Patatdag – Dutch and Fried Food! Posted by Sten on Dec 13, 2013 in Culture, Dutch Language, Dutch Vocabulary
French fries, as the name says, are often seen as being from France. Now, it has been proven that they are actually from Belgium. Just go to Brussels once and try them there. Without ketchup or mayonnaise – only salt. That is how they are to be eaten.
In the Netherlands, French fries are a substantial part of the diet as well. Some families have food days: every day a different kind of food is eaten. For example, pastadag would be the day of the week that a family eats pasta. Often, one day is designated to fries: Patatdag. The Dutch eat fries in many different ways, and have snacks with it that you might not have heard of before.
On such a patatdag, one of the family members goes to the closest snackbar to get the food. Of course by bike. There is a lot to choose from… What would you have?
The Dutch friet, or more commonly patat, comes in all kinds of variations. The Dutch even invented their own kind of fries, called raspatat. They are made of mashed potatoes, and with a special machine you can ‘press’ out fries. I think they are delicious…
Normally, as opposed to the United States, fries are eaten with mayonnaise. Because this is so customary, fries with mayonnaise are often simply referred to as patatje met (‘fries with’). Fries with the peanut sauce saté is pretty common as well. A more peculiar way is the patat speciaal (‘fries special’): Fries with curry or ketchup, onion, and mayonnaise.
Joppiesaus is a sauce that became so popular that the chips manufacturer Lay’s made chips with its flavor as a result of the winning proposal in a competition for the best new flavor. It is a Dutch invention, (and neologism by the way), which gives ‘the bliss point’ a new meaning. It is a yellow mixture of mayonnaise, sugar, onions… Just try it when you are here! Order a patatje Joppie, and you will be blown away!
A very interesting way of selling food that is comparable to the American Drive-Thru, is The Wall. Eten uit de muur, or ‘food out of the wall’, refers to a wall with little compartments that contain the fried snacks you want. It is easy, quick, and cheap.
So what do you do? Easy steps:
1. Insert money;
2. Open the compartment with the snack you want;
3. Take it out;
4. Smakelijk eten! (Enjoy your meal!)
Also other fried foods are exclusively available in the Netherlands and surrounding countries that imported them from Dutch soil. Below, three famous snacks will be discussed.
The Kroket, and sometimes spelled croquet in the southern parts of the country due to Belgian-French influence, is a very interesting and fundamental snack in the Netherlands. It was invented in the kitchen of the French Sun King, Louis XIV around 1705. In the Netherlands, the first recipe is from 1830.
The most common variation is the vleeskroket. It consists of gooey beef with a crunchy crust around it. I think it is tastes even better with mustard. New York Times reporter Michael Moss said this snack to have ‘dynamic contrast’: “You have that crunch on the outside and that buttery goo on the inside, and that totally works for your brain.” Real brain food!
Sometimes it is put on a bun, the so-called broodje kroket. McDonald’s made its own version in the Netherlands: the McKroket. Nowadays, vegetarian versions are available too.
A myth about the frikandel is that it contains cow eyes and other ‘trash’. This is not true: it is made of chicken and beef, and sometimes horse meat is added. It was invented in 1954, and ever since has been a favorite of the Dutch. Nowadays, it is the most eaten of these snackbar snacks. I am not a big fan of these, but in general, the Dutch love them!
A special way of serving it is the Open Been (Open Leg). It is a cut frikandel with ketchup and onions, similar to the patatje speciaal.
The bamischijf has the same coating as the Kroket, but the inside is Asian Bami, spiced mie noodles. I personally like this one a lot, and is an excellent alternative for the other two described above.
The Dutch fried foods are indispensable in the small country at the North Sea. If you go there, don’t forget to try these delicious Dutch treats!
What do you think? Which did you have before, and which would you like?
For other fried foods, like the oliebollen described in a post before (with recipe!): https://blogs.transparent.com/dutch/lets-make-oliebollen/
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