Food culture in The Netherlands


Is there any? – I questioned myself.

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It was such a surprise to me when I came to The Netherlands. I have been always passionate about food and cultural cuisines. When it comes to The Netherlands, I asked myself if was there any. If I ask a Dutch person what a Dutch cuisine is, he would tell me about how great the Kroket  is or how Dutch people are known with how they eat their Herring or about the famous Stamppot (the traditional Dutch home-cooked dish of mashed potatoes with vegetables). Trust me, the answer is always identical.

As I have seen so far, the Dutch kitchen provides many deep-fried products. Kroket is one of them. I have tried Kroket several times but it has always been a love-hate feeling.  One fact I do not enjoy it that much because it is deep-fried and it is stuffed with whatever that I have no idea. However, it has presented the Dutch food quite well.

How do Dutch people lunch?

I have to giggle whenever talking about this topic. If you want to learn about the food culture in The Netherlands, seeing the Dutch lunching is a must. I do not criticise them but they really do love their sandwiches. Their daily lunch set includes bread, ham, cheese, hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) and Pindakaas (peanut butter). Unbelievably, they eat sandwiches every single day. I asked humbly some people how they enjoyed their lunch. Some, in fact, have never changed their lunch set. Maybe once a week Pancake is the substitute and it happens mostly in the weekend. 

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I had a chance to chat about how Dutch people lunch with Jasper – the Chef of De Klub Restaurant. He was really open-minded about this topic. As a Dutch man, he acknowledged that the Dutch lunch did not have any change since centuries. Sandwiches have become so important in every Dutch person’s life. The lunch is so different in many countries in Europe. While the French is having a sip of wine next to their warm meal or the German is enjoying a big portion meal that the Dutch only has for dinner, the loyalty with sandwiches of the Dutch is admirable and they enjoy their lunch with a glass of milk.

Jasper, on the other hand, is trying to break the pattern. It is quite a hard work to make the Dutch dine for lunch. However, he is putting an effort to make De Klub an interesting lunch room. A menu with 3 options and changes every day. I believe a creative touch in food as De Klub has been offering could lead the change in the Dutch culture sooner and sooner. Jasper agreed with me on this change.

If you see the first picture, it actually represents this future change. Could you imagine a Dutch guy not eating bread and having a glass of wine beside his lunch meal? – stereotypically saying. Thanks De Klub for letting me capture this moment as well as the open-minded chat.

 

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6 thoughts on “Food culture in The Netherlands

  1. I once met a French woman on a bus who spent an hour scolding me over how bad British food is (like it was personally my fault), however she concluded that at least it wasn’t as bad as Dutch food, which was ‘the absolute worse’. I don’t believe it is that bad. I also am not a big fan of the sandwich though.

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I am way far to become a sanwich lover. I do not have any knowledge about British food, and as far as I know, it is not healthy at all. That’s the reason why I haven’t thought of visiting England anytime soon. But the Dutch food, I won’t say that it is weird. For some people, they have quite some stuff interesting and flavourous. However, in the scale of healthy and tasty food, Dutch food does definitely not fit in any of my standard. I am not a food inspector but I do not get the Dutch kitchen to be honest.

  2. Hi Angela,
    You do seem to love food :). Even though I’m not a sandwich eater myself, I think it is a popular lunch in many countries because it is convenient and a quick lunch for busy people. Maybe I’m wrong, but did the Dutch not invent Profiteroles? I’d have thought that would have been mentioned as an example of their food culture. Happy eating.
    John

    1. Hi John,
      Indeed I love food. It might one of the most important criteria for my destination decision.
      And you are right about the sandwiches as a quick lunch for busy people. But the sandwiches the Dutch eat are not those tasty baguette but loaf bread. And the interesting thing is they have never changed this eating habit and it has become a culture.
      I do not want to give any certain example in order to prevent criticising.

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