Dutch apple pie (appeltaart or appelgebak) recipes are distinct in that they typically call for flavourings such as cinnamon and lemon juice to be added.
Typically, Dutch dishes are quite hearty, appropriate given the cooler temperatures. A traditional specialty is called snert or erwtensoep, a thick green soup made with split peas, carrot, onions and celery, and filled with smoked sausage and cubes of bacon. Folklore suggests that the soup is only ready to eat when it’s thick enough to hold a wooden spoon upright. Seafood is also popular in the Netherlands, particularly herring, which is available both fresh and pickled. When in season, fresh herring can be bought from pushcarts in the city streets, while it is also pickled and available year round. Smoking is another traditional technique used to cure produce, used for both seafood (smoked eel) and meats (smoked bacon).
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Banket or letterbanket is a sweet pastry that originated in the Netherlands and is popular in the Christmas season, especially on Saint Nicholas’ eve, 5 December.
Banket is made by rolling pastry dough around an almond paste filling and then baking it. The log is then cut into short lengths for serving, hot or cold. It can also be frozen and enjoyed after the holiday season.
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In the Netherlands, a Boerenomelet (“farmer’s omelette”) is a popular dish, usually consisting of 2 to 3 eggs, a mixture of sautéed onions, mushrooms, potatoes, capsicums, leeks, garden peas, salt and pepper (for seasoning). The dish has many variations.
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Jachtschotel, which translates as “hunter’s dish” is similar to what we call Shepherd’s Pie. in that it consists of layers of meat, potatoes and vegetables. What makes this Dutch hunter’s casserole different are the layers of finely sliced apples. This dish was traditionally made with leftover bits of venison after the end of the hunting season – hence the name – but our version uses easy-to-find beef.
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