, it is in East Lawrencetown, Halifax Municipality, Nova Scotia. If you are in the city you should check this one out. They can be reached by phone 902-827-3654

Anonymous said...

Be sure to check the dates on items you purchase. I bought some chocolate recently (at full price), and when I got home I discovered it was expired by over a year! It had an off taste and some of it had turned white. This is not the first time we have purchased items and been thoroughly disappointed. The shelves were half full and a lot of empty space. That should have been my first clue. Will definitely NOT return in future.

Albert van der Heide said...

The owners have since retired as their lease was up.

Anonymous said...

i miss this place :c i used to go with my grandparents