My father is Dutch, making me half-Dutch, my husband is Dutch, therefore my kids are 3/4 Dutch, and half of my friends are Dutch. As a result, although I was raised as Aussie as they come, I am surrounded by and have spent some of my life pondering what being ‘Dutch’ really is. I have Dutch nationality, yet I can only mutter a few words (mostly about food), I can’t even pronounce my surname properly.
I used to think Oma spoke weird (ja and zo were common mutterings), and had interesting tendencies to hoard things in bulk that were obviously in short supply during the second world war (such as margarine, chocolate and sanitary napkins). She was definitely a dealer of drop (Dutch licorice) if you needed a fix.
For such a small country, people from The Netherlands really have put a stamp everywhere they go, so they fascinate me. Also, if you say you are Dutch, people think you are accepting of prostitution and smoke weed and are therefore way cooler than you actually are. Happy to be cool. I need as much help in this department as possible!
The Dutch have also travelled the world, integrated all the best spices into their desserts, named countries, invented tiny pancakes. What could be better than this? I just can’t seem to get away from it all. So I have decided to embrace it!
Freaky Deaky Dutch food
I have discovered some awesome Dutch food, and some not so exciting Dutch food. Sometimes I feel rather depressed looking through a Dutch cooking book. A thousand boring things you can do with a potato, or wow, fish with white sauce. But it’s in the dessert/biscuit baking department that they truly shine. Bring on those delicious spiced cookies, almond pastes and apple tarts. Yes, I will have another slither of that fruit flan or semolina almond pudding. I think I nearly passed out the first time I saw a Belgian waffle stand with waffles half dipped in white, milk and dark chocolate. I also had a similar experience when I discovered an entire semi-trailer sized truck at a town festival containing every kind of Dutch doughnut you could imagine.
So here are some of the Dutch recipes that I can highly recommend, tried and tested!
- Dutch apple pie – appelgebak appeltaart
- Limburg Cherry Crumble Flan (Kersen kruimel vlaai)
- Griesmeel pap – Semolina and Almond pudding
- Zuurkool met worst (yummy winter food)
- Butter cookies – Boterkoek
Some strange Dutch customs I have observed
- What Dutchies do at New Years? – make doughnuts
- What do my in-laws do for a 50th birthday? – give someone a Sarah or Abraham meat doll!
- Special cookies
- A Dutch ladies cap