Dutch food is generally not very known around the world, and nor are Dutch recipes. Although it is a little known cuisine, it is a very diverse one. Let’s start with the images that people have of the Netherlands, and take discussing its culinary culture from there.
So what do you think of when you think of The Netherlands or, as most of you will know it, Holland? The first thing most people come up with is windmills. That’s right, those big windmills, many of which were used for producing flour. What do you do with flour? Right. Bake stuff. So, the Dutch kitchen holds quite a bit of recipes with dough in them, one way or another. Special bread, pastry, cookies, it’s all there.
What more do you think of? Cows. What do cows offer? Dairy. Milk, yoghurt, whipped cream, and of course the world renowned Dutch cheeses. Gouda, Edammer, Limburger and many others are all procuts of the Netherlands. As a consequence, a lot of Dutch recipes involve cheese or other dairy products. This characteristic also makes it a great cuisine for vegetarians.
What more do cows contribute to our food? Beef. An oft returning ingredient in Dutch recipes for stews and as part of dinner, lunch or various snacks.
Also, there is lots of water in The Netherlands. It is situated on the North Sea coast, which is why all sorts of sea food are incredibly popular.
As the Dutch were (and still are) a seafaring people, they did their share of conquering and colonisation over the centuries. Suriname, Indonesia, the Antilles and South Africa were colonised and many indigenous spices and recipes were imported to the Netherlands. In a later stage, the people from these colonies would start migrating to the Netherlands, thus adding their recipes to the Dutch kitchen.
So, Dutch recipes are exciting and diverse, and on this blog we hope we will be able to share some of them with the world. However, don’t expect everything that can be found here to be traditional Dutch recipes, as modern dishes will be included as well.
Eet smakelijk! (Dutch for Bon Appetit)