Join twowildtides on the country challenge. Each week, we’re going to be heading to a new country (in spirit). Primarily, we’ll be cooking a meal from each country; but we’ll also be watching travel documentaries, reading travel blogs, and listening to music. During the global pandemic, travel is largely inaccessible. We want to reignite our wanderlust, satisfy our travel bug as much as we can, and learn some new things along the way. I have a feeling our bucket list will have a number of items added to it through this experience as well. We created a simple alphabetical spreadsheet with all the countries of the world, and each week we will draw a random number that corresponds with a country on the spreadsheet.
Pals, I learned a lot about a country this week that I had taken for granted: the Netherlands. Please don’t laugh, but this week I learned that the Netherlands and Holland are the same places. I always thought these were two separate but similar countries. The Netherlands is a European country composed of 12 provinces. Obviously, Amsterdam is the most well-known city in this stunning country, which is characterized by tulips, windmills, and canals. Linds spent some time in Amsterdam. Check out her post:
When you Google Dutch cuisine, you see a lot of pickled herring– something I’d rather try in the country than make myself, ya know? After doing some research, we couldn’t decide between a traditional Dutch breakfast or dinner. So we did both. We consulted this post by AmsterdamTourist.Info, this post by IAmExpat, this list by Expatica, and this post by IAmsterdam; and finally decided on pannenkoeken (Dutch pancakes) and Erwtensoep or Snert, which is a thick green pea soup.
According to AmsterdamTourist.info, “the Dutch version of the pancake is larger and thinner than the American pancakes, but thicker than a French crêpe.” They are made with milk, flour, and eggs, and can be filled or topped with a variety of ingredients. We went with half apple, half bacon; this was recommended by the recipe we followed by Boodschappen, which appears to be a Duch recipe website.
We grated an apple and sauteed it for a bit with butter and cinnamon sugar before pouring the batter on top. We did the same with the bacon(minus the butter and cinnamon sugar). The batter was runny and a little bit difficult to work with, but it all turned out okay.
The apple pannenkoeken was divine. I ate with whipped cream and caramel sauce. It reminded me a lot of a Canadian Beavertail. Chef’s kiss.
The bacon pannenkoeken, on the other hand, was simply okay. It was edible, but the bacon didn’t add anything to the batter, which is a little bland on its own.
The next day, we made a big pot of erwtensoep for a cozy Sunday meal. We were inclined to make the Dutch green pea soup because we love the traditional Newfoundland pea soup, which is made with ham and yellow split peas, whereas the Dutch version is made with pork and green split peas. We followed this recipe by The Spruce Eats. This soup was easy to prepare and wow, was it ever good.
The flavours throughout this soup were spectacular. With pork chop, pork sausage, and bacon, it’s not the healthiest, but it is certainly satisfying. Mack dared to even say that he liked it better than Newfie pea soup. Strong words. According to AmsterdamTourist.info, “is often eaten the next day when the flavours are better mixed and the soup got even thicker.” We can vouch for this– it was even better leftover.
We would absolutely make these dishes again, following these recipes. Although, we might leave the bacon on the side next time. It feels like it’s been a while since we’ve been this impressed by a country meal. Our bellies and hearts are happy. See ya next week!