If you’ve ever worked in a Dutch workplace, you’ve probably been tricked convinced at least once to chip in a few euros and share a communal lunch.  Yes, the peer pressure was probably hard to resist, and yes, some colleague made a snarky remark about you being “not Dutch enough” which made you begrudgingly throw your 2 euros into the pot…BUT you should have been wiser. You should have know that the words “Dutch” and “lunch” always lead to disappointment.

The communal lunch you “enjoyed” most likely involved eating bread smeared with some indiscernible lumpy matter that people kept confusingly referring to as “salade” or “filet“.

There is no way around it: Dutch lunch is a sad sorry affair. It involves a lot of dairy, a lot of bread, and a lot of smearing. For a country lacking in culinary creativity, the Dutch are actually incredibly creative in the “spread department”. They have turned all sorts of perfectly edible food into lumpy,  blended goo. Of course, you have your standard egg salad or tuna salad but the Dutch have kicked it up a notch and made all sorts of new gooey concoctions. Why not try some “kip sate salade” (pureed chicken and peanut sauce -pictured above), “garnalen knoflook salade” (blended shrimp and garlic) or some “farmersalade” (blended farmer??). All of these treats involve copious amounts of mayonnaise just to make sure you are actually consuming 99% fat and 1% goodness.

Dutch lunch

Yummy, what spread shall we have today?

If these salades are not your cup of tea, well you’ve always got your trusty selection of smeerkaas to fall back on. (Any female native English-speaker will tell you that the word ‘smear’ should only be reserved for the dreaded annual doctor’s appointment…and certainly not in the context of cheese!)

Oh, smearcheese isn’t your thing either? Well, have no fear my dear friend, I’ve saved the best for last: Filet Americain!!! Filet americain is the quintessential nasty Dutch spread. Hungry? Just take a juicy handful of raw beef or horse meat, throw it into a blender, add some seasoning, maybe a bit of onions and blend away until it’s a smooth raw pink paste and then happily smear it on your bread.

Yes, sometimes fact is stranger than fiction: the Dutch do indeed like love this stuff! Eat up! Anyone in the mood for parasites, with a side of E.Coli and Salmonella? Yum!

UPDATE: We now have proof that Dutch lunch is not only boring, it can actually be dangerous!

Dutch Lunch

A Dutchie’s perfect lunch!