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Dutch New Year’s Customs in the Hudson Valley

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When the Dutch settlers came to New Netherland in the seventeenth century, they brought with them not only seeds, tree stock and cattle, but also well established foodways and customs. Donuts, pretzels, coleslaw, pancakes, waffles, wafers and, above all, cookies, all became part of American’s culinary heritage. One New World Dutch custom was the habit of making congratulatory visits to relatives, neighbors and friends on New Year’s Day.

Peter Rose, Culinary Historian, offers a modern adaptation of the New Netherland New Years Cakes (thin caraway and orange flavored cookies.) If you keep the tradition of open-home visits on New Years Day, this recipe yields 12 dozen cookies. (The dough freezes well.)

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!