University adds rare Dutch cookbook to its collection


An extremely rare 17th century Dutch cookbook, entitled ‘Het Koock-boeck oft Familieren Keuken-boeck’ (Cook Book or Family Kitchen Book) is now part of the Special Collections institute of the University of Amsterdam Library. According to Radio Netherlands, it is the oldest known cookery book in the Dutch language. “Prominent Dutchmen like Jacob Cats and Constantijn Huygens owned this book, but it was missing from our extensive gastronomic collection until now.”

For those of you ready to poke fun at Dutch cooking, allow me: this book was apparently aimed at upper class ladies and tried to counter the blandness of Dutch food by introducing Italian produce and herbs.

About half a year ago I remember a friend telling me how they make pizzas in their mobile food stand and having more than 20 people in South Holland asking them ‘what’s that green thing?’ and pointing at the basil leaves on their pizzas.


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