Is there any? – I questioned myself.
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.
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.