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Thread: What is Dutch food?

  1. #1
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    What is Dutch food?

    Seriously, anyone ever been to a Dutch restaurant?

    I've eaten in German, French, English & Irish (pub-fare), Italian, Spanish, and numerous central-European restaurants - (but avoided Scottish food - haggus doesn't appeal).

    I've had food from just about everywhere in Europe - but what cullinary delights do the Dutch offer? Surely the Dutch offer something more than just a place for Americans to wander into 'dens' looking for paste... (Amsterdam)

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    It's where you each pay for your own.

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    Dutch cuisine involves heavy use of spices and ingredients from India and the surrounding (is)lands. It's a result of their trading empire a few hundred years ago, I think.

    Fred
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nowhere Man View Post
    Dutch cuisine involves heavy use of spices and ingredients from India and the surrounding (is)lands. It's a result of their trading empire a few hundred years ago, I think.

    Fred
    Even though they are my neighbours, and I have been there 2 times on businesss trips, I do not remember the specialities.
    (In many restaurants all over central Europe the menus have "leveled out" in a way).

    I remember lot's of side dishes, as potatoes, different vegetables and so on.

    As far as I know in some areas they "deep fry" a lot. And sea food is also part of the traditional menu.

    It's where you each pay for your own
    Well, that holds true for several other countries in middle and Northern Europe, too. Including Germany.

    Wait until Halcyon Dayz shows up. I am sure he has all the information.
    Last edited by AndreH; 2008-Mar-28 at 02:23 PM. Reason: Typos

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    Like Nowhere Man said. I visited Amsterdam many years ago and I remember eating a lot of really good Indonesian food (it is the former Dutch East Indias).

    Beyond that, I think the "native" Dutch food is most closely like German, and a lot of seafood, but I can't swear to that.

    And of course, there is this very excellent Dutch grain product.
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    Banket (sp?) is a great desert. An almond pastry type thing. My grandmother (Vriesland) used to make it. I remember having lot's of lamb, potatoes, and veggies over there - but she grew up in the U.S. so I don't no how "Dutch" her cooking was. Grandpa like pickled herring and buttermilk too - but that might be because he was wierd and nothing to do with his dutch heritage.

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    Check out a (tongue in cheek) description of Dutch food here, listing it as one of the five most horrible cuisines in Europe, along with Icelandic, Lithuanian, British and Czech. http://www.guardian.co.uk/food/Story/0,,1783596,00.html

    I write as a British man with a Czech wife. When she read the description of the horribly bland things they eat in Lithuania, my wife said "they sound yummy..." Though I must say there are several other strong contenders for most horrible cuisine in Europe across Scandinavia, the Baltic region and and eastern Europe.

    Nowhere man refers to use heavy use of spices in the Netherlands. I've not been given heavily spiced food in the Netherlands outside of an Indonesian restaurant. And actually I would say I have had better SE Asian cooking in Britain than the Netherlands. A bit like saying the British eat a lot of spices. Well we do when we go to the very many Indian and Thai restaurants, etc, but you won't find much of it in British vernacular cooking, which is characteristically bland, as with the rest of the potato/cabbage/pork world of northern and Eastern Europe.

    A couple of things I do like about eating in the Netherlands are that they commonly put milk on the table as a lunch-time beverage, and their aged cheeses. But on the other hand every lunch I've had seems to be just the same. Once you've had one good Dutch cheese, you discover the rest aren't much different. France it is not. Even the Irish manage a better variety of cheese.

    That has just reminded me of my "favourite" recipe from my friend's Finnish cookbook, "nailed trout", which is more like a Monty Python sketch than a recipe. It runs something like this.

    (To be read in a Finnish accent.) Take a trout and nail it to a board. Then cook it.

    I am also reminded of that comedy sketch where some British Asians go out for an "English", and one of them says he is looking forward to something "really, really bland".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spock Jenkins View Post
    Grandpa like pickled herring and buttermilk too - but that might be because he was wierd and nothing to do with his dutch heritage.
    Cured herring and buttermilk are characteristically Dutch items of food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Viehoff View Post
    Check out a (tongue in cheek) description of Dutch food here, listing it as one of the five most horrible cuisines in Europe, along with Icelandic, Lithuanian, British and Czech. http://www.guardian.co.uk/food/Story/0,,1783596,00.html

    I write as a British man with a Czech wife. When she read the description of the horribly bland things they eat in Lithuania, my wife said "they sound yummy..." Though I must say there are several other strong contenders for most horrible cuisine in Europe across Scandinavia, the Baltic region and and eastern Europe.

    I am also reminded of that comedy sketch where some British Asians go out for an "English", and one of them says he is looking forward to something "really, really bland".
    My travels there have been rather limited, but I concur. What is it with the incredibly bland nature of most north-of-the-Alps Eurpoean cooking. There must be historical reasons for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerjumperdon View Post
    My travels there have been rather limited, but I concur. What is it with the incredibly bland nature of most north-of-the-Alps Eurpoean cooking. There must be historical reasons for it.
    It's the lack of access to the various spices or spicy food and shorter growing season.

    Lot's of meat, particularly smaller animals. Lots of poppyseed though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    ...

    Lot's of meat, particularly smaller animals. Lots of poppyseed though.
    MMMM.... Lemmings in poppy-poppy-poppyseed oil...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DyerWolf View Post
    (but avoided Scottish food - haggus doesn't appeal).
    That's haggis. Best to try it without reading the ingredients list; it's good.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerjumperdon View Post
    My travels there have been rather limited, but I concur. What is it with the incredibly bland nature of most north-of-the-Alps Eurpoean cooking. There must be historical reasons for it.
    Which meaning of "bland" do you refer to? Bland as the opposite to spicy (which nowadays by many people is confused with lots of pepper)? Or more the meaning of "not very interesting".

    If it is the latter, I object violently.

    It's the lack of access to the various spices or spicy food and shorter growing season.
    That is for sure part of it. Also poverty of the common man which was for centuries a fact of life for the majority of the people.

    Lot's of meat, particularly smaller animals. Lots of poppyseed though.
    Lot's of meat? That is something that heppend in the last 50 years. My mother who will become 75 in this octobre told me, that when she was a kid they had meet maybe once in 2 weeks. Only in the winter season when usually a pig was slaughtered it was a little more, especially towards christmas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreH View Post
    Lot's of meat? That is something that heppend in the last 50 years.
    It could also be a more rural lifestyle too. My ancestry is from areas with lots of farmland, lots of ducks, geese, chickens, etc. From the stories, and from visiting the villages as a kid, it doesn't seem like it was a recent thing.
    Duck was a very common dish...Especially with dumplings, sweet kraut (for lack of a better english word), and a glass of lager.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    It could also be a more rural lifestyle too. My ancestry is from areas with lots of farmland, lots of ducks, geese, chickens, etc. From the stories, and from visiting the villages as a kid, it doesn't seem like it was a recent thing.
    Duck was a very common dish...Especially with dumplings, sweet kraut (for lack of a better english word), and a glass of lager.
    My Mom is from a very rural part of Germany. Ofcourse they had all kind of animals, but you wouldn't have a chicken every sunday, because you needed them for the eggs. Same true with the cows and milk.
    It was not common to buy any food. Everything was grown on the own land. Only some basics as for example sugar would be bought. Even the flour was made from the own wheat.

    (I am describing the time between WW1 and WW2 until about 1950. After that everything changed. The source for that knowledge is my Mom, born in 1933 and my Grandma born in 1900 who was blessed and lived until she was 99 in a relatively good health and a very sharp mind)
    I know a lot of dishes from that era. Most of them would be called "vegetarian" today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DyerWolf View Post
    (but avoided Scottish food - haggus doesn't appeal).
    First, haggis is excellent - you never know until you try it.

    Second, haggis isn't the only Scottish food out there. Start off with some cranachan for dessert. I can give you the recipe if you want. Finnan Haddie in a nice white sauce with cumin is excellent. Bannock bread for breakfast (clotted cream and marmalade recommended) is also to die for.

    Edit: Spelling error.
    Last edited by The Supreme Canuck; 2008-Mar-28 at 05:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreH View Post
    That is for sure part of it. Also poverty of the common man which was for centuries a fact of life for the majority of the people.
    And is still a fact in India and most of Latin America. However, you assuredly wouldn't call their food lacking in spice. It's what people have access to that matters.

    Also--guys? It's "lots." An apostrophe is almost never called for to pluralize.
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    "Almost never?" I reckoned it was just plain "never."

    Fred
    Hey, you! "It's" with an apostrophe means "it is" or "it has." "Its" without an apostrophe means "belongs to it."

    "For shame, gentlemen, pack your evidence a little better against another time."
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck View Post
    First, haggis is excellent - you never know until you try it.

    Second, haggis isn't the only Scottish food out there. Start off with some cranachan for desert. I can give you the recipe if you want. Finnan Haddie in a nice white sauce with cumin is excellent. Bannock bread for breakfast (clotted cream and marmalade recommended) is also to die for.
    Well I guess these dishes made from the entrails are something you have to like. German cuisine has them also, but I am not to enthuasiastic when I find them somewhere on the menu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    And is still a fact in India and most of Latin America. However, you assuredly wouldn't call their food lacking in spice. It's what people have access to that matters.

    Also--guys? It's "lots." An apostrophe is almost never called for to pluralize.
    Bolt mine: No I wouldn't do so. Therefore I was asking for the exact meaning of bland in one of the above posts. I guess even though there food is spicy, they won't be able to have lot's of variations and refinements.

    I agree access was the main thing. I just wanted to point out that of course the income of a family also limits what is available for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreH View Post
    Well I guess these dishes made from the entrails are something you have to like. German cuisine has them also, but I am not to enthuasiastic when I find them somewhere on the menu.
    I suppose so. I have no problems with entrails - heck, I don't have problems with much of anything. If it's safe to eat, I'll eat it. I may not like it much, but there's a good chance that I will.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck View Post
    I suppose so. I have no problems with entrails - heck, I don't have problems with much of anything. If it's safe to eat, I'll eat it. I may not like it much, but there's a good chance that I will.
    Well I agree to that. But if there is a choice....

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    Let me put it this way. I've eaten squirrel. And it was good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck View Post
    Let me put it this way. I've eaten squirrel. And it was good.
    Well not much chance to hunt for them here. Carrying around guns and shooting in my back yard is a big no-no over here. (Also I am in doubt there would be much left to eat after hunting it that way).
    Setting up traps is even a bigger no-no. So I stay with pork and beef.

    Seems we are getting a little off topic....
    Last edited by AndreH; 2008-Mar-28 at 06:16 PM. Reason: typo

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    Yeah, that's basically what I do around here - derail threads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Supreme Canuck View Post
    Yeah, that's basically what I do around here - derail threads.
    Ah, so YOU are that guy....

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    Instead of Supreme Canuck, shouldn't it be "Boris" considering you eat Moose and Squirrel?

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    Hm. Actually... yeah. Yeah, that could work. I just need to get some moose meat, some squirrels, and some guests.

    Awesome.

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    Soylet Green.

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    No, no. I'd feed the guests. It'd be a Rocky and Bullwinkle themed meal.

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