Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Rotted shark, anyone?
Old, but still funny to read the report about the ‘disgusting’ dishes in different countries.
The quintessential Dutch food experience is the FEBO snack automat. These are great walls of heated compartments, all clad in shiny chrome, brightly lit and impeccably clean. Drop a coin in the slot and the door of your chosen compartment flicks open, disgorging some lump of tasteless deep-fried mystery-meat apologetically sweating grease into its cardboard carton. Nowhere illustrates better the Dutch love of scrubbed cosiness and efficiency and their total indifference to the pleasures of the palate. This sense of culinary anticlimax is everywhere in the country. I will never forget buying what I hoped was a spicy pasty in Rotterdam, only to find that it was filled with nothing but white sauce. Likewise the day a Dutch flatmate cooked us what she swore was a delicious traditional dish, then brought in a pan of reconstituted powdered mash, kale and tinned frankfurters. Even the more appealing Dutch treats, such as double-fried chips with mayonnaise, are spoilt by lack of care: the oil for the second frying is often stale, while the mayo is a form of sickly, watery industrial run-off. Thankfully, the Dutch Indonesians have improved things a little by injecting much needed care and spice into the national diet.
Well there is more of course than only FEBO but yes we could call it Dutch. But be aware, it’s conquering the world, starting in New York with Automat.