Tribute to the potato

When people inquire about typical Dutch cuisine, the first thing that pops to my mind is the “potato eaters” painting by Vincent Van Gogh. To me, this ‘cozy setting’ visualizes how Dutch peasants have been eating potato’s every day for at least 400 years, in a typical Dutch way. Besides the painting, I was raised eating potato’s almost every day – thankfully in a much brighter environment – and growing up on a small farm, I still remember being occupied with bare-hand potato harvesting for a number of seasons as a kid. It stuck to me that this is typical Dutch lifestyle and cuisine. After having worked and lived in Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, South Korea and now China, I know that potato’s are eaten very differently in every country (Same counts for the potato chips). In Europe, we used to eat dry-boiled or fried potato’s, and of course mashed for boerenkool, I was shocked to learn that South Koreans regard to potato’s as snacks! The (sweet) potato’s are consumed behind the TV while watching a movie and most pizza’s are topped with the Peru delicacy by default, they would not even think of boiling them like we do. However, I have never had such nice potatos as in Shandong China, (likely Anhui kitchen?). The Chinese prepared one particular dish where they seem to fry rasped potato together with ginger, garlic and hot spices. I know it’s silly to even mention such a simple dish while referring to sophisticated Chinese cuisine, but the taste just blew me of my chair: If anybody has the recipe, let me know!
China potatoPS: Thinking about it, I realize that Nuffic, The Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education, prints brochures telling Asian students that the Dutch national dish is not potato, but Indonesian fried rice. But Dutch are probably eating that for less then 200 years. If you ask me, potato is more typical.