If Indonesian cuisine is underrepresented in Southern California (locally available in Bellflower, Westwood, Rowland Heights and few places in between), true Dutch dishes are even more rare. That Dutch cooking shares some pastoral traits with the rest of continental Europe doesn’t help, either—its dairy-dedicated recipes often don’t do enough to separate themselves from like-minded neighbors. But the Netherlands American Society’s Holland Festival is out to celebrate the low-lying cuisine and its colonial counterpart. Now in its 20th year, the festival isn’t all about food—there’s arts, crafts, kid-friendly entertainment and live music, too. But it’s nevertheless set on presenting some of the cornerstones of the Dutch culinary tradition. The festival’s most trumpeted dish is probably its herring, which is apparently being flown in straight from the Netherlands. Second in the hierarchy is bitterballen, a plate of fried beef balls that share the same spherical look as falafel. Indonesia’s own unique cuisine (absorbed into Dutch culture during a bout of imperialism) will also be in attendance, packed with tropical tastes that still influence Dutch cooking (some bitterballen recipes even call for curry). Expect charred sate and ideally a few portable packages of nasi bungkus. And because no food festival is complete without alcohol, Heineken will also be on tap.
20TH ANNUAL HOLLAND FESTIVAL POLICE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION PARK | 7390 CARSON ST | LONG BEACH 90808 | NASSOCAL.ORG/ANNOUNCEMENTS/HOLLAND_FESTIVAL.HTML | SUN 10AM-6PM | $8