Sunday

Apple pie

So, what cuisine is specifically Dutch? I would argue (cynically, exhaustively) that there isn't any such thing - that isn't somewhat Germanic or even Flemish in influence or source. On the latter score I'd indicate the rich assortment of condiments applied to fries - I'm sure chips & mayo is Flemish, as is chips and chilli sauce and mayo, but then, perhaps exceptionally, chips and satay sauce isn't. OK, I'd make a concession, chips AND mayo AND satay sauce is perhaps uniquely Dutch: 'patatje oorlog' (chips war) is a unique achievement for which the former Dutch occupation of Indonesia may have played a minor causal, historical role. For anyone traveling to Holland, I'd say head to the nearest 'friet tent' and get your hands on a serve of this truly authentic culinary wonder. It's a flavourgasm.
By which preamble to say: the real test of Dutch food is apple pie (appeltaart). Almost any cafe in Holland serves and prides itself on its apple pie. Even train station restaurants, even the Hema department store. Sit down, order coffee and pie (koffie met gebak; there's usually a combo price), and dig into the true taste. House-made? Fresh? Not too soggy? Not too sweet or laden with cinnamon or sultanas? Evenly cooked, finely textured all the way through? A good match with cream? Does the pastry dough have good mouth-feel? Do you want a second piece, and is the view and the setting nice? Is there some vaguely German oompah music playing in the background somewhere...
That's how you get the real cuisine, methinks.

3 comments:

Scott Kernaghan said...

Surely it isn't the dish, but the quality of the food that can define a cuisine?

Rob Bowker said...

In the shop of a Dutch-run campsite in France a few years ago they had a sort of breaded fried spamburger which turned our stomachs just to contemplate. When I asked about them the owner told me they were really just for the Dutch, yes, they are pretty disgusting but they love them.

RobertG said...

Stamppot.
If anything, stamppot (andijvie, zuurkool, ...)