Dutch Cuisine can often be the butt of jokes, particularly amongst the Dutch who sadly consider what they fondly regard as ‘boiled mush’ and fries pretty uninteresting ; perhaps even in the same category of the old style of British fare, dare it be considered as cuisine, bland meat and what could loosely be described as three veg!
But exactly the opposite is true, and what is considered as boiled mush, otherwise known as the basic fundamental of Dutch cooking, Stamppot, a potato based essential, is oozing with all things considered as bad for you, such as butter and gravy, but like all naughty things tastes wonderful.
In taking Dutch food to task, Emily Wight has created a world of largely unknown taste sensations that are both naught, nice, incredibly practice and cost effective and presents them to the wider world. The Dutch are known for their economical nature and that does indeed flow onto the style of cooking, where they use the basics of easily obtained ingredients to create dishes that are anything but boiled and fried. They base their traditional foods on produces easily obtained such as cheese, butter, potatoes, bread, a range of spies and of course, excellent coffee.
While it can often be forgotten Dutch food has taken in the flavours of the many countries they occupied or migrated to over the years such as Indonesia, Curacao, Aruba, Brazil, Sri Lanka, parts of Africa and India this diversity adds a rich and unexpected element to delicious food.
But why is Dutch food not better known worldwide? Well perhaps it is. How many have eaten such tasty items as donuts, pancakes, apple tartes and the like without every considering the country of origin. In the Netherlands sweet pastries and the like are an essential item of their daily fare, and have been adopted into the culture and cuisine of countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia and Britain without further thought or issue, other than they are delicious to consume, especially with a huge, but essential, dollop of cream!
As you wander thought this wonderful collection of traditional and modern recipes, illustrated with mouth-watering photographs, it is very hard to accept that the food is bland and uninteresting.
At the end of the introduction Wight has offered a suggestion of seven recipes of which to begin your journey into Dutch cuisine, which is a wonderful suggestion as they are definitely achievable and very practical dishes to begin your love affair with this hearty, flavoursome, practical cuisine which will rapidly turn into a love affair.
Garlic Shrimp, Ummmmm, or maybe Snert, but then again Keeshi Yena could be the answer, topped off with Caribbean Macaroons.
|Publisher||Arsenal Pulp Press|
|Distributor||New South Books|