Uitsmijter: A Traditional Dutch Dish

A few weeks ago a friend cooked me a meal. She told me it was a traditional Dutch dish called uitsmijter. I’d never heard of it, but it was really tasty, I enjoyed it a lot, and it’s also a meal that is quick and easy to prepare.

Today I made it myself.

A Traditional Dutch Dish: Uitsmijter

Uitsmijter is basically just an open sandwich made from one or two slices of bread topped with ham and least two fried eggs. Apparently, it is permissible to use other types of meat, but ham is the traditional and most favoured option. Some people add a slice of cheese as well. From what I can gather uitsmijter is generally eaten for breakfast or lunch, but if it is eaten as a lunchtime dish it is usually served with some pickles and/or a small side salad.

I grew up in the UK so, up until the point my friend cooked it for me, the only thing I’d experienced that was vaguely similar to uitsmijter was poached eggs on toast. Thinking about it, we use toast a lot in the UK. Beans on toast, scrambled eggs on toast, sardines on toast, cheese on toast etc. Due to my social conditioning, the idea of using bread instead of toast seemed a little strange at first, but when I started eating I discovered, for uitsmijter, bread is the better choice by far.

When I lived in the UK a friend once told me, “You always want to know the ins and outs of a fart.” I think he was exaggerating a bit, but its true that I take an interest in things and often seek out more information. That’s how I learn and, after having eaten it, I was curious to learn the origins of this popular Dutch dish.

I’ve done a little research and discovered the word “uitsmijter” can be used as the equivalent of the English word “bouncer”. I also discovered it was often served as the last meal at cafés or parties just before people were thrown out and sent on their way home. Hence the name.

Digging a little deeper, I found out uitsmijter is the Dutch version of a German dish called strammer max. Although Uitsmijter has to be made with two eggs or more, a single egg is deemed acceptable when making a strammer max. Other than that I don’t think there is much difference.

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