Dutch Cuisine Past & Present
King Manor Presents Delicious Dutch Foods & Recipes
October / Jamaica Neighborhood / Food & Wine / Queens Buzz. In tandem with the NY Open House and the Historic House Festival weekend, King Manor selected an historic food theme that would have pleased New Amsterdam Mayor Peter Stuyvesant.
There were two sections to this historic presentation. The first was a reenactment of colonial Dutch cooking by Diane G. Fish, who is a living historian with a specialty in Civil War reenactments. To the delight of all there, including myself, she’s also an avid foodie who’s well acquainted with Dutch cuisine. And the second section was a lecture and presentation by a renowned historian and food writer, Peter G. Rose. Peter took us back to the Dutch kitchens in the Netherlands of the 1700’s and traced the migration of Dutch foods into the colonial world.
Many of the things she would discuss, we had the opportunity to sample prior to the lecture … click here to read the rest of our report on Dutch cuisine & recipes in Queens New York.
Dutch Cuisine Past & Present
King Manor Presents Dutch Foods & Recipes
Continued. October / Jamaica Neighborhood / Food & Wine / Queens Buzz. I arrived at King Manor on a warm October day. Outside, in the front of the manor, there was a ‘settlement’ of sorts. The ‘settlement’ included a fire pith, some cooking wood, pots and kettles and several tables of dishes and platters of food. It reminded me a bit of the Pilgrims, although this is a story of the Dutch, not the English. In the photo to your right is the colonial Dutch fire pit in front of King Manor during NY Open House / Historic House Trust Festival. The set up came complete with firewood, fire utensils, pots and pans, baskets and wooden bowls.
Diane G. Fish - Historic Reenactments & Cook
I met Diane G. Fish who was assisted by Iqra, a volunteer [see photo to your left]. Diane was dressed in the colonial Dutch garb, as if she’d walked right out of a historical novel. As I surveyed the food, she began telling me the ingredients she’d used and some of the instructions for cooking them.
As I took notes, I began sampling the food. It wasn’t long before I had a smile on my face because Diane is no ordinary cook. What follows is a description of the foods I sampled and their ingredients. I will post the recipes, compliments of Diane, at a later date so that you can try some of these on your own.
Dutch Cuisine, Foods & Recipes
The first dish I sampled was the hutspot. Hutspot is made of potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnip, butter with some salt and pepper. Diane had mashed the potatoes soundly into a creamy texture. The carrots were cooked al dente, so they not only stood out in the texture, but had a surprising ‘carroty’ flavor to them. Subtle flavors from the onions also came through.
Drawn in by the first dish, I went for the herring salad. This rainbow of pink colors was made of mashed potatoes, herring, apples [she used the Rhode Island greening which dates back to 1649], beets, dill pickles, onion, vinegar, mayonnaise, and sweet oil [olive oil]. The herring had a pervasive influence in this dish, which was complemented by a gentle sour that came from the dill pickle, apple and vinegar. The texture was a mix of the soft potatoes, and the crunchy bits of pickle and apple. In my book, Diane was batting two for two, so onto the spinach I went. The foods we sampled are shown on the plate above. In the photo above [going counter clockwise] the hutspot is the white food in the foreground, the herring salad is the pink off to the right, the honey bread is just behind the herring salad, the spinach is in the back and the soup is off to the left.
Dutch Foods Cooked To Perfection In Queens
The cooked spinach contained currants, vinegar, brown sugar, mace [nutmeg – true to form Dianc uses the lexicon of the day] and splashes of salt and pepper. This was a sweet flavored cooked spinach, which likely enticed the kids and the adults to ‘eat their vegetables’.
At last it was time for dessert. So we sat down with our ‘soup’ and breakfast honey cake. The Dutch seemed to have a bit of a sweet tooth. The breakfast honey cake was as flavorful a bread as one’s likely to encounter. It’s made of milk, flour, honey, almonds, sugar, anis seeds and flavor and baking soda. Diane had cooked this so that each of the competing flavors had a chance to shine. The overriding flavor was the sweet honey, complemented by the anis and the almonds.
Dutch Recipes For Queens Cooks
The ‘soup’ was a medley of fruits, juice and tapioca. The ingredients included dried apricots, pearl tapioca, raisin bits, apple bits and juice and white wine. The texture of the cooked apricots were the prevailing flavor, complemented by the raisins and softened by the tapioca. All contributing to a sweet sensation. The soup is shown below, but its actually a glorious fruit cocktail. The hutspot is shown to your right, a delicious concotion of buttery mashed potatoes, onions and flavorful carrots, sprinkled with salt and pepper.
This feast was followed by a short informal description / presentation of some of the cooking utensils of the day. Diane showed us a pewter pot which had been shined to look like silver. And she showed us a dish made from the horn of the ox. She informed us that the colonialists were the ultimate conservationists, using everything they could from the animals they worked and killed.
With smiles on our faces, we soon sat down in the dining room of King Manor to listen to a lecture by Peter G. Rose about the history and influence of the Dutch on American cuisine.
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