Netherlands amazing cuisine of fusion and exotic dishes

Snert (peas soup)
Throughout history, food in the Netherlands has always been closely linked to the Indonesian cuisine. This has been made clear by the restaurants in the Netherlands and the southern region's cuisine. What is considered to be Netherlands' dishes is actually an adoption of other cultures. Both immigration influx and colonial history contributed to the exotic dishes found in the region in recent days. Today, the Netherlands is considered to be one of the oldest fusion cuisines around the globe.

Indonesia became a Dutch colony in the 19th century. This gave the colonizers an opportunity to explore a variety of spices and rijsttafel (rice dishes). Adopted Indonesian meals include Sateh (grilled meat served with sauce), egg rolls, Tempeh (fermented soybean cake), Serundeng (sautéed grated coconut), and Sambal (spicy sauce of chili peppers).

Netherlands residents were overwhelmed by the side dishes the Indonesians had, so they also invented their own dish that was labeled Rijsttafel (rice table). Rijsttafel is a dish found in Netherland cuisines and comes with many side dishes accompanied by rice. Rijsttafel was the first Indo-fusion dish invented and was later followed by Patat sate (potato fries accompanied by peanut sauce). The other very popular dishes that followed were Kip satay (chicken skewers with peanut sauce) and BamiGoreng (fried noodles).

Later in the 20th century, the Turkish and Moroccan cuisine landed in the Netherlands. These two introduced tajines, couscous, halal meat, Baba ganoush (smoked eggplant dip), hummus, and tabbouleh.

Traditional Food
Farming and fishing have significantly shaped the food in the Netherlands. For this reason, it is known for dairy products, especially cheese. In fact, the Netherlands is referred to as the land of cheese. Cheese here is either hard or semi-hard. The most famous varieties include Leyden, Edam, and Gouda.

Also, you will find varieties of sausages that have strong flavors. As an expat, understand that each village has their own unique type of sausage. It is also necessary to know that traditional breakfast and lunch come with different cold cuts, cheeses, and toppings.

Traditional dinner contains beans, potatoes, meat, and vegetables. Usually, dinner will most likely include stamppot a dish of mashed potatoes mixed with smashed vegetables.

Eating Custom
Here, you are served three meals in a day, the most important one being dinner. For expats, you are encouraged to understand the cuisine trends in Netherlands to avoid missing out on any meal. Lunch is eaten between noon and 1:00 PM and lasts for about 30 minutes. It consists of cold toppings and bread. When compared to the culture of the southern European cuisines, Netherlands cuisines serve dinner earlier. It is served between 6:00 Pm and 7:00 Pm.

Popular Dishes
Stamppot (Stew): This is a traditional meal taken during winter. It consists of potatoes, meat, and vegetables. Ingredients are prepared in different pans and then mashed together. Sauerkraut stew with fried bacon and sausage, and apples with stewed potatoes and black pudding/bacon are the most popular stews. 

Cheese: This is the highest rated dish in Netherlands. Over 674,000 tons of kilos are produced every year. Netherlands cheese registers an export of 130 countries globally. Cheese here is eaten as a topping on bread.

Snert (Peas Soup): This one is a thick soup that is made from peas. Although this kind of soup is present in other countries, one found here is creamy and thick. Expats who get to Netherlands during winter are welcomed with this soup that comes accompanied with rye bread topped with smoked bacon. 

Poffertjes: This one is a snack closely related to pancakes, but it is sweeter, thicker and smaller. It is usually served with sugar and butter on top. 

Boerenkoolstamppot: This dish is made from cabbages mixed with mashed potatoes. Usually, it is accompanied with smoked sausages.

Balkenbrij: this is a traditional dish made from sausage stock such as liverwurst. The dish is boiled with blood and flour that then turns black, alongside kidney, liver chops, bacon, and lungs. The meat here is cooked twice then ground with special flour, spices, and oatmeal. 

Pancakes (Pannenkoeken): Perhaps this is one of the dishes that get expats in awe. These pancakes are so huge, widely known as pannenkoeken. In fact, this is one dish you should try in Netherlands. Pancakes here are eaten with pork, bacon, syrup and cheese. In other countries, pancakes are taken for breakfast, but the Dutch people have them for dinner.

Netherlands cuisine may not entirely be a household name, but the truth is that the food served is irresistible. Due to the freezing winters, many dishes are heavy. Although you are not expected to eat a plateful of all these meals, be sure to taste each of them because food in the Netherlands is sumptuous.


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Let us know what is your favorite dish from the Netherlands.