Dutch food. It won’t kill you and it might make you stronger. Here is the overview.
Here we cover an important part of Dutch life – the food they eat and the food you should try. We are big fans of Dutch cuisine. Sure it’s not French or Italian, but it has its merits.
A typical Dutch breakfast is hearty and wholesome. It would consist of several different types of bread, Dutch cheese, butter, jam / honey, perhaps eggs, sausages or sliced meats. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and fruit juice are generally on offer too. A good buffet like that provides the energy needed to get the kids to school and have a productive morning. Nowhere near as fatty as a traditional English breakfast.
Another favourite Dutch breakfast is an uitsmijter, which is the name given to a substantial meal of eggs (typically three), bread, cheese and ham or bacon.
New trends ?
Lunchtimes are changing to reflect modern trends. In the past people would sit down to a meal. Nowadays In the cities, working people usually opt for a rather light lunch. You can see the lines of Dutch people at the Slagerij (butcher shop) waiting to get a fresh meat sandwich. This grab a snack attitude reflects shorter time available away from the office. The lunch might consist of sandwiches (broodjes), served in a sandwich bar; or a koffietafel.
With the younger generation, you see all the usual burgers or fried chicken places quite busy at lunchtimes. The main meal of the day is in the evening. With the general consensus that work is finished at 5 PM and the rest of the day is family time. Sitting down together to a good dinner is a tradition. In the countryside, lunch will be the main meal. Dinner is more likely to be bread with cheese and meats slices.
Typical Dutch dishes you should try
Snacks and Mains
- Bitterballen – honestly, who has not tried and loved these ? Red hot fried balls with a meat and vegetable mix inside. The perfect post work snack with a cold beer.
- Erwtensoep is a thick pea soup. A meal in itself. It is full of fresh vegetables, smoked sausage, cubes of bacon, sometimes a pig’s knuckle and bread. It is hot, delicious and filling.
- Stamppot is a Dutch classic. It consists of mashed potatoes paired with a range of other ingredients. There are carrots, kale or endives. It is generally served together with rookworst (smoked sausage) or a juicy piece of meat.
- Patat is the Dutch version of French fries, though generally thicker. Best bought from a stand or small shop that does only that. Covered in mayonnaise it is unsurprisingly delicious.
- Kroket and Frikandel your go-to Dutch fast food snacks. They are roll-shaped snacks usually containing some kind of meat. Maybe worth using the machines at FEBO just so you tick that box.
- Haring aka Dutch sushi. Raw herring with onions is a typical Dutch delicacy. They are fished from mid-May to mid-July in the North Sea and then frozen. The first catch of the season, the Hollandse Nieuwe, is much sought after. Also delicious served in a roll.
- Seafood dishes are often very good in The Netherlands. You will see fish shops and fresh fish stands everywhere and at markets. You can find lovely mussels, shrimps, oysters, eel (though a protected species nowadays) but especially Kibbling which is fried cod or whiting pieces in batter and comes with a special dipping sauce.
Desserts & others things to try…
- Pannekoeken – Pancakes basically, but the options for fillings are numerous – from syrups, to chocolate spreads to fruit. Very much back in fashion at the moment.
- Wafels met slagroom – waffles with whipped cream. A classic combo.
- Poffertjes are every child’s dream snack. They are basically small pancakes, served warm with butter and powdered sugar sprinkled on top. You can find them everywhere.
- Stroopwafel is the ultimate Dutch biscuit – a kind of cookie with two thin waffle-type wafers with a caramel filling. Pimp my Stroopwafel is a current trend with crazy toppings.
- Vla is a thick sweet pudding most similar to custard. It is made from milk and has three main flavours : vanilla, strawberry or chocolate.
- Drop -The Dutch love liquorice. You don’t have to, but they do.
- Oliebollen – mainly a winter festival time snack. It is a fried ball of dough. It is heavy and delicious, but quite high in calories.
- Apple pie and cream – available in in most cafés. If well made, the pastry is a treat. Perfect with a lovely hot coffee.
Dutch food ! It’s delicious and different, but you must try it !
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