I used to not like potatoes so much. They’re boring, right? They’re just there, they fill your stomach and that’s kind of it. Tasteless. Very unexciting. But they’re here for a reason! You can eat them! They’re cheap… Oh, this is going in the direction of The Potato Eaters… But they’re in loads of Dutch dishes. And I’ve devoted *cough* all *ahem* my Fridays to Dutch food. Prepared by… moi. Eaten by… moi. And produced by my lovely neighbor (well, it’s close enough! There are areas where neighbors are not to be found at 2,5km distance!) It’s the dedication, right?
Anyway, I was quite scared I would end up eating a lot of potatoes. And I would turn into a depressed monster from before electricity. And I’d be auditioning for a prime spot in Van Gogh’s painting. Well, I do eat a lot of potatoes. More than I did before. But thankfully I’m not depressed, nor out of electricity, nor in a Van Gogh painting. So all is well, almost. The thing is I started to appreciate the potato a little much. It’s a reliant friend. In my fridge, waiting for me to fire up the stove, skin them, cook them, mash them, eat them. It’s so simple! Almost simpler than preparing pasta (yeah, potatoes never will beat pasta, even though they’re equally tasteless). I even bought a proper potato-masher a while back because I’ve been eating a lot of the stuff.
When I was doing some internet research for my other post (one about stamppot), because I wanted to show you the most brilliant potato ever, I found something else. It’s called ‘Pieperpad‘. That needs some explanation, I know. The ‘Pieterpad‘ is an ancient route from Groningen (North Eastern part of the country) to Maastricht (most Southern part of the country). I think it is actually a part of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela (it isn’t, I checked Wikipedia, there it says it was thought up, boring!). I once had a fleeting ambition of riding the thing on horseback. It’s 400km, trust me, doing that on horseback is a radically bad idea. I didn’t do it. But the ‘Pieperpad’ is a pun. A ‘pieper’ is a potato, and ‘pad’ is ‘path’, or ‘route’. The Pieperpad runs from Lauwersmeer (a lake in the North of the country) to a little place in Zeeland (South West of the country) near the Belgian border. The route runs along all kinds of organic potato farmers, and Bed and Breakfast stops where you can stay the night. It’s a bicycling route, which is pretty awesome. Not that I’ll ever cycle from Friesland to Zeeland and only eat potatoes en route, but I like it. It’s cute!
And they have some great potato facts to go with that. Apparently the average Dutchie eats 90 kg potatoes a year. I’m not nearly there yet, but I’ll try a little harder! The Dutch are great at growing potatoes. They’re like the number one or two. Potatoes contain high doses of vitamin C (I wonder if that’s still there when they’re cooked?).
So now you know!