How to eat like the Dutch

I’ve lived in The Netherlands for 3 years now! Can you believe it? I hit my anniversary on the 1st of August and didn’t even think about it until a few days later. I’ve got a good understanding on how the Dutch eat. Their dishes are world famous! It’s interesting that Dutch food has so much in common with American food. Of course there are differences but I’ve noticed there are a few ways the Dutch go about meal time that makes it feel… Well Dutch!

Bold yet simple
The Dutch don’t add many strong spices to their dishes. Their meals are made of subtle flavors paired together for a delicious taste. Breakfast is a good example of this. Jams and bread spreads are mouthwatering and rich. My favorite Dutch meal, hutspot (Dutch sausage paired with mashed potatoes, onions, and carrots) is a winter staple. It’s iconic around the world too! I can’t believe I haven’t written about it yet, but I will this year! The Dutch also love raw herring paired with fresh onions and a sprinkle of salt. You can’t say the Dutch don’t eat fresh! And speaking of fresh…

Shop Local and Eat Fresh
The Dutch eat mostly fresh foods. We’ve got a bakery, butcher, cheesemonger, and a dozen flower shops in our small town. That’s because local owners are friendly, accessible, and have amazing quality for sale. There’s nothing like baked bread in the morning! Even many fast food places cut their potatoes on site to ensure the crispiest fries for the customer. What makes Dutch food so delicious is the freshness of their groceries. Some families even go more than twice a week to shop. Here, the bread needs to be consumed because there are no preservatives included.

Savor the flavors
The Dutch meal of gourmetten is all about taking dinner slow and talking over food. The wonderful part of this meal is that the food cooks while you wait. This allows for the family to eat slowly and enjoy the marinated meats and garlic bread. There’s also tons of unique salads to enjoy! Sander’s family pairs bananas with their green salads. I must say it’s a unique but amazing flavor. I love eating Etensoup (a rich and creamy pea soup) in the winter because of the savory flavors. The soup is like a thick gravy and perfect to eat by the window when it snows.

Don’t worry, the Dutch always take the time to indulge in some not so healthy foods. Bitterballen and broodje croquettes are top on the list for most delicious. But they eat fried foods in moderation and consciously. And don’t ever forget fries because they’re so important to a the Dutch junk food experience! Don’t even get me started on the pastries and tarts. Baked goods always contain fresh ingredients. So it’s important to keep in mind that even while indulging… Keep your supplies fresh!

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