Delicious Dutch Dishes You Must Try At Least Once
The Dutch are not necessarily known for their fabulous food, but here is an article that should convince you otherwise. If you are a food lover and visiting the Netherlands, you will surely try cheese, liquorice and Dutch fries. But make sure you do not miss out on the great foods and snacks on this list!
Stamppot is a very traditional Dutch winter dish. It usually consists of one or more vegetables and some cooked potato, all mixed and mashed together. Most of the time the vegetable is kale, spinach or sauerkraut. It is often served with smoked sausage. It is a popular dish and historians have traced it’s origin back over five centuries to when the potato was first introduced to Europe.
A tompouce is technically a pastry desert. It is made up of two layers of crisp pastry with some thick cream or pudding in between. On top is a thin layer of pink or orange frosting. It is favoured during Dutch holidays, such as Kings Day. Most people buy their tompouce at HEMA, one of the most well known stores in the Netherlands and their tompouce is the best that money can buy. Then, once you’ve bought your tompouce, the fun begins! Nobody quite knows what the best way to eat it is. There has been an ongoing debate on whether to bite it, turn it sideways or even deconstruct it to eat the two pastry layers separately. Buy some and try it for yourself!
The stroopwafel is probably one of the most famous Dutch foods out there. It seems to date from the early 19th century and originates in Gouda, an old Dutch city. The traditional stroopwafel is made up of two doughy waffles with some sweet syrup or caramel in between and a diamond-shaped pattern on the outside. Sometimes they are crumbled up and used in pies or desserts as well.
Originally, they had a strict 10cm diameter, but now stroopwafels are available in smaller and larger sizes! You can often find 25cm ones at local markets in the Netherlands where they are prepared fresh for you. Stroopwafels only need a minute on the iron before they are ready to be eaten. That’s just enough for the treat to be somewhat crispy on the edges, but still soft in the middle. But be careful- they can be quite hot!
FEBO is not a food or a snack, but it is a place where can you get all your snacks. It all started as a small bakery in the Ferdinand-Bol-street in 1942. The owners of the business found that people preferred the quick fatty snacks from the automats or vending machines to their fresh loaves of bread. So they decided to change their business concept to suit the trend. Within decades, FEBO grew out to be a well-known snack imperium- with its vending machine restaurants located in all major cities of the Netherlands.
From these vending machines, you can get a selection of deep fried snacks. There are egg rolls, burgers, meatballs and also snacks you will only find in the Netherlands, such as ‘frikadel’ (a minced-meat hot dog) and ‘kroket’ (a small breadcrumbed fried food roll). Since FEBO is open until at least 4am each day, it is a popular stop for warm snacks after hours of dancing.
Hagelslag at Breakfast
Aside from the typical cheese sandwich, bread with ‘hagelslag’ is the most popular breakfast for every Dutch person. Hagelslag is basically chocolate sprinkles. Just take a slice of bread, spread some butter on it and scatter the ‘hagelslag’ on it. Fold your bread and enjoy this chocolately deliciousness.
Herring is a serious Dutch delicacy, despite it not being one of my personal favourites. It is eaten raw with onion. There is a big festival each year held in the Netherlands in May or June that celebrates the arrival of the new fresh first herring of the season.
That first barrel of herring is sold at an auction for charity and, in the past, the barrel has been sold for up to €60,000! On this special day called ‘Vlaggetjesdag’, which translates as ‘flag dag’, people dress up in old fashioned Dutch clothing to remember the history of the herring fishing.
Pancakes and Poffertjes
Like most countries, the Netherlands has its own way of making pancakes. They are quite flat, but not as thin as French crêpes. They are traditionally served with syrup or icing sugar, but many varieties have made their way in the Dutch kitchens. I personally love apple on my pancakes, but you can also use ham, cheese, chocolate paste, other fruit or even ice cream!
Another more exotic variation on the Dutch pancake are ‘poffertjes’. These are made from the same batter as pancakes, but they are much smaller. You put them all on your plate at once and eat them with icing sugar and a little bit of butter.
Have you had a great Dutch food or snack that is missing from this list? Let us know in the comments!