While Dutch cuisine is hardly as prolific as the cuisine of other cultures like the French and Italians, it is not without its own intricacies and delights. This article seeks to enlighten more people about the sort of dishes and food traditions associated with this region of the world and the people who come from it.
The Dutch approach to breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Rather than a cold bowl of cereal, a Dutch kid’s breakfast is usually two slices of toast. One is slathered with butter and chocolate sprinkles, known as “boterham met hagelslag” and the other will feature something like cheese. This food is paired with either a glass of milk or some variety of tea.
11 a.m. is usually when a snack is commonly had like cookies or fruit.
1 p.m. is when most people have lunch. While a common Dutch lunch is bread with a slice of meat like chicken or ham, there has been a push to eat healthier so a salad, likely topped with something like a sausage, is also commonly encountered. One commonality of Dutch lunch is that it is never served hot.
Dinner is usually served hot and around 6 p.m. A typical dutch dinner involves mashed potatoes and vegetables with some sort of meat, commonly known as “stamppot.”
Dutch pancakes are like a thicker version of the French crepe and are equally served savory, with bacon and cheese, or sweet, with syrup and powdered sugar. Poffertjes is a cousin to this dish, resembling thick silver-dollar pancakes accompanied with creamed butter.
Patatje oorlog a.k.a. “War fries.” One popular Dutch snack may seem like an odd culinary mutation of the Canadian poutine, consisting of a cup of French fries drenched in mayonnaise, sate sauce, and diced, raw onions. Beyond being surprisingly tasty, it also makes for a really great hangover food.
Another delicious side dish should sound appealing on the premise alone. Simply fry up some processed meat and pair it with an herbal variety to broaden the depth of its flavor. Given such a basic premise, it makes sense that there is a great deal of variety. Take “bitterballen” for example, these are delicious gooey spheres of chopped beef broth, butter, flour, herbs and seasonings coated with a barrier of crunchy breadcrumbs and most commonly served with mustard. This sort of fare is also quite common in places where you might be able to enjoy a beer.
Fish is among the more prominent proteins involved in Dutch cookery thanks to how important the fishing trade has been to Holland’s development as a nation. Among the most well-beloved Dutch fish dishes would be “kibbeling.” Kibbeling is fried cod served with a garlic aioli. Food like kibbeling and patatje oorlog are loved enough that you do not have to look hard to find a kiosk parked somewhere within the city dedicated to selling such dishes. If there is some reason that you cannot find one of these kiosks within the city, know that you are guaranteed to find one within any area where fruits and vegetables are sold.
Oliebollen. These “Dutch donuts,” or literally “oil balls” are wads of yeast, flour, milk, eggs and ingredients like currants, sultanas or even candied citrus peel, fried up in vegetable oil and topped with a generous dusting of powdered sugar. Rather than having them around the year, these treats are synonymous with New Year’s Eve festivities.