Bite and Booze by Jay D. Ducote

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Netherlands - The 2010 FIFA World Cup Bites and Boozes

The Netherlands

Ah, The Netherlands.  Holland.  The Dutch.  The side in orange.  They defeated Brazil 2-1 today in the quarterfinals of the World Cup, and while their magical run in international play continues, their turn on the Bite and Booze World Tour is now. Dutch cuisine is shaped by the practice of fishing and farming, including the cultivation of the soil for raising crops and the raising of domesticated animals, and the history of the Netherlands. The Netherlands is renowned for its varieties of cheese and it is where Dutch process chocolate originated. Dutch cuisine is somewhat limited in its diversity of dishes (like many Northern European cuisines) and includes a high consumption of vegetables compared to the consumption of meat.

Since it is early in the morning in America as The Netherlands and Brazil square off on the pitch, we'll take a look at some Dutch pancakes. A pannekoek (plural pannekoeken) or pannenkoek (new Dutch spelling) is a Dutch pancake. Pannekoeken are usually larger and thinner than American or Scottish pancakes. They may incorporate slices of smoked bacon, apples or other fruits, stem ginger, cheese, or raisins. Plain ones are often eaten with white or brown sugar. The ingredients are flour, milk, and eggs. Beer may also be added to the mixture in order to give it a better flavor, but most of all it helps the batter rise. In Dutch pancake restaurants (pannenkoekenhuis) many more toppings can be ordered with them, including eggs, pear, or even pineapple, and they are often topped with Dutch stroop (sugar beet syrup), a dark, thick syrup common in the Netherlands. The closest taste equivalent to this syrup in the U.S. is sorghum syrup. In the Netherlands, a pannenkoek naturel in a pannenkoekenhuis is a plain pancake which one can top with as much powdered sugar or stroop as one desires from the condiments standing on the table.

Oranjebitter is a drink developed in the 17th century in order to celebrate festivities of the Dutch monarchy. It's distilled with several types of oranges. In the 17th century it used to be sweet (liquor), in the 18th and 20th century it was made without any sugar. Nowadays people tend to prefer sweet so 10% sugar is added.  Oranjebitter is made from distilled Curacao peel, bitter orange, and brandy.

To see what Eric has to say about Dutch beer, and how he avoids the two most famous beer producers which are Heineken in the west and Grolsch in the east, go to the BR Beer Scene.

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