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A typical Dutch meal just isn’t complete without a hearty helping of Dutch spuds – but what to do if you fancy a change or don’t have the real McCoy to hand? Below are some temptingly tasty alternatives to authentic Dutch potatoes.
Dutch potatoes form the basis of a large number of traditional Dutch dishes and many Dutch people, particularly those of the older generation, are so accustomed to eating this favourite Dutch root vegetable, that they simply can’t imagine doing without them. And, whilst foreign meals and ingredients have grown increasingly popular in the Netherlands, especially since the 1960’s, pasta and rice dishes are still the exception rather than the rule. Yet, as our five delicious alternatives to Dutch potatoes clearly illustrate, you needn’t master exotic foreign meals if you want a break from potatoes.
1. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes, also known as yams, boast a lovely red-orange colour and, as their name suggests, taste somewhat sweeter to standard potatoes. They’re frequently used in Surinamese cooking, often in stewed meat and bean dishes, or served with Surinamese roti. And, of course, sweet potatoes can also be used in conventional Dutch dishes, such as old-fashioned Dutch stamppot.
After the potato, cassava is the most widely consumed tuber crop in the world. The large brown root vegetable, which is available in all good supermarkets, can be used to prepare cassava chips and French fries or served in place of baked potatoes.
You don’t have to appreciate fragrant Asian dishes in order to enjoy rice – ordinary rice, such as white or brown rice, has an extremely neutral flavour that is the perfect complement to rich meat dishes, including goulash, pulled pork, meatloaf and stews. Even oriental varieties, such as jasmine and basmati rice, can lend a wonderfully aromatic twist to your favourite Dutch dishes!
4. Quinoa flakes
Quinoa flakes are made from quinoa, a so-called pseudo-grain that has the same properties as rice, yet is entirely gluten free. Quinoa is also slightly stickier than rice and is suitable as a base for bean dishes, salads and pancakes. Quinoa can also be used to replace rice or as a base for nasi (Indonesian fried rice), paella and risotto dishes.
5. Barley flakes
Whilst barley was traditionally used to enrich Dutch soups, it’s all but disappeared from Dutch menus during the last century. Fortunately, the Dutch are gradually rediscovering this versatile grain, which is extremely high in fibre and contains less gluten than wheat. And, as barley flakes can be used in exactly same way as quinoa or rice, its culinary possibilities are almost endless!
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?