The Dutch are paying more and more attention to their eating habits. The Burgundian from Brabant spreads across the country, while health types also find fertile soil in Dutch culture. The corona pandemic is accelerating trends.
The corona crisis has caused a lot of economic damage, but it has also introduced certain habits and accelerated trends. This certainly applies to Dutch eating and drinking habits. “During the corona crisis, when people were confined to their homes, more attention was paid to nutrition. Eating becomes something to enjoy, ”says Anneke Ammerlaan, trend watcher in the field of food and drink from Amsterdam.
Intimacy at the dinner table
In the past, food was often seen more as a ‘necessary evil’, although this varied greatly per area, according to Ammerlaan. “The Brabanders are known as Burgundians for a reason. Food has been an important part of the culture there for some time. ” According to the trend watcher, this tradition spreads throughout the Netherlands. “Due to the hustle and bustle of modern life and social media, people are looking for intimacy. They can find that in the kitchen and at the dining table. ”
Ammerlaan emphasizes that this trend has been going on for some time, but has accelerated due to the corona crisis. In recent years, a visit to a restaurant with friends has often been exchanged for dinners at friends’ homes. “Many have an open kitchen. It is increasingly popular to invite friends and cook together on weekends. As a result, food has become a very social occasion. ”
Motivation for healthy eating
Eating and drinking is an important part of our lifestyle. The habits are partly determined by our culture. According to Ammerlaan, our roots form fertile soil for veganism and all kinds of health trends, which come from America, for example. “The Dutch can go very far in this and I think this has to do with Protestantism. People are used to living according to principles. ”
Food experts agree that health and healthy eating are getting more and more attention. “More and more attention is being paid to nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle,” says Rudi Crabbé, initiator of the Food + Welfare knowledge center. Corona also plays a reinforcing role in this trend. “People with a healthy diet and lifestyle have more resistance and are less likely to die. That motivates to adjust the diet. ”
« There is more focus on nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle. »– Rudi Crabbé, food + wellness
Eating at the rhythm of nature
The climate debate also plays a role here, says the nutrition coach. “For example, there is an increasing focus on locally produced products. That’s not only good for the carbon footprint, but you also follow the natural seasonal rhythm in this way. In the summer you eat tomatoes and peppers, which are rich in vitamins. In the winter you eat kale and Brussels sprouts, products with more minerals and carbohydrates. Just what you need then, ”he explains.
Local, sometimes artisan products are becoming more and more popular. Ammerlaan notes that the demand is relatively young and has not yet been able to keep up with the supply. “That requires a diversification of the range. Much of the current infrastructure is geared to volume and efficiency. Diversity is not the strongest point. ” Nevertheless, greenhouse horticulture, for example, has already taken the necessary steps in this area, adds Crabbé. “Germans spoke about the Dutch a few years ago ‘water bomb’ when it came to a tomato. There was no taste in it. Dutch growers now have a wide range of tomatoes with different flavors and nutritional values. ”
From restaurant to society
According to Crabbé, the Netherlands, through innovative agriculture and horticulture, has the potential to help shape European gastronomy with fresh, healthy and tasty vegetables. He points to the example of Koppert Cress, grower of numerous sprout vegetables. The products of the Westland greenhouse horticulturist find their way to all top restaurants in the world.
The catering industry plays an important role in the introduction of new products, dishes and methods. “It starts in restaurants and then permeates all layers of society,” says Ammerlaan. Revolutionary developments are also underway in the hospitality industry. “There are more and more young chefs who get their taste from ingredients other than animal products. They make extensive use of fermentation for flavor or add, for example, leaves from the black currant bush ”, says the trend watcher. The new batch does not exclude animal products, but reduces their importance. That’s why they reducetarians be called. For those who want to see the Dutch gastronomic future, according to Ammerlaan, the restaurants Choux and Coulisse in Amsterdam should visit.