You only really get to know a country by its food, right? The Dutch have several peculiar ways to express themselves through their cuisine. In our opinion, the following are worth to try:
The literal translation of stroopwafel is ‘syrup waffle’; a wafer cookie made from two thin layers of baked dough, joined by a caramel filling. Nowadays, the Stroopwafel has many variations. For the most colorful ones in town, visit van Wonderen Stroopwafels!
This is a type of liquorice that comes in many variations: soft, hard, chewy, sweet, sour, salty and more! It is an experience for those who never tasted it. People say Dutch drop is evil; it subtlety tricks you into a false sense of security that might even taste quite nice.
‘Hagelslag’ can be described as chocolate sprinkles. It is the perfect allowed excuse for having chocolate for breakfast or lunch as the Dutch spread it on a sandwich with butter. Did you know that approximately one million sandwiches with ‘hagelslag’ per day are eaten by the Dutch?
This is the Dutch name for herring, a small oily silvery-colored fish caught in the North Sea – famous for being a remedy for hangovers! It is eaten raw, garnished with unions; the taste is extraordinary and strong. For the best ‘haring’ in town, try the fish stand on the Westermarkt.
If anything, cheese can’t be avoided in the Netherlands. The most popular Dutch cheese is Gouda; one of the oldest recorded cheeses in the world still made today! It’s named after the city of Gouda since it is produced and historically has been traded there.
Literally translated as ‘War Fries’. This is a portion of French fries with mayonnaise, sate sauce and raw onions on top. The historical background is that Indonesia is a former colony of the Netherlands, mainly used for trading spices used in the sate sauce. Try the best at Frietboutique!
Kroket / Bitterballen
It is a cylindrical shaped snack, filled with meat ragout (beef) and a very crispy and crunchy layer on the outside. Bitterballen are a variation to the ‘Kroket’, small savory balls with the same filling and texture that is often shared alongside a wine or beer.
It is one of the oldest Dutch recipes that remains popular today. Stamppot recipes use mashed potatoes as a base incorporated with a vegetable. Most often: sauerkraut (stamppot zuurkool), kale (stamppot boerenkool) and endive (stamppot rauwe andijvie). It is eaten with a ‘rookworst’ as meat on the side. Try restaurant Moeders for a delicious homemade stamppot of your choice!
This is a Dutch Pea Soup; a thick soup made with split peas, plenty of vegetables and pork. Traditionally it is served on New Year’s Day, but it is also enjoyed throughout the fall and winter months. It is the ideal dish to warm up!
Photo by: Anna Rita Granata.