Alicia tried Dutch food. It's not for her, except some delicious snacks.
If you ask any Vietnamese student in the Netherlands about what he or she misses most from home, I bet everyone will say: “FOOOOD”. That seems to happen to me as well, to be honest. Vietnam can be considered “a culinary paradise”, where you can find all kinds of food from all over the world. If you compared the Vietnamese cuisine with the Dutch cuisine, I found Dutch food a bit uninteresting: I think it is not that diverse compared to Vietnamese food.
Personally, I like typical Dutch snacks such as frikandel, bami, bitterballen, croquette, etc. I used to enjoy eating stroopwaffles, however, I cannot handle sweet food anymore because of my fear of gaining weight. Kibbeling tastes also delicious, but not the Herring. Moreover, what surprised me the most is the Dutch liquorice. Although I can see people enjoy eating it, liquorice does not attract me that much. I remember trying the “black liquorice” for the first time, no offense people but I actually had problems swallowing it.
It is true that when you are living in a new country, it is necessary to adopt the new culinary culture. I did try to cook Dutch fried potatoes for a couple of times. But the majority of my meals are Vietnamese ones, for example: fried rice, rice with fried egg and meat, or even Pho and Springroll. My boyfriend teased me the other day: “I believe Vietnamese people cannot live without eating rice, right?”. Although it was just a small joke, I actually think it is true at some point. I still eat Dutch snacks with rice sometimes, and even bring rice to school for lunch. I assume more international students might have the same experiences as I do regarding food culture.
Again, each country has different characteristics, and having a chance to try several dishes in the Netherlands is indeed a pleasing experience, to me.
Alicia Nguyen is a Communication Student at Arnhem Business School.