DUTCH CUISINE!? …what do foreigners think about DUTCH FOOD?

DUTCH CUISINE!? …what do foreigners think about DUTCH FOOD?

January 9, 2020 100 By Ewald Bahringer


What do you think about the Dutch cuisine? Sorry… Don’t judge… It’s terrible! I think the Dutch cuisine is similar to the cuisine of other Northern European countries. It’s probably not as fine cuisine as French or Italian. I don’t think that there is a very sophisticated and rich gastronomy. It sometimes lacks a bit of finesse. I’m Italian, so… you have to understand that I come with very high expectations about what food means. The Dutch… they don’t live for it like the Portuguese. They just eat because they need to survive. I think you don’t spice your food that much… Compared to Asian food, it’s… boring… Really boring, basic. It’s all just functional. It’s a lot like the people. It’s very straightforward. It’s simple, but… it’s food. Everything is practical here. So the food is practical as well. I see that there is… sticking to certain types of habits… I normally have salads for lunch. But I do observe that my Dutch colleagues… do stick with the sandwich that they do prepare at home. Dutch people don’t take real lunch. It’s: bread and cheese. Bread with meat, or… also bread with cheese. Maybe sometimes this block of cheese. When I ask my boyfriend: What did you take as lunch? Bread with cheese. Baby, it’s lunch! My partner, every single day… he’ll have like two loafs of bread, like this… And that’s his lunch. I think I had one thousand two hundred fifty five sandwiches… since I moved here. Same here! We were actually asking: What’s the local food we can buy, because we’re curious. They gave us… a loaf…!? It wasn’t… You tried it. Yes, I tried it. I do like good Dutch cheese. They have some of the best cheese on earth. And the bread is lovely here, isn’t it? So much more interesting than what we have. I’m really excited about Dutch bread. I went to the restaurant and see the options… You have so many words to talk about bread. Most of the bars have a separate menu for dinner time than what you would see on the menu card for lunch time. And in between… there is no food. I come from the south of Italy. There we don’t dine at 5 o’clock… not even at 6. For us, the lunch is very important… but here the lunch is not so… here much more the dinner… Oh, no, no… I really like this idea… the non written rule that you cannot have 2 warm meals in a day… Wow! I’m having pasta for lunch… The people around me were asking: Do you eat warm at lunch!? What are you having at dinner? Because you already ate warm… You cannot eat warm twice a day. I was like… What’s going on over here? Honestly I don’t know if there is a main dish of food that I know. If you have Dutch food… family meals. Always a potato and then a little meat and then a vegetable. There is always meat, potatoes and a vegetable. And that is how the plate looks all the time. Well, I learned that I was effectively a Dutch chef while I was in university in Canada… because Dutch cuisine is mashed potatoes mixed with whatever is in the fridge in it and poor gravy on it to make it taste good. The ‘schilderij’ (the painting) from Van Gogh… the ‘Potato Eaters’… That is such a good representation of what Dutch food is. … unless you want to say that putting vegetables in your mashed potatoes is a different dish. I actually like ‘stamppot’ (hotchpotch) which is typical Dutch food that reminds me of the country side, traditions… The ‘stamppot’ is the one which I really like and I love to eat in winter. I love things like ‘erwtensoep’ (pea soup). ‘Erwtensoep’ is one of my favourites. I like the Dutch cuisine… especially in winter, because I think it’s very warming. There is a lot of ‘worst’ (sausages). Enormous plates of sausages and potatoes flowing over the side of the plate. We call Dutch food: UFO You know that? No!? Unidentified Fried Objects. I don’t know how everybody is so healthy here… when they’re just eating deep fried food the entire time. I don’t like when food is too heavy. When there is too much… fat. Everything is ‘friet’ and ‘fried’ here. But you guys do have good snacks though… like ‘bitterballen’ which goes very well with the beer. I love the ‘bitterballen’ and those sorts of things. I actually eat ‘bitterballen’ I found that quite strange the first time I bit into something crunchy… and then something was oozing out of it… and I didn’t know if it was a liquid… or a solid… but it was also meaty… it was quite a confusing thing. I stared at it for like… ‘Bitterballen’ is made from… all the left-overs… I like the panned foods, the ‘bitterballen’ and the ‘kroketjes’ and the ‘friet’. My most favourite Dutch meal is… I would have said a ‘kroket’ but I don’t want to beef kosher people so I won’t say a ‘kroket’ ‘Kroketten’ are nice. ‘lekker’ (tasty) I love croquettes. Every time I come over, they would buy me a pack of croquettes just for me to have because I love them so much. I really like ‘patat’ (French fries) and ‘frikandel’ (Dutch sausage) since I got to this country. They don’t have it in my own country. ‘Frikandel’ is ‘lekker’ (tasty) ‘met mosterd’ (with mustard) I always think… I will have ‘frietjes met’ and I won’t eat all the ‘met’ but I always do. Yes, this is it. You can’t beat the Dutch, can you? … for their chips. They’re fantastic. You’re supposed to eat them with ketchup, not mayo! I’m not a fan of potato chips, crisps… But when I discovered the ‘paprika’ potato chips… Ah, it’s a killer… it’s so good. In the Philippines, where I’m from, there is a little thing that’s called ‘loempia’. And they have it here… It’s not exactly the same thing. We have it with a different wrap and with different ingredients. But I was surprised, they call it the same thing. I have seen those ‘Indonesische’… Indonesian meals. I was like: this is not Dutch. This is coming from Indonesia, so why is there so many of it here? When I first lived here, 40+ years go, my first land lady came out of Indonesia. So, immediately I was introduced to Indonesian cuisine. When I came back this time, it turns out… the Dutch basically have adopted it as their own cuisine. They try to mix different kinds of cuisine. That is good. Dutch people have really high quality of products. So, it’s tasty. There are some notable exceptions in Dutch food, and that would be: the herring. The most crazy, but interesting experience with food was when I tried herring. You have to obviously love fish. They will eat it raw, with onions on top of it. The first time, I was just getting used to it. But the second time… Man, it just tasted great! It’s just like a very salty, thick sushi. Oh, and the wonderful ‘maatjes’ ‘groene haring’ (green herring) Have you done the full… herring? No, I didn’t even tried that… I’ve tried it. I tried it on October 3rd in Leiden. I made it… I survived. Pickup the fish… without head… And then… no… I had it yesterday. I feel like… I can’t get into herring… or mayonnaise so I feel I will always be an outsider. This, I don’t like… Sorry. I love it. My brother came yesterday. And the first thing that I asked: Do you like ‘haring’? So I will get some ‘haring’ for when they come. Do you like ‘drop’ (liquorice)? The ‘dropjes’ are… ‘Drop’ ‘Drop’,’ drop’ Oh, it’s my nightmare. ‘Dropjes’ AKHHHHH…. That is disgusting! It’s disgusting! A Dutch friend once brought to work these sweets… They taste like normal sweets. And everybody was sitting around ‘Oh, thank you!’ And then, as each one started to break… Everyone who was not Dutch, was like… spitting them on the floor. And all the Dutch people were laughing at us. I remember being at work one day and I said: oh, a nice candy… And I unwrapped it… I and put it in… And I started choking. An Italian guy who is in my office comes out and he was: You had one of those candies, didn’t you? I just did the same thing! I really don’t get that… why? Why do you like it? Well, the Dutch desserts… I find are very very ‘lekker’ (tasty) indeed… ‘appeltaart’ (apple cake)… The sweet stuff are good, like the ‘stroopwafels’ (syrup waffles) The ‘Stroopwafels’ are really good. It seems like the thing that I will bring to go home. I really like ‘pannenkoeken’ (pancakes), the sweet ones, and ‘poffertjes’ (small pancakes) of course. I think it’s so cute. And pancakes obviously. But you can’t eat pancakes forever? I could try. Chocolate ‘vla’ (Dutch custard). It’s like the American milkshake, only a lot thicker and different. I hadn’t tasted ‘chocoladevla’ in 43 years. And the first thing I did after I checked in. I went down to Hoofddorp center. I went to an ‘Albert Heijn’ (grocery store). And the very first thing I bought was ‘chocoladevla’. I do know they love ‘hagelslag’ (chocolate sprinkles). Any time I go to the Netherlands… at the hotel they always have ‘hagelslag’ and I’m like OMG… So I take a ‘boterham’ (slice of bread). Sometimes I put ‘pindakaas’ (peanut butter) or chocolate and then I just put loads of ‘hagelslag’ and just shove it in my mouth… Oh, it makes me so happy. Everything is tasty for me. Some people say: the Dutch food is not so good. But I don’t think so. Netherlands cuisine, it’s… salty, greasy… and carbohydrates. It’s all that makes food tastier. I’ve got probably a very big soft spot for Dutch cuisine. It’s just so salty, very sweet, and sometimes both. As a full cuisine… I’m yet to see something like that… to by honest…