Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dutch Food

As the days go by, and the fun times roll on here in Breda, I start to feel more accepting of the fact that I am here, and not going anywhere. Kind of funny to think that I wanted to leave. Gosh, I can't even imagine leaving this place now! But living here can be a challenge at times. Back home in the states, I was so used to just hopping in my car and going through the drive-thru at Wendy's to pick up some nuggets, or having my friend pick me and Alex up to go and get dinner on campus somewhere, or whatever. Here, you have to hop on a bike, or walk everywhere.

I realized that a lot of the people here in the Netherlands don't actually know how to cook, so they all eat out or just eat little snack type things. This is when I am glad I paid attention to my parents in the kitchen! I cook every single night and day. I go to the grocery store, Albert Heijn, every few days for fresh food, and I cook myself a lunch and dinner every day.

When the girls and I went to Brussels for a few days, we went out every night because we didn't have a kitchen to cook in while we were in the hotel; and eating out really showed us how good Belgian food is! I mean, the food wasn't that pricy, but man was it good! Scottish steak, grilled salmon, just everything I had was really good. And that is when it got me thinking...if this is what Belgian food tastes like, why haven't I tasted any Dutch food?

The answer to that is simple. Before I came to the Netherlands for my study abroad program, I researched a lot of things. I wanted to know what the buildings were like, how many windmills there were, where all the castles were, and what the food looked like. I searched on Pinterest, Google, you name it; and all I could come across was deep fried food. I was pretty skeptical not going to lie.

Dutch food samples - Cafe Sam Sam; Breda, NL
So the other day, Heidi and I were at this place in city centre called Cafe Sam Sam. They had amazing chocolate cappuccino's. But when I met this girl Alexandra to talk about a "going to Flagstaff guide book", she asked if we tried Dutch food. Heidi and I looked at each other, laughed, and said no. It's not that we were scared to try it, but I mean, come on, there is a wall where you can get food for crying out loud!

Anyways, Alexandra ordered the plate of samples of different Dutch food. There was bitterballen, frikandel, kaassouffle, and some nuggets.  To say the least, I was more confused than anything! Bitterballen tasted like deep fried gravy, frikandel was a deep fried saussage, kaassouffle was deep fried cheese, and the nuggets were not made of chicken. It was different, I will admit that. But as sketched out as I was about trying it, it turns out that none of it was actually bad. It was different.

After Heidi and I tasted the food, I told Lotta about it, and she was so intrigued and wanted to try some! So a few days later Lotta and I met up for lunch and drinks, and we ordered a sample plate with all of those traditional dutch food pieces. It was better than the first time I had it, and I realized that it's okay to order this.

So bottom line, you might not be so into trying new things, but once you do, I guarantee you that you made a good choice. I can't imagine living in the Netherlands and not eating dutch food! It's like being in Italy and not eating pasta.

1 comment:

  1. Haha, so great to read this (being Dutch myself), the bitterballen platter, we usually eat at a party or in the pub with beer, I miss them here in the UK, people never really snack in the pub here, just have crisps or whole meals. Funny you say that people don't really cook, I think it depends, me and my friends all cooked a lot in Amsterdam! But definitely less baking than in the US and Australia for example. What we consider typical food in the Netherlands is what you eat in Winter, lots of mashed potatoes and stews (check stamppot, hutspot and boerenkool with sausage ('rookworst'), but also aspergus in the south), but then we have so many influences of food, for example our chinese-indonesian food, food from suriname (west-indies) and the carribean. Try the nasi, bami, 'broodje hete kip', barras, roti and everything at the chinese like: babi pangang, koo loo yuk, koo loo kai, etc. Haha, I'm getting hungry now. And since you're in Breda, go over to Den Bosch to eat the Bosche Bollen, sooooo good!!! Well, Enjoy :D