by Martha Andrus
The Dutch kitchen is pretty basic and mostly involves a lot of green vegetables, potatoes and sausages. A typical Dutch meal involves mashing potatoes and vegetables together and adding sausages.
French fries can be found most anywhere and the favorite place to find the Dutch is at a French fry stand. If you order ‘patat met’ it is French fries with mayonnaise, which is the favorite of the Dutch. You will also find fresh fish stands sprinkled through the shopping centers and on the corner of the street. You will see the Dutch standing around the fish stand, eating their favorite smoked or raw pickled herring and always with fresh chopped onions. This is not for me but I do appreciate ‘watching’ them. I will order kibbeling, which is a fresh white fish, battered and deep fried and served with a sauce.You do not find the abundance of fast, frozen food dinners. In fact, TV dinners are unheard of here. And no Dutch kitchen would be without a good supply of cookies. Not just for your own consumption, but it’s a must for guests in your home.
You can find a few American brand foods at specialty shops but they are very expensive. A Duncan Hines cake mix is at least 3.50 euros which is equivalent to about $5.00. I found a can of Libby’s Sweet Potatoes around Thanksgiving, but it was 3 Euros a can. The most missed item by Americans seems to be Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Anytime anyone of the expats makes a trip to the U.S., that is always requested.
I have found all the food here to be very good and I have not missed anything from the U.S. But I don’t bake, and even mentioning ‘baking’ will cause my friends to laugh! The flour is very different so those Americans who wish to bake or make cornbread are in for a little creative baking. The produce and the bread are always fresh and just seem to have less fat content. I can almost taste the ‘fat’ in the food when I am back in the U.S.