the Basics of Good Dutch Food
The Dutch love fish. Despite what CBS will try to tell you, we’ve more or less needed to love fish, more of a counter measure against the constant ebb and flow of the tides which constantly threaten us. I had eaten seafood before I came to the Netherlands, but I had never seen anything like Scheveningen Harbour during vlaggetjesdag. Crates filled with fresh raw fish, the smell is intoxicating. These fish are so distinct from other types of herring, they even have their own title: Hollandse nieuwe. Only fish caught between the months of May and July have the right to this title, which makes it about as regal as fish can get.
Almost as impressive as the sheer load of fish is the speed and precision of the fishmongers working the stands. These guys will gut and clean a herring in about two seconds. I’ve seen them multi-task between taking orders, gutting fish, and handling money. No doubt we’ve all tried sushi, or other variants of raw fish, but the Dutch need nothing other than a few chopped onions, a bun, and the fish itself. In most cases, they don’t even need the bun or onion! They just straight up dunk the fish down their gullet, and move on to the next round, secured in the knowledge that a delicious treat has just been eaten.
In my mind, this is the only source of good dutch food
Three examples of good Dutch food, all in one picture! Source
I’ve known people who couldn’t take the sight, and would refuse to eat this culinary experience. My advice is this: don’t think too hard, and just go for it! It’s as healthy as it is tasty, and there’s nothing quite like it. Though simple, I believe it still qualifies for the title of good Dutch food. However, perhaps it’s not to your liking. Maybe something a bit more unhealthy will be what you’re after. For this, who can deny the age-old classic of bitterballen?