The people of the Netherlands are known as the Dutch. It is a beautiful land full of historical landmarks and plenty of things for tourists to do. There are dozens of museums in every area, and no visit to the Netherlands would be complete without purchasing a pair of their famous wooden shoes. Traditional Dutch food is very basic, but the larger cities have an abundance of food, from a variety of cultures, to choose from.
Traditional Dutch cuisine is fashioned by the agriculture around it. In the early 20th century Netherlands, girls were sent to a school where they were trained to be domestic servants and were taught to cook simple, inexpensive meals. This trend became popular, and the food that was readily available became the food that was cooked. Vegetables, for instance, are a staple in the culture, and are used in almost every rural dish.
A traditional dinner meal in the Netherlands consists of a meat with gravy, a vegetable, and a potato. Sometimes this mix is put together in the form of a stew. One traditional meal is called Hutspot. This meal is created by mashing together potatoes, onions and carrots. Often a piece of meat is served either next to, or on top of the mixture. Hutspot is eaten with a chop of beef shoulder every October third, when the Dutch celebrate Leidens Ontzet. This is a holiday celebrating the time when, in 1574, the Spanish soldiers invading the country were flooded out a huge storm.
Pea soup is another staple in Dutch cuisine, as is boerenkoolstamppot. Boerenkoolstamppot is when potatoes are mixed with kale and served with rookworst, a type of sausage. Gravy is also served over the mixture. Zuurkoolstamppot is another similar meal, but uses sauerkraut mixed in with the potatoes to give the meal an extra “zing”. Dessert is generally a sweet product, such as yogurt or pudding.
When it comes to fast food in the Netherlands, visitors need to be prepared. A typical order at a fast food stand would include French fries with mayonnaise, ketchup or a heated peanut butter sauce, and a fried meat, such as a croquette or a frikandel. A Frikandel is similar to a traditional hot dog but is much more spicy and is served cut open with a peanut butter sauce on it. Mayonnaise to the Dutch is different than the traditional French mayonnaise. It is much sweeter and is more firm than most are used to. It does contain less fat, but is considered to be just as unhealthy as the French mayonnaise is.
Delicious meals, that are not fast food, can be found in the larger cities, such as Amsterdam. Dutch gourmet cuisine is full of traditional ingredients that are used in different ways. Visitors to the cities can also find restaurants that specialize in cuisine from around the world.