CHEFS ACROSS BOUNDARIES is a group of budding chefs who willingly came together to explore the cuisines of India and across the globe. From past many months the group has been conducting monthly challenges based on both National n International cuisines hosted by the members. After last month’s amazing Japanese show down hosted by me, this month’s theme challenge was DUTCH CUISINE, set by the very talented and my dearest friend Sindhu Sriram of http://www.neemandturmeric.blogspot.in/
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sindhu for letting me explore the world of Dutch Cuisines, believe me it was an amazing experience.
(Dutch: Nederlandse keuken) consists of the cooking traditions and practices from the Netherlands. The country’s cuisine is shaped by the practice of fishing and farming, including the cultivation of the soil for raising crops and the raising of domesticated animals, and the history of the Netherlands.
Traditionally, Dutch cuisine is simple and straightforward, with many vegetables and little meat; breakfast and lunch are typically bread with toppings while dinner is meat and potatoes, supplemented with seasonal vegetables. The Dutch diet was relatively high in carbohydrates and fat, reflecting the dietary need of the laborers whose culture molded the country, and contains many dairy products. Without many refinements, it is best described as rustic, though many holidays are still celebrated with special foods. In the course of the twentieth century this diet changed and became much more cosmopolitan, with most international cuisines being represented in the major cities.
Dutch agriculture roughly consists of five sectors: tillage-based, greenhouse-based, and fruit agriculture, animal husbandry and fishery.
• Tillage-based crops include potatoes, kale, beetroot, green beans, carrots, celeriac, onions, all kind of cabbages, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, endive, spinach, Belgian endive, asparagus and lettuce. Recently some initiatives have been started to encourage interest in such “forgotten” vegetables as common purslane, medlars, parsnips, and black salsify
• Greenhouses are used to produce tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and sweet peppers
• Fruits include apples, pears, cherries, berries, and plums
• The Dutch keep cows both for milk and for their meat, chickens for their eggs and for meat, pigs for their meat, and sheep for their wool and meat. Goat are increasingly kept for cheese production. Traditionally horse meat was a common dish (steak, sausage, and thinly-sliced smoked meat) but is less popular today.
• The fishery sector and cod, herring, plaice, sole, mackerel, eels, tuna, salmon, trout, oysters, mussels, shrimp, and sardines. The Dutch are famous for their smoked eel and soused herring, which is eaten raw.
Source : Wikipedia
So now as we have a small brief about Dutch Cuisine, i chose to make a dessert, a cake called BOTER KOEK aka Dutch Butter Cake. The recipe is adapted from http://www.lovefoodies.com/dutch-buttercake-boterkoek.html
The Dutch Boterkoek, butter cake, is one of those delicacies that showcases the goodness of all that dairy richness The Netherlands is famous for. The dense, sweet cake consists of hardly anything but butter, sugar and flour. Just for flavors, lemon zest, salt and vanilla are added, but the main ingredients are those three key players in the Dutch baking world. Buttercake is just like it sounds: a dense, buttery, sweet cake that sticks to your ribs. It’s a perfect snack for all that cycling you may be doing later today!
Usually served with a steaming cup of coffee, boterkoek is served in small squares or tiny slices. Don’t attribute this to Dutch stinginess: the cake is heavy and rich, and usually a small piece suffices to please a sweet tooth.
Boterkoek is baked for thirty minutes, then cooled and cut into small squares or narrow slices. It really doesn’t lend itself too well for large pieces: it is a heavy cake that is best eaten in small amounts. It can be baked in its original form, or filled with almond paste.
Source : http://www.holland.com/us/tourism/article/boterkoek.htm