Dutch Language Blog

A few great things about Albert Heijn Posted by on Mar 27, 2011 in Dutch Language

If you live in the Netherlands, the Albert Heijn will be a part of your life.  This is not a bad thing, but it is an inevitability.  It’s not that there aren’t other grocery stores, but the AH symbol is omnipresent, and the blueish interior calls to passersby in all Dutch cities, promising attractive packaging, fresh-squeezed juices and reasonable (to high) prices.  It’s a great store, comparable to Whole Foods in the US, but not quite as frou-frou.

I thought I would mention two recent discoveries resulting from my near-daily engagement with Albert Heijn; I also thought this would be a good opportunity to run through some Dutch food vocabulary.

I learned from my coworker recently that the Albert Heijn offers a very useful and progressive iPhone app — because we are in Holland, naturally, we call it “Appie.”  Appie does a number of ingenious things:  it lists everything currently on sale (aanbieding); it allows you to make a shopping list, the items of which it then arranges into an ideal route through the store while you are shopping, showing you on the screen of your iPhone when to turn, just like GPS; on top of that, it then analyzes the ingredients you’ve bought and offers recipe suggestions.  Appie Happy!

In the Albert Heijn in Eindhoven where I buy my lunch most days, and in other AHs, there is a big complaint/suggestion board, as well as a community board where people can post classified ads — an AH Craigslist, if you will, composed of custom blue index cards.  Reading either board can be great fun; in Eindhoven we recently came upon this one, which advertises a ZIT BAD ROOD:  OOK ALS DRINK BAK VOOR PAARD KOE OF SCHAAP. (A red basin for bathing your feet, which can also be used as a drinking trough for HORSE COW OR SHEEP).

What can you buy at Albert Heijn?  Well, lots of pre-made dinners and lunches, for one, but also a great variety of vegetables, breads, cereals and snacks.  Some terms you might want to be familiar with, below, for your next trip to AH, whether you’re aided by Appie or braving it alone.


brood = bread

wit brood = white bread

volkoren brood = whole wheat bread

beschuit = rusk (a soft, crispy, dried toast)

roggebrood = rye bread


aubergine = eggplant

andijvie = endive

wortel = carrot

boerenkool = kale

potato = aardappel


sinaasappel = orange

banaan = banana

bessen = berries

aardbeien = strawberries

frambozen = raspberries


melk = milk

kwark = a kind of fresh, soft cheese that resembles yogurt and comes in a variety of flavors

kaas = cheese

oude kaas = aged cheese, sharper and drier

jonge kaas = young cheese, less sharp and with more moisture

eieren = eggs







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  1. Anna Scott:

    I miss Holland. I wish I could visit once a year.

  2. winda:

    I love AH! 😀