Dutch Cuisine

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Holland, a tulip and windmill country, especially it’s cuisine and products made from dairy. The Dutch don’t have a specific cuisine. You can find a regular meal of potatoes, vegetables and meat just as easily as a proper Indian, Chinese, Surinam, Turkish, Italian or Mediterranean meal. We simply like everything.

Traditional Dutch cuisine is fairly simple and the few dishes described as “typically Dutch” are seldom also described as “elaborate” or “sophisticated”. The main ingredient in a traditional Dutch meal is potatoes (aardappel), usually accompanied by meat and boiled vegetables. Dairy products are also very common.

The Netherlands now has an internationally oriented cuisine with the ingredients for (and restaurants serving) foods originating from Africa, France, Italy, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, America and the Far East. In the big cities, some very good Thai food restaurants (in Amsterdam on the “Nieuwmarkt” for example) can be found, as well as good authentic Chinese food in the Chinese quarters.

After World War II Indonesia became independent and many Indonesian Dutch people returned (or moved) to the Netherlands bringing the spicy cuisine with its exotic ingredients.

There are many kinds of food in Holland, however, personally, I love a kind of pancake named Poffertjes. Poffertjes are small, fluffy pancakes made with yeast and buckwheat flour. Poffertjes are typically served topped with powdered sugar and butter. Poffertjes are traditionally consumed in fall and winter when stands selling the delicious snack can be found at outdoor markets and on many street corners. The pancakes are sometimes eaten with other sweet toppings, such as stroop (syrup), slagroom (whipped cream) or aardbeien (strawberries).

In addition, there are Bitterballen, Stroopwafels, Olliebollen, Limburgse vlaai, chocoladeletter. Each category has a private flavor and they are  used in each different meal, for example Stroopwafels are particularly good with a cup of coffee or tea. The cookies come in various sizes, but the most common diameter fits perfectly as a lid on a cup of hot liquid. This softens the cookie and melts the sweet syrup, making a delightful dessert or snack. And Vlaai can be served by itself or with whipped cream, chocolate or other toppings. Enjoy a slice for dessert or with your afternoon coffee or tea. Sweet!

Foods of the Netherlands may not be as well-known as French or Chinese cuisines but there are many Dutch delights which must be tried at least once.

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