Typical Dutch

Small kitchens

They say that culture affects the way we view space. That cannot be truer than for Dutch kitchens. I am consistently amazed by how tiny they are, even when houses are relatively big.

I have yet to see a house where there is a room – yes an entire room – dedicated to the kitchen. Often they are combined with the living room and in some cases, you can even find a washing machine there.

Then there is the way the kitchen seems to be geared towards ‘efficiency’ and spending as little time there as humanly possible.

A Dutch kitchen seems to be geared towards ‘efficiency’ and spending as little time there as humanly possible

Take the pitiful microwave oven, for instance, apparently so efficient that you do not need two appliances and – God forbid – to spend more money and use more space. I find the result is often poorly microwaved or cooked food. As someone from the Mediterranean, I find this hard to deal with. How can I possibly get my pizza crust just right?

I too am from a tiny, densely populated country, but when it comes to our precious kitchens, we do not cut corners.

Abigail Muscat, a

PhD student with the Animal Production Systems group, from Malta

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NL: Minikeukens

Als je érgens kunt zien dat cultuur invloed heeft op de manier waarop mensen ruimte gebruiken, is het in Nederlandse keukens, zegt Abigail Muscat uit Malta. Ze verbaast zich erover hoe weinig plek Nederlanders uittrekken voor de bereiding van voedsel. En de superefficiënte, geld besparende apparaten die ze in hun minikeukens proppen – magnetronovens – zijn haar helemaal een gruwel. ‘Ik kom ook uit een klein, dichtbevolkt land. Maar als het op onze geliefde keukens aankomt, doen wij niet aan half werk.’

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