Say cheese! And get ready to eat a lot of it. Welcome to the list of traditional and commonly eaten foods in The Netherlands.
At number one we of course have cheese (or Kaas in Dutch). Most famously Gouda cheese. This is eaten everyday by Dutch people and can be found in many varieties. Mainly separated by age from Jonge (young) which is aged for about a month through to Oude (old) aged for 12+ months. The older cheese normally becoming harder and developing a tangy flavour. You can eat this diary treat at anytime of the day and with almost anything (even pancakes!).
Stroopwafel- Two waffles with a delicious syrup in between, where could you go wrong? This treat can be found in most supermarkets but is best when bought fresh and hot straight from a street vendor or bakery. (If bought from the supermarket, 10 seconds in the microwave can also help create that gooey texture).
If you love pancakes then you’ve come to the right place. Here in The Netherlands there are two kinds. Regular thin pancakes (similar to crepes) and tiny thicker ones called poffertjes. Both equally as delicious, the puffy poffertjes are best eaten with powdered sugar and butter. If you are feeling a little more creative though you may want to try the regular pancakes. They can be combined with literally anything! From Nutella to bacon and can be eaten for any meal of the day
Raw herring or ‘haring’ in Dutch, is typically eaten with raw onions. This slimy but surprisingly tasty fish can be found all year round but if you want to eat the freshest and tastiest herring you best wait for the ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’ or Holland’s new herring. This is the freshest herring and the first of the season coming in around mid May. With the first barrel being auctioned off for charity.
Drop (Dutch liquorice), is not quite the liquorice you are use to. This small black and very salty snack is eaten all over The Netherlands. It is definitely an acquired taste so be prepared!
Frites, like fries but thicker and more delicious. They are traditionally served in a paper cone topped with a mountain of mayonnaise or any sauce you can think of. Perfect for that late night snack after a couple of light beers in one of Amsterdam’s many bars.
7. Kroketten & Bitterballen
Following on the fried food theme you cannot come to The Netherlands without trying croquettes (‘kroketten’) and bitterballen. Both containing delicious deep fried meat they always hit the spot. These are easily found at all snack bars or out of the giant food ‘vending machines’ found around busy nightlife areas.
Oliebollen literally translating to “Oil Balls” are a sort of dutch donut ball sometimes filled with raisins or apple but also enjoyed plain and covered in powdered sugar. This delicious high-calorie food is enjoyed as a new-year’s tradition (along with fireworks!).
Finally we have the ultimate comfort food, Stamppot! This delicious meal will warm you up on those cold winter nights. Consisting of a combination of mashed potatoes and a range of vegetables. Most typically being Kale, spinach or sauerkraut and served with a delicious rookworst (smoked sausage)
Enjoy your meal or as the Dutch say “Eet Smakelijk”!