With the worldwide implementation of commercialized aviation comes a rapid adaption of culture and cuisine. What once was a common dish in nearly all households has now become something younger generations don’t know anything about. So, we decided to list 10 traditional Dutch foods—and we doubt you’ll know more than 2 of them.
1. Snert / Erwtensoep (Pea soup)
We’re starting the post off with pea soup, also known as snert. This soup is usually made from split peas, celeriac and leeks. But there are also recipes that use ingredients such as potatoes, carrots and onions. Pea soup is known as a thick soup and is often served one day after cooking. Do you want to eat this soup like the people used to do? Then eat it with rye bread with butter, bacon or cheese.
2. Stamppot (Mashed vegetables and potatoes)
Endive, kale, sauerkraut, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower or red cabbage with potatoes. That’s what Dutch people grew up with. All ingredients are cooked in one pan and mashed together. It’s then served on a plate in a heap with a pit in the middle where the gravy goes. Add meat and viola!
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3. Filosoof (Philosopher)
Do you like oven dishes? If you live in a student house and it’s your turn to prepare a meal, bake ‘filosoof’ (which translates to philosopher). Originally this dish was made from leftover beef mixed with potatoes, onions and herbs. Once the dish was finished, it was served with apple sauce or compote. If you list all the ingredients, the ‘filosoof’ is reminiscent of a hunting dish. And the English “shepherds pie”. Why is this dish called a ‘filosoof’? You can endlessly philosophize which ingredients you can add to this casserole!
4. Drie-in-de-pan (three-in-the-pan)
Traditionally, Dutch people like to eat pancakes. Drie-in-de-pan means thick, small pancakes with raisins. Why? You can finish faster by baking three small pancakes. And by making them a bit thicker, they are—despite the small size—very nutritious. In the old days people mainly used buckwheat flour as the main ingredient for drie-in-de-pan. The buckwheat plant grew abundantly on the poor soils. These days, this Old Dutch dish is made from ordinary wheat flour. And it is also no longer eaten on January 6. In certain Christian circles, it was common practice at Epiphany to bake one pancake for each Eastern way.
5. Lammetjespap (Lamb pouridge)
Perhaps you can tell from the name ‘lammetjespap’ (lamb porridge) that this dish was primarily meant to strengthen. In the past, the children got it when they refused breast milk. You can compare lamb porridge with Nutrilon follow-on milk! But also sick people—such as the many tuberculosis patients at the beginning of the 20th century—were served lamb porridge. This traditional Dutch dish is made from milk with flour or flour. To compensate for the faint taste, caster sugar or honey was added.
6. Paling in 't groen (Eel in green)
It is likely that ‘paling in ‘t groen’ (eel in green) was prepared for the first time by fishermen around the IJsselmeer. They often stayed there for a longer period. To satisfy their hunger, they boiled fish, potatoes and salt in water. The result was a kind of fish stew. Very nutritious and easy to make! They usually used eel. But they also opted for haddock and dab. Or for a combination of these fish species.
7. Blote billetjes in 't gras (Bare bottoms in the grass)
‘Blote billetjes in ‘t gras’ (bare bottoms in the grass) was created in Groningen. It consists of potatoes, string beans, white beans and smoked sausage. Have you already discovered the bare bottoms? That name refers to the white beans, which form a contrast with the string beans. In the past they used salted string beans. Salting was an appropriate method for storing meat and vegetables for longer. This Old Dutch dish was in the spotlight again in the late 1990s. Back then, the mother of football player Ruud van Nistelrooij prepared a similar dish during the program “De Regenjas”.
8. Hete bliksem (Hot lightning)
Despite names such as ‘Himmel und Erde’ (German for ‘Heaven and Earth’)—where heaven stands for apples and earth for potatoes—and ‘zoetappeltjes stamppot’ (potatoes and apples), this mixture of potatoes, apples and onions is primarily known as hot lightning. This Old Dutch dish probably owes its name to the fact that it keeps its temperature for a long time. Apples simply contain a lot of moisture that stays warm for a long time. In addition, you have to watch out for burning your mouth: the apples easily stick to your palate. Hot lightning is traditionally eaten with black pudding.
9. Zoervleis (No translation)
You must have heard of ‘zoervleis’. And quite possibly you’ve even eaten it once. But what you may not know is that people originally made this traditional Limburg dish from horse meat. This has since been replaced by beef. The dish owes its name to the marinating of the meat in acid. Think of vinegar. Yet sweet meat tastes very sweet! This is due to additives such as gingerbread and syrup. Bay leaves, juniper berries, thyme and onions also give this dish that typical taste. Zoervleis is eaten with mashed potatoes—or fries—and carrots.
10. Balkenbrei (No translation)
People in the provinces of Limburg, Gelderland and Twente were particularly fond of ‘balkenbrij’. This traditional Dutch dish is made from the cheap parts of a pig, supplemented with bacon, liver, buckwheat flour, moisture and herbs. For the meat you can use the head of a pig! All ingredients are cooked into a mash. And that mummy comes in a form. This creates a kind of bread, from which you can cut slices. And that you can bake in butter. Balkenbrij is eaten on bread, especially with syrup. People also used to spread sweet mustard on it.
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