Tuesday, 30 November 2010

De Aardappeleters

The title literally translates to The Potato Eaters in English. There’s a story behind this entry. Months ago, I stumbled upon a painting by Vincent van Gogh while browsing the net. I was laughing my heart out when I saw the title of the painting; The Potato Eaters, showing a group of people sitting around a wooden table talking to each other while eating potatoes. I told my husband about this and we soon adopted it as our source of a joke. For us, it was like Van Gogh was teasing his own people for eating a lot of potatoes. Maybe we were right or maybe we weren’t.

It turns out that Vincent van Gogh was right from the start. Spot on!! Bless his soul, the Dutch really are The Potato Eaters. Everything is about potato here. Potatoes for snack and potatoes for dinner. And you know what else? There is this big sale in Hoogvliet selling 10 kg of potatoes for only 3.99 and I saw quite a number of locals buying them. Whoa!! I wish my rice is 3.99 per 10 kg. If I’m a Dutch I’d be buying it and eat the potatoes like I eat my rice and noodle. I’d be eating potatoes for months and maybe made a self-portrait. LOL!! Well, potatoes are popular and usually accompanied by a serving of cooked meat (rookworst*) and a serving of additional boiled vegetables during dinner. It is uniquely odd the way the Dutch made their mash potatoes. They’d mash the potatoes with vegetables like endive, kale, carrots, celeriac etc. The mash is either called hutspot or stamppot in Dutch depending on the type of vegetables they mashed the potato with. I haven’t had my share of stamppot or hutspot yet, because I don’t find it that attractive of a dish. Maybe someone who has tasted a stamppot before could persuade me into eating one. Tell me, what was it like? Until then, doei!!

*rookworst: Dutch smoked sausage

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