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Ketjap – the most popular seasoning in the Netherlands!

Every few years the TNS NIPO (a Dutch market survey agency) is commissioned by a major Dutch supermarket to conduct a study on eating habits in the Netherlands. Last year some 1,600 Dutch consumers were asked what they most enjoy eating and how they prefer to season their favourite dishes. Whilst the results were hardly jaw-dropping, it has become evident that ketjap (a variety of soy sauce) is the seasoning of choice for many!

The survey reveals that the Dutch prefer typical Dutch cuisine (such as a traditional Dutch stamppot or meat, potatoes and vegetables) to foreign fare. Brussels sprouts and broad beans still remain the least favoured vegetables, particularly among Dutch children and adolescents. Green beans on the other hand are a popular choice at Dutch mealtimes, as are cauliflower and spinach. And the Dutch proverb “wat de boer niet kent vreet hij niet” (what the farmer doesn’t know, he doesn’t eat) certainly appears apt, as relatively unfamiliar vegetables, such as turnip tops, kohlrabi and salsify, are not commonly found on Dutch dining tables. It’s also apparent from the TNS NIPO survey results that increasing numbers of Dutch are consciously choosing for a meat free day, opting for a meat substitute or a vegetarian meal instead.

ketjap Yet perhaps the most surprising revelation is that the Dutch frequently use ketjap (a delicious Indonesian version of soy sauce), and not only in Asian meals, but in all manner of dishes. Ketjap is now routinely used to marinade meat and vegetables and even old-fashioned Dutch stews are given a tasty ‘twist’ using a generous splash of this deliciously exotic seasoning!

Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?

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