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Stamppot is a typical Dutch dish made from potatoes and vegetables, which are typically cooked side by side in one single pan and then mashed together before serving. Although the recipe for stamppot is centuries old, this traditional Dutch dish remains enduringly popular with both young and old alike. To learn more about the fascinating history of Dutch stamppot, read on!
The Prince of Orange and stamppot
Stamppot, also known as hutspot, hutsepot or stoemp, has been a favourite Dutch winter dish for hundreds of years, as it’s both incredibly warming and exceptionally filling. It was predominantly enjoyed during the harvest months, when potatoes and other vegetables were in abundance and hungry farm workers could therefore be satisfied quickly, easily and of course, cheaply.
Exactly how the very first stamppot recipe originated is not completely clear, yet historians do know that many dishes were prepared in a large cauldron or pot during the Middle Ages. These precursors of stamppot didn’t contain potatoes (which were only introduced to the Netherlands in the mid-eighteenth century, after the discovery of South America), and were more like a pulpy type of soup crammed with grain, vegetables and meat. The first dish to resemble stamppot as we now know and love it, was believed to have been prepared on the night of 2nd to 3rd October, 1574. It was on this historic night that the Prince of Orange breached Holland’s dikes and the Geuze Fleet began to drive out the Spanish occupiers. In the besieged city of Leiden, the Spanish troops fled their camp in such haste, that they left behind a recently prepared dish of mashed carrots, onions and parsnips. The starving people of Leiden simply couldn’t resist the hearty meal and instantly named it hutspot (mishmash or hodgepodge). To this day the Dutch city still celebrates the Liberation of Leiden on 3rd October with a traditional Dutch hutspot.
Different types of stamppot
There’s an almost endlessly variety of delicious stamppot recipes in the Netherlands – below are some of the most popular:
Of course, you needn’t limit yourself to tried and tested recipes, as most ingredients lend themselves well to a Dutch stamppot. Why not try a courgette stamppot, turnip stamppot or even a delicious Autumn stamppot brimming with Brussels sprouts, apple and hazelnuts?
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants.