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Beschuit, also know as 'rusk' is a common variety to sandwiches for breakfast or lunch in the Netherlands. Rusks are twice baked, round flat breads, that have become brittle and crunchy because of the way they are prepared.Read entire article »
Typical Dutch Sinterklaas delicacies are ofcourse kruidnoten and chocolate letters. But here is a receipe for something delicious you can make at home. It's called Borstplaat, a sugar candy that is really popular in Holland. Specialised bakeries produce a wide range of borstplaat figures this season. All kinds of animals, Sinterklaas himself of course, hearts. It makes a really pretty picture when you go shopping this season. So try it at home!
Senseo: a Dutch innovation in coffee
The Senseo coffee machine has been a huge innovation in brewing coffee. The production idea was a joint effort between Philips and Sara Lee (the parent company of Douwe Egberts). They launced the Senseo in 2001. The product has taken Europe by storm, surpassing all expectations. The Senseo was originally introduced in Holland and by 2005 it had already been sold 10 million times throughout 9 different countries. After it got introduced in Holland, the Senseo also became available in Belgium, France, Germany, Austria, Denmark, UK, USA and Australia. At first the coffee pods itself were patented by Philips and Douwe Egberts, but in 2004 a judge ruled that other coffee producers were allowed to produce the pods as well. Immediately all competetive coffee producers started making them too.
Mothers day is coming
On mothersday we make the sun shine a little brighter for our sweet mothers who always, unconditionally, take care of us. In Holland it is a real tradition also, but of course it's not typical Dutch. The way we know Mothers day today has been invented by an American lady called Anna Jarvis, from Crafton, West Virginia. Her mother had 11 children of which 7 died, so she had a hard life. When her mother died herself, Anna Jarvis decided to honor her mother on that day from then on. That day was the 2nd Sunday of May. That's why Mothers day is always on the 2nd Sunday of May.
Offline groceries shopping
The biggest supermarket in the Netherlands, Albert Heijn, celebrates his 125th birthday this year. Albert Heijn was founded In the year 1887. In that year a man called Albert Heijn, at age 21, buys his first shop in the city Oostzaan from his dad. His motto was to supply groceries to all people, rich or poor. In 1895 he opens his second shop, this time in Purmerend. Not long after that they were baking their own cookies and burning their own coffee. With a wide range of products, it was the first real supermarket in the Netherlands! Nowadays there are 856 supermarkets, all over the country.
On April 30th we celebrate Queen's Day, a national holiday in the Netherlands. Queen’s day is built around the birthday of the Dutch queen. But not the current queen, actually. Our queen Beatrix celebrates her own birthday (January 31st) in a modest way with her family. Beatrix decided at her coronation to keep April 30th as Queen’s day. This as a tribute to her mother, Juliana, who’s birthday was on April 30th.
Easter is coming!
Dutch families are running to the supermarket to collect all their favorite ingredients for the Easter brunch. We celebrate Easter on sunday and monday (“Easter monday”), so there is enough time to eat, drink and being together with family. Of course there are lots of eggs involved; painted, in chocolate or processed into dishes. This recipe of stuffed eggs is a Dutch tradition. I got the recipe from my mother, who got it from her mother. We serve it as a snack on birthday parties or at the easter brunch table.
'Koek en zopie' to keep skaters warm
This year's winter is lousy in Holland. There's no snow on the roofs, no ice on the water. Just rain, more rain and some storm now and then. Noting compared to a good 'horror winter' like in 1963. On january 18th that year 10.000 skaters started the traditional 'Elfstedentocht' (in English: 'Eleven cities tour'); a skating competition over 200 kilometers of ice.
What do the Dutch eat with Christmas?
Last time we wrote about how Santa came to the Netherlands, but now we'll write a bit more about what the Dutch are eating during Christmas. Christmas in the Netherlands is celebrated two days long, on December 25th and December 26th. Traditionally both days are dedicated to spend with one side of the family, so one day the womans parents and one day the men's parents. However, since a lot of couples are seperated nowadays, people are often celebrating Christmas for three of even more days! Christmas eve is scheduled in and sometimes also "Third Christmas day", December 27th. You wonder, Christmas Eve is scheduled in? Yes, in Holland traditionally people are Christian (Protestant and Catholic mostly) and spend Christmas Eve in church, at the "night mass". Once out of church the clock ticks midnight, and so it is Christmas. Families will go home and enjoy a "breakfast" with each other with all kinds of luxurious breads, tea, chocolates and so on. But with the decrease of people going to church and the need for more evenings, Christmas Eve is now also used for families who have dinners and unpack their presents. (Remember the boomeranging back from our previous post?)