Saturday, 28 July 2012

Smoked herring

I find it's harder to blog that I thought; plenty of topics to blog about but then there is the problem of time!
Only 24 hours in a day... And because English is not my first language  it requires more time and energy to type it all out. At least google translate is used a lot lately. On top of that I also decided that I would like to blog both in English and Dutch and that costs even more time! So it will take me a while to post the blogs more regularly; until then I just enjoy thinking about new topics and making notes till I find the time to post them.

This is just short little blog about a recipe I tried last night. Well it's not really a recipe because it doesn't even requires proper cooking! But it's really tasty and easy to make. Something different from the regular appetizers with smoked salmon and really helpful because I had my pregnant niece over for dinner ;).
At the fish store I bought some smoked herring and didn't really know what to do with it. 
Internet didn't  provide a recipe for a nice appetizer so I made it up. 
It turned out great by roasting some white bread to toast and remove the crusts, cut them in 4 pieces then half of them I smeared with salty butter and the other half with sun dried tomato paste. Top them of with a piece of smoked herring.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Top 10 Typical Dutch Food To Try

Every country has it’s own culinary history; some are famous all over the world like Italian, French and Chinese food and others are not so famous for their food. I guess because the Netherlands is such a small country we belong to the last group.  
While travelling in South and Central America we were regularly asked about Dutch food. Except for our famous cheese and Heineken beer not a lot of people know about the many delicious typical Dutch treats which are a bit of a rarity outside the borders of our country.
Here’s a nice list to start with whenever you visit the Netherlands or have the opportunity to taste it somewhere else.

Top 10 typical Dutch delicacies you definitely have to taste!

1) Dutch Cheese

The older the better and so tasty. Try some Dutch cheeses from different ages from young to old they are called: Jong, Jong Belegen, Belegen, Extra Belegen and Oud.

Our Israeli friends buying cheese in our local cheese shop

2) Fresh brown bread from the bakery

Just the smell  of it will make you happy!

3) White asparagus

A delicacy from the south of the Netherlands available only from  around 15 April until 24 June.
The classic combination with ham, eggs and butter is still the best way to eat them.

4) Stroopwafels

Thin waffles filled with a caramel-like syrup filling, best tried when you buy them while they are still warm on the market. Or put them on top of your teacup to warm them up a bit.

5) Frikandel speciaal

According to Wikipedia it isa Dutch snack, a sort of minced-meat hot dog filled with mayonnaise, curry ketchup and chopped raw onion’; you can find them in any snackbar

It is always the first thing I eat after coming home from a long trip.

Frikandel speciaal with lots of raw onions

6) Dutch wine

Still unknown but getting better every year. More about this topic in my next post!

7) Dutch new herring with chopped raw onions

Not my kind of treat but another seasonal and typical Dutch delicacy though. The herring season normally starts in May and lasts untill August (when the herring has a fat content of minimal 16 percent). More info on Dutch new herring can be found on Honest Cooking. And for a nice description on how we eat them check out this funny piece on Stuff Dutch People Like.

Until December 2013 this was the only Trappist brewery in the Netherlands.  It's located in the South of the Netherlands and definitely worth a visit. And while you're there also try the bitterballen which are made with Trappist beer.

9) Poffertjes  

They look like little pancakes served with butter and icing sugar. Mostly found on markets or fairs.
Poffertjes made on a special poffertjes baking tray

10) Bossche Bol from bakery Jan de Groot 

A 'Bossche Bol' is a chocolate treat full with whipped cream from the city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch; the fact that there is a line of people on the street waiting to order every day is always a good sign. Jan de Groot Bakery is the most famous one. If you don't want to wait in the line to order them there you can also sit down on one of the outdoor cafes in the city; most of them sell the 'Jan de Groot Bossche Bollen'. 

The famous Bossche Bollen from Jan de Groot in 's-Hertogenbosch
This is the sign to look for; close to the Central Train station in 's-Hertogenbosch (also called Den Bosch)

Besides that we have many more typical Dutch food; drop (a black candy), lamb from the island Texel, lobster from the Oosterschelde and some local treats from the bakery like; eierkoeken, krentenbollen, Zeeuwse bolussen and vlaai from Limburg.

More about typical Dutch dishes and off course recipes will come in future blogs; you can find them through the Typical Dutch label or on the links below.

Typical Dutch; Groningen 

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Starting to blog

Amuse bouche made on our hands at Librije restaurant

I finally decided to start my own blog about food, cooking, wine & culinary travels to foodie destinations; things that make life so beautiful ;).
Being back home in the Netherlands after backpacking 8 months in South and Central America made me feel a bit restless. It felt great to see all our friends and family again, sleep in our own bed, having a hot shower every day and not moving around every other 2 or 3 days.
But what I had missed most was the food!

Not only the typical Dutch delicacies like fresh brown bread and off course old Dutch cheese but just to have a choice of what to eat and cook everyday. Even the possibility to choose wine from all around the world and the more rare Dutch wines (yes they exist!) felt like a luxury. The Netherlands is a small country but we have adapted food and ingredients from all over; in every big city in the Netherlands you can find Indonesian, Thai and Suriname shops, a Moroccan or Turkish butcher and all kinds of restaurants from Sushi to Tapas and from Greek to Afghan.

It's funny how you have to travel all around the world to appreciate that even more.
With all new energy, recipes and tastes from our big trip still in my mind and the rediscovery of all the good things the Netherlands has to offer. I think it's time for a new challenge and get in touch with other crazy foodies to share thoughts and ideas!
So welcome to my blog and feel free to post comments.