De Burcht

During the Leiden dinner night, people prepare special dishes to share with the basic ingredients of ‘Hutspot’ or carrot stew (carrot, potato, onion). Many Dutch people see stew as a typical Dutch (or ‘Leids’) dish, but with a little variation, tasty new versions of this dish can be created. On November 23rd. (2017) We Are Leiden organized the first Leiden Dinner Night. International dishes were cooked by ten (hobby) chefs. They each shared their meal with ten Leiden residents whom they met at the event.

What did we serve? 

  • Polish casserole with carrots, potato, caramelized onions, cheese and sausage
  • Vegetarian Dutch Hutspot with a spicy bite
  • Vegan carrot soup with dumplings, potato and onion
  • German ‘Kartoffelsuppe’ – potato soup with carrots served with sausage
  • Adas bil Hamod: Syrian/Lebanese lentil soup with carrot, potato and bulgur
  • Syrian stew with meat, carrot, mushrooms, soy sauce, and spiced baked potato
  • Rich Spanish ‘hutspot’ with chickpeas, cabbage, spicy falafel, chicken thighs, beef shank & bread
  • Greek soup with meatballs, vegetables, egg and a splash of lemon juice
  • German kartoffelsalat with braised sweet potato, a ‘draadjesvlees’ terrine and chips of parsnip
  • Indonesian stew inspired on mother’s recipe with bacon, ham, sereh and sambal badjak, served with sausage

Special thanks to: Aleksandra Chmiel, Han Ruigrok, Harir Faquiri, Johan, Antje Jordan, Baha Nasour, Katya Akkari, Caecil Harteveld, Dimitra Stefoudi, Katherina Doxiadis en Robert Emmen. 

Funny (and interesting) facts about ‘Hutspot’

‘Hutspot’ is a traditional meal in Leiden that is eaten during Leidens Ontzet on October 3rd. The modern-day recipe consists of carrot, potato, onion and often ‘klapstuk’ (pieces of meat from the lower ribs of the cow). According to traditional and popular storytelling, an orphan from Leiden named Cornelis Joppensz. found a cauldron in the empty army camp at the Lammenschans after the Spaniards ended their siege of the city. The boy had climbed over or through the city walls in the early morning and he discovered that the Spaniards had left in a hurry. They were so rushed that they even forgot to take a cauldron full of food of the fire. 

Where does the word ‘Hutspot’ come from? After so many years it is hard to find out. It can originate from the Dutch word ‘husselen’ which means ‘mixing up’. According to etymologists the word could also originate from the French word ‘hochepot’, which can be translated as: guilt dish. 

The ‘Hutspot’ that was found on October 3. 1574 probably didn’t contained any potatoes. Potatoes were found in South-America and the Spaniards brought them over to Europe in the middle of the sixteenth century. It is, however, unlikely that potatoes were used in Spanish cuisine during the Siege of Leiden.

Carrots originate from the Middle East and weren’t orange at the time of the siege of Leiden. This colour is a result of plant breeding. 

Is ‘Leidse hutspot’ actually Spanish? In Arte de Cozina, a famous Spanish cookbook from the seventeenth century, the recipe for ‘uspot’ is written down: this dish contained beef, onion and carrots. However, according to Hutspot-expert Jacques Meerman (Kleine Geschiedenis van de Hutspot), ‘uspot’ isn’t a Spanish word. The Spaniards have actually derived it from the Dutch word ‘Hutspot. So the question is: who inspired who then? 

We Are Leiden is
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Gemeente Leiden

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We Are Leiden uses current stories and themes in town and her neighbourhoods and gives these a platform. Our slogan is: 'Connecting people, creating stories', which will always be seen in our projects.

© We Are Leiden – 2020