There’s no denying the fact that a large part of Indonesian culture is influenced by the Dutch, and maybe even vice versa. So it should come to no surprise that some of our most beloved dishes are actually a hodgepodge of the two cultures. Whether you’re a history lover or just a foodie just like us, there’s no harm in getting to know these five foods that are hybrids of Dutch and Indonesian cultures.
If the word spekkoek doesn’t ring a bell, its Indonesian name might: lapis legit. Even though both the Dutch and Indonesian version is essentially the same cake, they seem rather different. Whether it’s because they use different spices or the simple fact that the shape is different, we’re pretty sure it’s a combination of both.
Photo: Photo courtesy of Depanneur
Perhaps one of the most famous Indonesian traditions, rijsttafel is a Dutch term that means “rice table”. Not only are the dishes commonly served in Indonesia, especially in Padang, rijsttafel is also served in a lot of Indonesian restaurants in the Netherlands. In fact, other than nasi goreng, rijsttafel might be the first thing that comes up to a Netherlander when they think of Indonesian cuisine.
As you might have heard, kroket is actually a derivation of a Dutch snack. The Dutch are known for their love of fried food that they usually burn off on their bicycles. But unlike Indonesians who often eat kroket as is, the Dutch sometimes put it as the filling for a sandwich. Sounds a little unusual? Don’t knock it until you try it: it actually tastes really good.
Photo: Photo courtesy of Bango
Even without translation, it’s clear what smoor is in Indonesian. This seemingly Indonesian beef dish is actually a product of Dutch culinary crafting. The Dutch version of semur is akin to Indonesia’s take on the dish, wherein meat is braised with vegetables and garnishes. So don’t be surprised if you encounter a similar dish during your visit to the Netherlands.
Having chocolate sprinkles on your slice of bread isn’t as common as you would think. Though we might have hagelslag for breakfast, there’s only so many countries that actually have it as regularly as we do. Of course, it should come to no surprise that it’s a pretty common topping in the Netherlands as well. If memory serves us right, Indonesian meises/haggelslag is generally sweeter than the Dutch version.