American Pie, Dutch Vlaai

Cherry pie, the Dutch way.

Before I left the US some 12 years ago, there were certain things that I perceived as being typical to my home country. It was only when I started living in other countries that I realized they weren’t so unique or so American after all. For example, Germans are big on pretzels and donuts, too.

Criss-crossed goodness.

Another such example which I recently discovered is pie. I thought that the fruit-filled pastry shell with criss-cross topping was a characteristically American classic. Well, it turns out it is a Dutch classic, too. (Indeed, I wonder how many of these “American” culinary traditions were imported by the various immigrant groups that founded our nation.)

The Dutch call their pies vlaai (which, incidentally, rhymes with pie – it is pronounced like “fly”). Vlaai traditionally comes from Limburg province in the southern part of the Netherlands. But you can get it everywhere, thanks to the chain store MultiVlaai which has shops throughout the country (including one dangerously close to my office).

I'll have one of each, please.

Vlaai tends to be a bit larger and thinner than American-style pies. It comes in a dazzling area of flavours, from the traditional varieties (apple, cherry, summer fruits, lemon, strawberry, etc.) to the more exotic tastes like tiramisu, cappuccino, banana, stroopwafel, kir royal, orange, pear, and Bounty. My new goal in life is to try them all…

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About Home Strange Home

I first left the US in 1999, when I was 18 years old. Since then, I’ve spent 13 years living abroad - 3 in Canada, 7 in Europe, and 3 in Africa. Now I've finally returned to the US on a one-way plane ticket. I arrived home in late January 2014 and set foot in the US for the first time in nearly 2.5 years. In Home Strange Home, I blog about the ups and downs of my re-acculturation experience.
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3 Responses to American Pie, Dutch Vlaai

  1. You are out of your culinary mind if you think that the Dutch vlaai holds a candle to a home-baked American pie. Perhaps you have not been home much in the last 12 years to remind yourself what an American pie is all about. Vlaai is a dessert which, in my opinion, has similarities to American pie in SHAPE alone. So they are both round. So is a pizza.

  2. Pingback: Let’s Have Dutch Tonight? « What the Dutch

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