On unsettling Dutch experiences of the culinary kind in Germany
Fairness obliges me in the second part of my series on the differences between Dutch and German food, to give the Dutch their chance to marvel at the peculiarities of the German cuisine. In my experience this mostly occurs with regional specialities.
When my husband first set eyes on potato dumplings he asked why anyone would want to grate something as perfect and tasty as a potato into a sort of dough only then to shape it back into something that looked like a potato! He thought that was completely inefficient – and I have to admit he is not absolutely wrong.
My objection that in the Netherlands potatoes too are mashed together with assorted vegetables into the beloved “stamppot”, was vigorously countered with the argument that this only served to blend in two (or three! or four!) components and that no time-consuming forming or kneading needed to be scheduled in.
From the Dutch point of view regional customs are taken to an extreme in the shape of Swabian pancake soup. The question again rises why people do not eat the beautiful, intact pancake first and then focus their attention on the soup, instead of chopping the tasty morsel into small snippets and drowning them in the soup! And – to defend the honour of my hubby I have to mention this – he is not the only Dutchman to ask this question. In my circle of friends and colleagues I regularly hear all kind of comments awarding bad efficiency marks to otherwise very popular German cooking.
Culinary differences hit a brutal peak in our house at Easter. For me, Easter is the traditional time for soused eggs. And that means “à la Westphalia” – hard-boil the eggs, soak them in brine and prepare vinegar, oil, mustard and Maggi (yes, Maggi!). Halve the eggs and remove the yolk, fill the hollow with a splash of all four ingredients, replace the yolk and devour the thing whole. I could still kick myself for not taking a photo of the disgusted, incredible look on my husband’s face when he first witnessed this spectacle.
Many Dutch people have a simply “no nonsense” attitude – that can be seen in how they usually eat herrings.
German text: BBR
English translation: BCO
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