Things and People I Never Knew Were Dutch

Even though I published a list yesterday dealing with several companies I never knew were Dutch, I have to admit once again, that it was too brief . So in the spirit of that, this list will focus on little random items that originated in the Netherlands.

Honestly, I could go on and on.

Edam

A small Edam cheese and a cheese-slicer.
Just looking at this makes me want to make an Edam sandwich (Image via Wikipedia)

There is absolutely no excuse for me to think of this as a French cheese. You know why? Because along with Halloum, a Lebanese white cheese, Edam is a staple in my home. I honestly would not be kidding if I said we go through a whole block of Edam cheese every week- so the producers must really love us for helping their business. But once again, flawed reasoning played a major part here because the name sounds so French-y. Nope. Edam is actually the name of a Dutch town. Seriously Dutch people, couldn’t you just stick to adding Van to everything? 

Vlaai

So called
Also known as cherry pie (Image via Wikipedia)

Not only is this delicious tart a Dutch product, it’s also made in Limburg, the province of which Maastricht is the capital. Which means I will probably be having plenty of it. Both crunchy and sweet, due to its fruit filling, it’s a popular dessert, that is not French.

Coleslaw

Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits coleslaw
Never really got why people like it but never mind (Image via Wikipedia)

Bet you always thought this was American, because it’s always included with your usual burger and fries order- and nothing says American like a burger and fries platter- but actually, there’s a lot of debate over where this popular salad comes from. Its name, however, was adopted from the Dutch word koolsla, which means cabbage salad.

Baruch Spinoza

Benedict de Spinoza: moral problems and our em...
Not a fan of his look (Image via Wikipedia)

If you’ve ever taken a philosophy class, this guy is bound to show up somewhere and he’s very popular, because like many philosophers, he tackled a wide range of topics. Because I basically forgot everything I studied in that Environmental Ethics class last semester, I had to resort to Wikipedia to get a refresher course on him. Born in Amsterdam, and of Portuguese decent (so I wasn’t completely off), he’s known for opposing Descartes’ mind-body dualism. Okay, I just got a headache remembering all that. Moving on…

Sinterklaas

Sinterklaas op boot

I’m familiar with the story of Saint Nicholas, the patron of children and sailors, but I never knew he was Dutch, but rather assumed it was a Norway-related thing. Imagine my surprise when I knew, Saint Nicholas is also the patron saint of the city of Amsterdam, which is the capital of –you guessed it- The Netherlands. The celebration takes place on the 5th of December and involves treats and presents, and any celebration with that is bound to be awesome.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. caroinmaas says:

    We have Saint Nicolas in Belgium too (he comes and brings presents in the children’s shoes on the 6th of december, and generally treats during the preceding week) 🙂 and he is the patron saint of students in Liège. When I was a child, he was much more popular than Santa Claus, but most children are afraid of him. I’m curious to see what other Dutch thing you will find 🙂

  2. Tycho says:

    0_O And I thought I was the only one afraid of Saint Nicolas. And Edam is SO Dutch. I bet you thought Gouda was French as well? You’ve a lot to learn… haha

    1. TK says:

      At one point, yes. Shame on me, I know. I’m learning slowly though, there’s a bit of improvement on my behalf 😛

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