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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?)
Usually on Christmas morning (December 25th) people are having a wonderful breakfast with Almond Paste Bread, which has the funny name: kerststol in Dutch. It's a luxurious raisin bread, filled with nuts, dried fruits and with a tube of almond paste in it. On the breakfast table there are also different types of bread, cheeses and sliced meats. The Christmas dinners vary per family. Some will do it the traditional way, with a shrimp cocktail as a starter and some wild meat. Another traditional dinner for Christmas (usually preferably for the 25th) is turkey! Just like the Americans do with Thanksgiving. But a lot of people nowadays enjoy the very popular 'gourmetten'. It's similar to fondue or raclette, but then with small pans that you can use to bake your meat, fish or omelettes. Every family in the Netherlands has a set and often only comes out once a year ;). In our own families we have had dinner with up to 20 people with Christmas!
We wish you a very merry Christmas with your families and enjoy your Christmas dinner!
Written by DelicaTessa