Potjevleesch - Potje

Discussion in 'Nederlands (Dutch)' started by James Brandon, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    A South African acquaintance of mine referred to "potje" in conversation here in London, as if it were a commonly known dish in South Africa. I have done a quick search and it appears to be "Potjevleesch" if one uses the full form of the word, and it would be a recipe from N France, Belgium and perhaps also the Netherlands.

    I have found a description of it in WIKIPEDIA French, here: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potjevleesch

    What puzzles me is that I don't seem to be able to find references to it in English (none on WIKIPEDIA English) and no reference to South Africa (and presumably the Boers would have introduced it to South Africa...).

    Insight welcome. Thanks.

    PS Sorry but I do not know Dutch, hence using English. I hope that is OK in this Dutch forum.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  2. NewtonCircus Senior Member

    Singapore
    Dutch (Belgium)
    Dag James,

    Needless to say, but pot in Dutch/French has the same meaning as pot in English and therefore appears in several dishes (hutsepot, stoofpot, stamppot...). Both the fact that Afrikaans has little resemblance with West-Flemish dialects (Scholars believe the language originates from dialects spoken in the province of Zuid-Holland) and "Little pot of meat" is a rather generic name for a dish, it is questionable if there is an immediate connection between both.

    http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuid-Holland

    P.S. Potjevleesch is a very local dish. Maybe others have a different experiences but the only place where I have ever seen this was on a menu in Bruges.

    Groetjes Herman
     
  3. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    Thanks for these explanations that put things in context. It sounds like "potje" is either very general (in Dutch languages) or linked more specifically to one part of Flanders rather than to the Netherlands, if I understood correctly.
     
  4. NewtonCircus Senior Member

    Singapore
    Dutch (Belgium)
    Dag James,

    Or Afrikaans. You could look at it this way. Just as any English-speaking nation has a dish with pie or stew in it, every "Dutch-speaking" nation
    probably has one or more dishes with pot, potje (Dutch), potteke (Flemish dialect), potjie (Afrikaans) in it.

    The word also appears in certain expressions. Er een potje van maken means;
    -Lit. To make a stew
    -Fig. To make a mess of something.

    P.S. Thanks for starting this thread. At least I know now what to cook this weekend :). More potjes.

    - Zoete patate stoofpotje (Surinam): http://www.smulweb.nl/recepten/1002947/Zoete-patate-stoofpot
    - Afrikaans curry potje (South-Africa): http://robschimmert.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/afrikaans-curry-potje/

    Groetjes Herman
     
  5. Sjonger Senior Member

    Netherlands
    Dutch - Netherlands
    Though every Dutchman will immediately recognise what is meant by 'potjevleesch', in Holland 'vleespotje' (and likewise 'groentepotje' or 'stoofpotje') is much more common. And indeed mayby 'potjevlees' refers to a more specific dish of to a specific region.
     
  6. Syzygy Senior Member

    German
    There is also an albeit short article on Potjevleesch in the English language Wikipedia. You can just switch to it from your link.
     
  7. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    Thanks. Very interesting and a captivating insight into the various forms of Dutch there are and related varieties of cooking... I am intrigued also by the fact that 'potjevleesch' in SA would be the same as 'vleespotje' in Holland... I suppose a case of 'potted meat' Vs 'meat (in a) pot'.

    I asked someone I know who is from Belgium, but the French-speaking part, and she said that this recipe was typical of Northern France and also the Flemish part of Belgium, but not at all common in Wallonia. This is interesting and unexpected, since Wallonia is situated exactly between N France and the Flemish-speaking regions of Belgium.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  8. dutchneil13 New Member

    Netherlands
    Dutch - Netherlands
    Are you sure your SA acquaintance was referring to "potjevleesch" not to "potjiekos" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potjiekos ?
    Going by my limited knowledge of South Africa's cuisine this might be a more logical reference.
     
  9. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    Now, you could well be right and it sounds like I made a confusion -- the problem being that I only knew the term 'potje' and not the full word, which indeed could have been 'potjieko': I think you have hit the nail on the head. I get the impression this would be purely South African with no equivalent in Benelux countries. Am I right?
     
  10. dutchneil13 New Member

    Netherlands
    Dutch - Netherlands
    I think the below post of Newton Circus sums up the linguistic ties quite well. I would consider "potjiekos" (literally: pot of food) to be the result of adaptation to local conditions of a tradition of "potjes" brought by settlers from the Low Countries (or maybe of stews from Anglo settlers), but then I'm not a culinary history expert :) .

     
  11. James Brandon

    James Brandon Senior Member

    Greater London (UK)
    English + French - UK
    We are talking about an Afrikaan term linked to the settlers who moved into the hinterland to avoid living under British rule, so I think we can safely assume the origin of the dish and the term are Dutch, not English... Today, though, in SA, it would be used by anyone, including Africans and South Africans of British descent, of course: it has entered the national language.
     
  12. NewtonCircus Senior Member

    Singapore
    Dutch (Belgium)
    I agree that one may reasonably assume that the word potjie comes from the Dutch word pot, potje. Few would doubt that. As for potjie as the recipe for a dish itself I agree with dutchneil. Far more plausible.

    Groetjes Herman
     

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