The first time I was invited to dinner by my boyfriend’s parents I was very excited. I wanted to learn more about Dutch culture and since I love food I was especially looking forward to a nice Dutch dinner. But what they dished up was totally unexpected.
At home in Germany we cook quite a lot if guests are coming for dinner. We usually start with a salad or a soup as a starter, then have a proper main dish and finish with a dessert. I had already heard about the typical Dutch stamppot, mashed potatoes and vegetables, the pea soup, and smoked sausage with green cabbage. I was really looking forward to trying one of those meals. And I had already fallen in love with the Dutch sweet treats like poffertjes, pannekoeken and stroopwafels before I moved to the Netherlands. So I was really looking forward to that dinner.
But when I arrived, my boyfriend told me that his brother had a new deep fryer, which he wanted to try out that evening. So imagine what we had for dinner: bitterballen, frikadellen and kroketten. These are all meat-based snacks, just in different shapes and sometimes covered in breadcrumbs, and then deep-fried. If you’re drunk at a party and don’t care what kind of rubbish you’re eating, this food is perfect. But offered it as a first dinner, I was quite disappointed. Even so, I digested this experience and my boyfriend and I are still together.