Food – Netherlands versus Spain

The Dutch people favour large helpings of warming food with plenty of starches – and of course cheese, which is what they are most famous for.

One of the country’s most delicious street foods is french fries with mayonnaise, and then there are the tasty miniature pancakes.

Traditional Dutch foods include stamppot, which is potatoes mashed with a selection of vegetables and served with pea soup.

Among them are varieties of sausages, red cabbage and apples – ­favourites in the two countries.

When it comes to afters, the Dutch like to indulge with little thought to the fat content – a most pleasing trait. Among the many choices on The

Netherlands’ cake menu is Dutch Apple Tart, which can be made in ­double quick time with a little sleight of hand.

However, the Dutch cuisine is somewhat limited in its diversity of dishes (like many Northern ­European cuisines).

You will need:

»A roll of store-bought puff pastry,

»Three or four large crisp green

»Juice of one lemon

»Two tablespoons of brown sugar

»One tablespoon of cinnamon

»Knob of butter

»One handful of raisins, soaked in dark rum for an hour.

Putting it together:

Heat the oven to 220°C.

Roll the pastry out on a baking tray.

With a knife, make an indentation all around the edge (about 2cm).

Slice the apples in half, de-core them and then slice into half moons about 5mm thick.

Squeeze the lemon juice over them to keep them from going brown.

Arrange the apple slices on the pastry as you like.

Sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon, and add the rum-soaked raisins if children aren’t having any.

Dot the ­butter over the top.

Put into the oven for 30 minutes, or until the edge puffs up and the apples are cooked.

Serve with custard, plain yogurt or cream.


I’m heartbroken that the Germans have bowed out, but I have to proclaim the Spanish the winners of the culinary World Cup.

With such delicious traditional dishes as paella, Spanish omelette and Gazpacho, they are hard
to beat.

The other great import from Spain is tapas. Locals stop for a drink and a snack in bars and restaurants before heading home for dinner.

Just about anything can be turned into tapas – olives, chorizo (pork sausage), cubes of cheese and even chicken livers. The idea is to share and nibble.

Surrounded by the sea, the Spanish eat plenty of fish dishes and are partial to beans in the form of Fabada ­Asturiana (bean stew).

When it comes to dessert, the Spanish know how to indulge. Across South America, one of the most popular street foods is Churros, deep-fried long ­doughnuts served with hot ­chocolate sauce – a legacy of that continent’s colonial past.

While the cheat’s version won’t look like the real thing, it’ll be close enough and you can watch more football in the time you’ve saved

German flag

You will need:

»Freshly baked cinnamon doughnuts

»Wooden skewers

»Double cream

»One Mars bar per person

Putting it together:

Warm the doughnuts in the oven for a few minutes to take the chill off, cut them up into ­segments.

In a double boiler, or in a bowl over a pot of boiling water, break up the chocolate bars, add the cream and ­allow to melt.

If you have espresso ­coffee cups, use them to serve the ­chocolate sauce. Arrange the segments of doughnuts on a plate with the cup of hot chocolate sauce and a ­wooden skewer.

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