Dutch food refers to the foods from the cuisine of Netherlands. Fish and crops constitute the main source of foods for the Dutch and their recipes mostly comprise of dishes made using these ingredients. Dutch food comprises some traditional and popular dishes such as Pannekoek (Dutch pancake), Coleslaw (cabbage salad), Asparagus Hollandaise, Kerststol (Christmas Bread), Advocaat( Eggnog).
Classification of Dutch Cuisine
Dutch food is an interesting assortment of foods from different sub-cuisines of the cuisine of Netherlands. These sub-cuisines can be classified into the Northeastern, Eastern and Southern cuisines as follows:
- Northeastern– This cuisine is dominated by meat, specifically of the game and husbandry type, and some amount of fish as vegetable preparations were low owing to the late introduction of cultivation of crops to the region. The dried but strongly flavorful metworst sausages and the fatty and succulent smoked rookworst sausages are typical culinary representations of Dutch food from the region. The larger sausages are consumed with zuurkool, stamppot or hutspot while the not so large ones are eaten as fast foods. Pastries and pancakes of different kinds like the spekdikken are also widely eaten.
- Western– Comprising of the cuisines of the northern and southern Holland, Gelderlandic Betuwe, Zeeland and Utrecht, the typical Dutch food of this region include milk products like a variety of cheeses, butter and mayonnaise, seafood, pastries and alcoholic beverages. Gouda, Leyden and Edam cheeses; and beverages such as the Advocaat, Jenever and beer are representatiive Dutch food products and beverages of this cuisine which have gained wide prominence even outside the local cuisine.
- Southern- also known as Burgudian, this cuisine which is characterized by its soups, stews and pastries, represents the traditional Dutch cuisine and introduces the haute cuisine culture to it. The Dutch food of northern Brabant and Limburg, and the Flemish regions of Belgium mainly comprises of meat dishes such as Ossenhaas, Biefstuk and Varkenshaas. Waterzooi and Hachee stews, Vlaai cake and Trappist or Kreik( local beers) are foods that are native to this cuisine.
Historical Influences on Dutch Cuisine
Dutch food underwent an interesting transformation during different periods. Originally French- influenced, the cuisine was, by the 15th century greatly influenced by the haute cuisine culture which was initially observed by the royal Dutch, and later, around the 17th century by even the wealthy and upper class. The 19th century saw a remarkable transformation in Dutch food as far as the majority of the population was concerned as those struck by poverty could afford only simple traditional Dutch meals. A noteworthy aspect here is that the Dutch girls were educated in Huishoudschool, interestingly unconventional schools, lessons in cooking food economically to survive during the economically lean era.
Popular/Traditional Dutch Recipes
- Stamppot– a traditional Dutch food made of mashed vegetables, mainly potato and other vegetables like kale, endive, sauerkraut, spinach or carrot and occasionally bacon. The dish is often partnered with rookworst sausages or stewed meat and served as a filling and nutritious meal. A hutspot is a variant of the stampot which differs from it in the ingredients used.
- Jenever– also known as Dutch Gin or Holland Gin this is a traditional alcoholic beverage of used for making gin.