We, at Stuff Dutch People Like, love to discover new things as you know. And after working and living here in the Netherlands we thought we’d seen it all when it comes to office lunch habits. If you’ve worked in a Dutch workplace yourself you are probably very familiar with communal lunches (chipping in 2 euros for toasties or a trip to the snack bar), sandwich spreads and grown-up men in suits eating hagelslag. Overall, the Dutch lunch is a sad affair compared to the same meal in other countries.
When we got our Dutch interns we were introduced to something new, something nobody had ever told us about before; they eat frozen bread. Okay, not when it’s actually frozen, but still! Instead of popping into a bakery or supermarket two or three times a week to buy a new loaf, like the rest of the world would do if they ate as much bread as them, they buy three at once and put two or sometimes all three in the freezer. Then when they need it they take out a few slices, defrost them and start their lunch. So, before you even start eating you have to know how much bread you want; the Dutch and their planning…
What was even more of a surprise is that they do the same in the morning when they prepare their lunch to take with them to work. Instead of defrosting the slices and then preparing them with their favourite spreads, they actually prepare them while frozen. Their logic: by the time it is lunch hour, they will be defrosted and good to eat!
Okay, they don’t put everything on their sandwich when it’s frozen. The butter, cheese, meat, and spreads, yes, definitely but not things like speculaas cookies (yes, they put cookies on their bread!), because those would lose their crunch. We hear you thinking, won’t the bread get soggy when it defrosts? Well yeah, it does, but it is practical so the Dutchies just do it anyway!
So there you have it folks. Another weird Dutch habit unlocked for your pleasure. Will you be taking up this practical habit or take a pass? Let us know! 🙂