|Sign offering 30 |
With the huge variety on sandwiches (broodjes) and bread toppings we have in Holland, I was convinced we would be mentioned at least in one, if not in both articles. After all, the sandwich plays such an important role in the Dutch food culture that there are not one but two national Tastiest Sandwich of the Year competitions. Holland, or the Netherlands, is one of the largest bread consumers of Europe. Many a tourist, when stepping inside a Dutch bakery, grocery store or sandwich shop, is surprised by the large amount of bread varieties and toppings to choose from. But for a country where two out of three meals mainly consist of bread, the variety is not so much an option as a necessity.
Did they cover the bread toppings? I wondered. Well, heck, how can you not? Whole grocery store aisles are dedicated to just that, ranging from sweet to savory and anything inbetween. "I bet you they featured mice" I thought, those crunchy sugar-coated anise seeds that resemble the shape of rodents, with their little tail pointing upward. Or maybe coconut bread topping, those thin sheets of hot pink coconut paste that so many of us loved when we were young.
|Chocolate hail and flakes|
Or perhaps a cheese sandwich? But which cheese? Gouda, Edam, graskaas, meikaas, Old Amsterdam, Maaslander, Parrano, Westland or Waddenkaas? My head was spinning just thinking about all the different options and I felt bad for those Saveurders who would have to try and make sense out of all of this.
|The Dutch Uitsmijter|
So to set things straight, and to get our fabulous Dutch food on the map after all, I'm suggesting these additions.
Global Sandwiches Agenda (pg 18)
On June 11, Holland celebrates Luilak, a centuries old tradition predominantly popular in the northern part of the country. Youngsters mock late sleepers and try to prevent anybody from sleeping in on this Saturday morning by ringing doorbells, honking car horns and tying pots and pans to the back of their cars and bicycles and making a huge racket. Bakers prepare luilakbollen, a sweet round roll with raisins and currants, as a specialty for the day. Whomever wakes up last is supposed to treat the family to luilakbollen.
Friesland's roggebrood is darker and is made with whole rye kernels, Brabant's and Limburg's roggebrood is made with rye flour instead and not as dense. Split-pea soup is traditionally accompanied by slices of roggebrood.
Give Us Bread (pg 46)
|Dutch Crunch, or tiger rolls|
Sandwich City (pg 48)
The magazine covered the city of Philadelphia, but it could have easily chosen Amsterdam instead. Home to a large variety of sandwich shops, Amsterdam can also brag about having the largest variety of sandwich toppings that are unique to the city: broodje halfom ( a white roll with two slices of Dutch pastrami and four slices of thinly sliced liver sandwich meat), broodje osseworst (a raw oxen meat sausage, cold smoked, and spiced with salt, white pepper, nutmeg and mace), broodje kroket (either Van Dobben or Kwekkeboom), broodje Sal Meyer, broodje warm vlees.....The list goes on.
This is the spot for all those sweet Dutch bread toppings! Hagelslag, gestampte muisjes, vruchtenhagel, schuddebuikjes.....
Classic Combination (pg 54)
Ah....the all too famous combo of ham and cheese. The French have their Croque Monsieur and the Dutch have their Uitsmijter. Two slices of bread, butter, ham, cheese and two fried eggs on top. A little bit of lettuce, some pickles and a tomato on the side, this open-faced sandwich is the Kingwich under the sandwiches. Traditionally a lunch item, and fancy enough to be eaten with knife and fork, the uitsmijter gained its name from being served as a "one for the road" after a night of partying. In order to indicate that the night was over, the host would get busy in the kitchen and prepare ham, cheese and fried egg sandwiches and send everybody on their way. Uitsmijter literally means "throw out".