I knew that at some point I would start craving for Dutch food. Not that Dutch food is any good. There is a reason why there are no restaurants serving typical Dutch food: the Dutch kitchen is not that good.
But, there are some typical Dutch things that are rather tasteful. To the Dutch that is. There is, for instance, a thing like ‘hagelslag’, which are chocolate sprinkles that you eat on bread and to be honest, there is nothing like the typical Dutch peanut-butter. I think hagelslag for the Dutch might be what Marmite is for the British.
As I came here by car, I was able to pack in many Dutch things that I put here in the kitchen. One month passed and I didn’t touch any of the Dutch things. Second month… nothing. Almost 3 months and I couldn’t care less about hagelslag and peanut-butter. And I believe there is only one explanation. My taste has gone Spanish.
Patatas and ‘café solo’
I never was fond of vinegar; now I’m splashing it happily on every salad and other foods, like patatas.
The Spanish coffee used to be way too strong for me, so I always ordered ‘café Americano’, which, basically, is an espresso in a big cup and the rest of the cup is filled with hot water. No Spanish in their right mind will ever order that, so I suspect that café Americano is mainly for tourists. You understand why I started ordering ‘café solo’ (an espresso) like a local.
However, a little while ago, when I was in the mood for a big cup of coffee. I ordered café Americano at one of my favourite coffee places. It was really (really!) awful.
So I understood my taste had changed. But what did this mean? Would I still like Dutch things?
Putting it to the test
I had to put this to the test and I took out the hagelslag and made myself a nice sandwich. After the first bite I knew: I still love hagelslag. In fact, I made more hagelslag sandwiches. It was as if I suddenly had gotten addicted. Hagelslag tastes amazing on … eh, barra Viena (Vienna bread).
Maybe that’s the art of blending into a new culture: still loving where I’m coming from, while understanding that this new country will change me.