The Dutch Aesthetic 101: Recipes
Vincent’s Sun Flour, from vineyardbaker.com

Only a few things are more Dutch than Vincent Van Gogh, his name is practically synonymous with the Dutch aesthetic. While it’s hard to pin down the quintessential Dutch style, it is nevertheless unmistakable: be it Dutch bikes with their Old-Dutch handlebars, or industrial Dutch beds made popular by period films, or the Dutch ovens demanded by every other recipe in any respectable cookbook. 

Opening July 1st, the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit will present a great opportunity to revel in the works of an artist that inspired a generation of Dutch designers and tinkerers whose created are renowned on the global stage. 

Speaking of Dutch ovens, when’s the last time you actually made something Dutch in one of those? Eclipsed by their French and Italian neighbours to the south, Dutch cuisine is often looked over on the smorgasbord of European culinary culture. So to bring out your inner Dutch masterchef ahead of the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit, we’ve put together some of the best classic Dutch recipes on the web. 

Dutch cuisine tends to be on the minimalist side of elegant, with lots of vegetables, cheeses and cured meats. These recipes, much like Van Gogh’s paintings, are proof of all the complex and colourful things that can be done with simple ingredients.

Van Dough: The doors to the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit are opening very soon, first to cars (June 18th) and thereafter foot-traffic (July 1st). In the meantime we encourage you to pay a visit to the ‘Museum of Fine Breads’, a virtual space where celebrity-baker Teri Culletto displays her Van Gogh-inspired edible artworks. ‘Vincent’s Sun Flour’, her most recent creation — a depiction of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers on focaccia bread — is our choice for this week’s Dutch recipe. This eclectic recipe features a roster of over fifteen different toppings needed to recreate the famous Van Gogh piece. It’s not just all frills, Culletto has put together a detailed guide on how to bake the perfect focaccia, with a gentle nudge towards bringing out your inner artist for the Van Dough toppings. May just be the weekend baking project you’re looking for!

Tijgerbolletjes, from www.baking-sense.com

Tijgerbolletjes: Tigers and bread making are about two of the biggest entertainment trends during this lockdown — so a combination of the two is sure to make for a blockbuster recipe. That’s exactly what you’ll find in Tijgerbolletjes: Dutch tiger bread made of a simple bread dough wrapped in a rice flour topping. The name comes from the striations created by the overlap of rice flour on whole wheat flour after baking, similar to a tiger’s stripes. As versatile all-purpose buns, they can be served with brown butter at brunch or as savory dinner rolls alongside a bowl of Snert.

Snert, from www.thespruceeats.com

Snert: Spring and Winter are the peak periods for a hearty split pea soup, and if you’re looking to squeeze one more cozy meal out of spring this year, go Dutch! With over fifteen different ingredients, you’ll definitely want to go the slow-cooker route to bring out a blend of all the contrasting layers of flavours. Pro tip: if you’re serving it to family members, maybe just call it Dutch split pea soup, rather than ‘Snert’. While you’re waiting for the slow cooker to do its job, prepare some Stamppot for a great savoury appetizer. 

Stamppot, from heavenly-holland.com

Stamppot: It’s one of the oldest living Dutch recipes — there’s a good chance it made a regular appearance in Van Gogh’s diet — and its longevity owes partially to the diy attitude encouraged in regards to toppings. The concept is simple: mashed potatoes topped with mostly vegetables and the occasional protein. The great thing about simple recipes is that they can bring out the glamour in commonplace ingredients, and that is especially the case with Stamppot. Less of a standardized recipe and more of a suffix to your topping of choice — be it Zuurkoolstamppot, or Andijviestampott, or Boerenkoolstamppot — Stamppot is a cornerstone of the Dutch cookbook. Be sure to balance this savoury appetizer with some suikerbrood for desert. 

Suikerbrood, from www.holland.com

Suikerbrood: Eating buttered toast topped with a generous layer of chocolate sprinkles is apparently a staple Dutch breakfast. We won’t subject you to that. Thankfully there’s Suikerbrood,  the more wholesome alternative from the Northern Holland province of Friesland. Traditionally made with pearl sugar, it’s an especially sweet bread (too sweet for first thing in the morning) but can be leveraged with a dosage of cinnamon and ginger.

Bitterballen, from www.holland.com

Bitterballen: In the spirit and hope of being able to gather together again soon, we’re ending this list with a finger food perfect for social occasions. Similar to Stamppot, Bitterballen is a loosely defined recipe whereby a savoury filling is encased in deep-fried crispy breading. You’re encouraged to take liberties with the contents of the filling, from beef to Gouda cheese and everything in between. It’s the perfect Dutch appetizer for guests (when we’re eventually allowed to have them) with an easy-to-make breading consisting of just flour, eggs and bread crumbs.