The Netherlands is not typically known as a country to which you travel for the cuisine, but any self-proclaimed “foodie”, at the minimum, needs to try these classic Dutch foods.
During my first few months here, I told everyone that I thought Dutch “cuisine” was delicious, but I we eventually learned: tell a Dutch person this and they will either think you’re crazy or lying to their face. I still don’t understand why though. While it’s not the type of food you’d find at the swankiest restaurants, it is still super tasty and delicious. While I’m not as adamant to share my opinion as strongly anymore, I am still a big fan the food.
But try them all yourself and you be the judge!
Delicious mashed potatoes with vegetables folded in (I’ve seen varieties with carrots, onions, spinach, or sauerkraut) and either a sausage or meatballs on the side. Basically a Dutch shepherd’s pie, semi-deconstructed.
A Dutch Indonesian meal comprised of a varieties of small dishes presented to your table at the beginning of your meal. It’s all Indonesian food and it’s only technically part Dutch as this type of presentation was developed during the time the Dutch colonized Indonesia.
Erwtensoep / Snert (Dutch pea soup)
Dutch pea soup definitely won’t win any awards for its looks, but it’s what is on the inside that counts! And on the inside is an undoubtably delicious, hearty soup with bits of pork / bacon / sausage. This soup will warm your soul.
Deep-fried finger foods generally with a beefy, gravy mixture inside. Dip it in mustard and enjoy. Pairs well with a nice cold beer.
Eaten raw with pickles and onions. Those who want a milder taste should order it with bread. Get these fresh from street markets, street stands, or fish shops.
Or a croquette sandwich. A croquette is basically a larger version of bitterballen. Eat them with a generous side of mustard between bread and you have a delicious (and addicting) quick meal. For an even quicker experience, you can order from coin-operated FEBO stores.
Sweets / Snacks
Two thin waffle cookies stuck together by either syrup (most common) or Nutella. You can find these made-to-order at Albert Cuyp street market, pre-made but daily fresh in bakeries, or pre-made and packaged in grocery stores and other small shops.
The Dutch love their apple pie and so do I! Thicker, more apples, not as sweet as the American version, and served with a side of whipped cream. If I was forced to choose, my dessert of choice.
Mini Dutch pancakes with melted butter and powdered sugar. Best when made-to-order from a vendor at a street market or a pancake restaurant.
Give some (or all) of these a try and let me know what you think. Is there anything you tried in The Netherlands that is a must-add to this list? Let me know!