Are you a fan of Dutch cuisine? If you’ve tasted our “top 10 Dutch foods which should be tried at least once” and our “10 MORE foods you should be sure to sample“, then now you’re ready for these 10 typical Dutch foods!
10 DUTCH FOODS YOU SHOULD TRY (DUTCH CUISINE PART III)
Hagelslag means hail in Dutch, but in this case the particles falling from the sky are made of chocolate! Joepie!
It might sound funny but many Dutch people eat these chocolate sprinkles on bread for breakfast in the morning. No, not just the kids, adults too! And maybe even for lunch. Typically butter is spread on the white bread first which helps the hagelslag to adhere.
According to Wikipedia, hagelslag was first invented in 1936 by the Venz company in response to letters from a five-year-old boy, H. Bakker, asking for a chocolate bread topping. Or at least that is what the inventor said, it’s possible that the chocolate sprinkles were really just for himself.
Hagelslag comes in dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate and fruity flavors. We’ve even seen bright orange versions around Koninginnedag in the past. Hagelslag is definitely a typical Dutch food.
If you like chocolate and bread, try it! Just think of it as the Dutch version of Nutella.
If you visit the bustling street markets of the Netherlands you are sure to catch the scent of frying fish. Lekkerbek is a lightly battered and deep fried fillet of white fish that is sold by fishmongers and fish stands all over the country.
Get your lekkerbekje hot and eat it right away. The steaming fish with greasy, salty flavor is just the thing to warm you up on a cold day at the outdoor market.
Have you already tried Gerookte Paling and Hollandse Nieuwe Haring? Instead of lekkerbek you can also try kibbeling. It’s basically the same, but it’s little chunks of fried white fish instead of the bigger fillet. If you like, you can get a creamy dipping sauce on the side, but we prefer it without.
Look for fish stands in Amsterdam at the weekly street markets or head to shops like Volendammer Vishandel in De Pijp.
We just don’t get the logic behind the name filet americain. What is it? Raw meat paste. Is it made of Americans? Hopefully not.
Stupid jokes aside, it seems the name comes from the 1920s in France where steak tartare was then called steack à l’Americaine. The Dutch version usually consists of finely chopped raw beef mixed with spices and flavorings and is eaten as a spread on bread or crackers. Many people like to top it with chopped raw onion as well. At restaurants you might find it topped with an egg, try filet americain in Amsterdam at Herengracht Restaurant, Broodje Bert or La Cage.
You can easily prepare filet americain at home but many purchase it ready made in small plastic tubs at the grocery store or butcher shop. It is common Dutch cuisine item that often appears at parties as an appetizer and at office lunches as a sandwich topping. But beware if you are pregnant or have a compromised immune system, it is raw beef after all.
Small soft breadrolls with currants and raisins inside, krentenbollen are often eaten for breakfast spread with butter or topped with a slice of cheese. We especially like them with oude kaas for a contrast between the sweet flavor of the roll and the tanginess of the cheese.
These bread rolls are softer, sweeter and more golden in color than other buns due to the inclusion of egg yolks and sugar in the typical recipe.
You can find krentenbollen in most grocery stores and bakeries in the Netherlands. Check out our favorite bakeries in Amsterdam.
Have you ever heard the Dutch saying: Het leven is net een krentenbol, met af en toe een hard stukje? It roughly translates as Life is like a krentenbol, here and there a hard part. Ponder that the next time you snack on a fruit-filled krentenbol.
Peppermint candies have long been popular in the Netherlands. Originally peppermint was used as a medicinal remedy to stimulate the digestion and soothe the stomach. Mints were first sold in blocks, and later as tablets in a variety of sizes. Pepermunten are chalky mint candies typically in the shape of a large coin or disc. The ingredients include peppermint oil, sugar and binders. In Amsterdam the candies are often given to you with the bill after a restaurant meal.
Two of the best known brands of pepermunten are KING and Wilhelmina. KING began selling their pepermunten under that brand name in 1922. The Wilhelmina peppermint was developed in 1892 by the Fortuin company as a tribute to Princess Wilhelmina and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company. Both brands have iconic red, white and blue labeling and mints are stamped with a crown and profile of the Princess, respectively.
These candy rolls make great little gifts to bring back from a trip to the Netherlands and are always nice to have around for a minty pick-me-up.
Delicious for lunch or as a snack, tostis are a quick and easy sandwich that can be found at most cafes in Amsterdam. The simplest version of the tosti is a toasted or grilled cheese sandwich that often includes ham or salami as well. It can be ordered on white or brown bread. Tostis are not a traditional Dutch food, but are typical in most Amsterdam cafes. Try a simple tosti at cafes around Amsterdam along with your koffie verkeerd or a beer. The tosti from Cafe De Kat in de Wijngaert in the Jordaan won an award for the best in the city, so it’s a great place to sample a typical one.
Of course you can also prepare a tosti at home. Many people use a panini press or simple electric grill machine but you can make it in a pan on the stove as well.
While a plain tosti with simple Jonge kaas is delicious, the gourmet versions are yummy too. These are usually made with thicker breads and include more vegetables and perhaps aged cheeses or goat cheese for a filling lunch. Go try the tasty vegetable filled tosti at Cafe Kostverloren or the award winning cheesy dream tosti at Caulils!
The perfect addictive snack to eat along with beer is borrelnootjes. These little round balls are a nut (almost always peanut) with a crispy layer around it, often with added flavorings.
Borrelnootjes were developed by the company Calve who sold the name and recipe to Duyvis in 1996. Other food makers have copied the concept but only Duyvis can call their snacks borrelnootjes.
Borrelnootjes come in many flavors such as sweet paprika, oriental, kebab and Italian herb. There are also larger varieties with spots called Tijger in flavors like ham and cheese, sate curry or BBQ. The flavors might sound bizarre, but they are also strangely addicting. These snacks have an ingenious mix of sweet, salty and savory flavors that keeps you reaching for more. And they pair perfectly with a beer. Try them and see for yourself.
A special Dutch breakfast treat is wentelteefjes, bread dipped in egg and cooked in a pan. It is very much like what Americans call French toast and the French call pain perdu, but the bread used for wentelteefjes is often sweet sugar bread or has a touch of sweetener added to the batter.
Bread slices are soaked in a mixture of egg and milk and then lightly pan fried on each side until golden. We like it best when it’s served with homemade jam but other toppings include powdered sugar, butter, fresh fruits and stroop syrup.
Look for wentelteefjes at some of our favorite Amsterdam breakfast restaurants, or make it yourself at home!
Crispy on the outside, soft and cheesy in the middle. That’s how we like our kaasbroodjes! Basically a puff pastry shell with a cheese filling inside, kaasbroodjes are a savory treat typically eaten for breakfast in the morning or as a snack.
You’ll find them for sale in nearly every bakery in Amsterdam, and also in shops like Albert Heijn and Hema. Grab one at Amsterdam Central Station before you hop on your morning train. Of course with a bit of baking skill you can also make your own! Check out this recipe.
Gourmet varieties come with fancier cheese, and typically have a flakier crust. If you like kaasbroodjes, try saucijzenbroodjes, they are basically the same puff pastry shell but with sausage inside instead of the cheese.
Although rijsttafel is made up of Indonesian dishes, this meal style is said to be a Dutch invention. The delicious Indonesian cuisine has been embraced in the Netherlands since Indonesia was a colony of the Netherlands beginning in the 1800s. The Dutch arrived in Indonesia in the 16th century in search of spices, and the wonderful foods from that area of the world have become a part of Dutch cuisine.
Rijsttafel consists of rice with many small dishes of spiced vegetables and meats. These dishes are shared among a group of two or more diners, allowing everyone to try a range of items.
Rijsttafel is commonly seen on the menu of Indonesian restaurants all over Amsterdam and is usually priced between €20-30 per person. A popular restaurant that serves rijsttafel near the Spui in Amsterdam is Kantjil & de Tijger. Or try Tempo Doeloe for a real treat.
In Amsterdam? Why not try all these Dutch foods on a short bicycle or walking tour around the city?
Are you interested in Dutch cuisine and the type of foods Amsterdam and the Netherlands is famous for? If you missed them, be sure to check out Part I and II of our Dutch Food series. Read about top 10 Dutch foods which should be tried at least once and our 10 MORE foods you should be sure to sample. Stay tuned for 10 Dutch Drinks You Should Sip!