What is a typical Netherlands food? Have you tasted ALL of our top 10 Dutch foods which should be tried at least once? Here are 10 MORE foods of the Netherlands you should be sure to sample!
10 MORE DUTCH FOODS YOU SHOULD TRY AT LEAST ONCE
(NETHERLANDS FOOD PART II)
The delicious Dutch version of split pea soup is called snert. Other cuisines like the British and the German also have pea soup, but this traditional Holland food is a particularly thick soup.
This soup typically contains split peas, pork, leeks, celery and smoked sausage. Some people add potatoes, onions and carrots, but those are not part of the original recipe.
Traditional Dutch food, snert is served with rye bread and bacon. It’s a typical winter dish that is ideal to prepare in large quantities for big groups of people or to freeze for later meals. Hearty and filling, snert is a delicious warming meal, and the name is rather funny to repeat over and over.
Here is a traditional recipe for snert (in Dutch).
Pancakes are common around the globe, but the Dutch give pancakes their own twist as pannenkoeken. The Dutch version is a lot larger and flatter than the American pancake, but slightly thicker than a French crêpe. Dutch pancakes are made of flour, eggs and milk. Traditionally they are eaten for dinner and are served often with sugar syrup (stroop), powdered sugar, jam, bacon or cheese. A classic is the combination of bacon and sugar syrup.
In the Netherlands and Belgium there are many specialized pancake restaurants and even pancake boats. These restaurants offer pancakes with a wide variety of both hearty and sweet toppings. In Amsterdam, check out the popular restaurant Pancakes! or take a ride on the Pannenkoekenboot. The Dutch pancake is also famous abroad. In Chicago there is a Pannenkoeken Cafe and Vancouver has a Dutch pancake restaurant as well!
Pannenkoeken are very easy to make at home. Try it!
Olliebollen are a Dutch treat traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve and at festivals and markets during the winter season.
The deep friend balls of dough are similar in taste and texture to a cake doughnut, often with the addition of raisins or currants in the batter. Oliebollen are usually served hot with powdered sugar on top.
Try oliebollen at a street stand in the winter or hope you get invited to a New Year’s party where you can taste homemade oliebollen. They are a lovely seasonal food in Holland. Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!
Long ago, gerookte paling (smoked eel) was a staple food in the Netherlands, but due to both scarcity and price it’s become a sought-after delicacy. It’s often served on a cracker or a bun as a cocktail snack, but there are many recipes for both starters and main courses.
After catching the eel, the fish is rinsed, gutted, and laid in a brine for several hours. Then the eel is dried and smoked in a smoke house where it develops its typical taste.
Gerookte paling is not only very tasty, it’s also healthy. It’s full of protein, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Have you tried this typical Holland food yet?
Baker Stam from Alkmaar started making big, flat shortbread cookies in 1883. His bakery was then purchased by baker Albert Govers, who continued making these cookies now known as Jodenkoeken and packaging them in tin cans. Govers asked for a deposit for the cans so he could use them again, while also ensuring repeat customers.
In 1924 the bakery was purchased by Davelaar, who continued producing the original Jodenkoeken. They are still sold in tin cans and are available in most supermarkets.
There are different stories about the origin of the word Jodenkoek. The most common story is that the recipe was an invention of a Jewish baker from Amsterdam. In the 1970s the name was seen as discriminatory, but eventually the moniker was kept. The name Jodenkoek is changed for export, however.
Be sure to taste these yummy shortbread cookies, they can be found in nearly every grocery store in Amsterdam and make an excellent gift to take abroad due to the protective tin can.
Metworst is a firm, seasoned sausage made from pieces of pork meat and lard that traditionally comes from the northern provinces of the Netherlands (Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe). In the past, metworst was made from cutting waste and was thus known as a poor man’s food in Holland.
The Groninger metworst is the strongest version and contains a lot of cloves (which are widespread in Dutch cuisine due to the spice trade and Indonesian influences). Traditionally, it was often served with stamppot, but today it’s popular as a cocktail snack.
If you like the flavor of cloves make sure you sample this tasty sausage, it combines quite well with a glass of rich red wine or bokbier.
A delicious pie with a tasty light crust, Limburgse vlaai is often filled with fruits like cherries or apricots. This type of pie is originally from the Limburg area in the south of the Netherlands, and is said to have been created in the town of Weert by a woman named Maria Hubertina Hendrix who sold her pies at the train station.
Vlaai differs from other pie recipes in a few ways. The batter is lighter than traditional pie crust, a bit more like a cake than a pie dough. Also, the pie itself is flatter and thinner than many American styles of pie.
Several varieties of vlaai can be found throughout the Netherlands. The most common have fruit fillings like cherries, apricots, plums, and apples. There is also a version called greumellevlaai that is filled with a buttery crumble mix and a rice pudding recipe called rijstevlaai.
Vlaai can be served by itself or with whipped cream, chocolate or other toppings. Enjoy a slice for dessert or with your afternoon coffee or tea. A sweet piece of Netherlands cuisine!
Traditionally served during winter time, stamppot might just be the epitome of Dutch cuisine. Hearty, nutritious, and tasty but not exactly what one would call haute cuisine.
This heavy dish consists of mashed potatoes mixed with vegetables like kale or carrots and is traditionally served with rookworst (smoked sausage). Want to eat stamppot like a real Dutchie? Dig a little ‘pond’ in your stamppot for the gravy!
Stamppot boerenkool (kale) is arguably the most popular version of this filling meal. Other types of stamppot are stamppot rauwe andijvie (raw endive), hutspot (onions and carrots) and zuurkool (sauerkraut). Another version of stamppot is called hutspot and is made of carrots and potatoes.
If you’re not lucky enough to know a Dutchie who can cook you this tasty meal in their kitchen, you can try it at several places around Amsterdam. The IJscuypje chain is a genius concept of ice cream shop in summer turned stamppot cafe (called Stamppotje) in winter. Choose from their freshly made stamppot flavors and toppings like sausage, bacon or gehaktbal. You can also go to a Dutch restaurant like Moeders to try their versions. The grocery chain Albert Heijn also has pre-made meals that you can heat up in the microwave oven. Or look online for a recipe and try to make it yourself! It’s quite easy.
A tasty and common Netherlands food is patat, which is the Dutch word for frites, chips or french fries. These thick and crispy fries are said to have been invented in the northern part of Belgium, and are thus often called Vlaamse friet. Dutchies love their patat with copious amounts of mayonnaise and often supplement this popular treat with another fried snack on the side if you can believe it. This side dish may be frikandel or kroket, both deep-fried meaty snacks. These unfading favorites may be purchased at snack bars all over Amsterdam, including the famous FEBO.
A curious element of many Dutch snack bars like FEBO is the snackmuur or automat; a wall filled with little coin-operated hatches from which pre-made snacks are served. Drop in your one or two Euro coin and open the little door to remove your frikandel, chicken sandwich or other delicious “food”. Fresh patat are usually procured from the back of the shop.
The Dutch enjoy their patat with mayonnaise as mentioned earlier and also with a combination of unique toppings. Try patatje oorlog, a conglomeration of peanut saté sauce, mayo and onions that might give your stomach a lesson about the meaning of the name (oorlog means war). Or try the patat speciaal which includes curry ketchup, mayonnaise and onion. For the ultimate healthy meal, try the frikandel speciaal with curry ketchup, mayo and onions slathered on a frikandel sausage, and order a side of patat to dip in the leftover sauce.
When craving this snack food in Amsterdam be sure to visit one of our favorite fries vendors like Vleminickx or Frites Uit Zuyd for a paper cone of piping hot patat.
A typical Dutch (and also Belgian) treat is speculaas, a type of shortbread biscuit, especially popular around Sinterklaas. They are crispy and crunchy and have a nice spicy taste. Today, speculaas is available in the supermarkets all year round.
There are many products based on the speculaas flavor: kruidnoten (small cookies that are sold during Sinterklaas), speculaaskoekjes (biscuits with an image or figure stamped on the front side), speculaasbrokken (large chunks), gevuld speculaas (filled with almond paste), and many more.
Speculaas products do not rise very much and have a fairly solid texture. The common speculaaskruiden ingredients are a mix of 8 parts cinnamon, 2 parts nutmeg, 2 parts cloves, 1 part ginger, 1 part cardamom and 1 part white pepper. You can purchase ready made speculaaskruiden mix in grocery stores or make your own. Maybe try using fresh ginger instead of dried for an extra kick?
In the US, New Zealand and Australia, speculaaskoekjes are often sold as Dutch Windmill cookies. Have you tried speculaas yet? If not, be sure to sample this typical Dutch sweet treat.
What’s your favorite Netherlands food? Let us know!
Have you tasted all of our top 10 Dutch foods which should be tried at least once (Part I)? Next check out Part III for 10 more delicious Dutch cuisine dishes!