Let's be honest, the Dutch don’t really have what is known as a 'cuisine'. We don’t have pizza like the Italians, or currywurst like the Germans. But that's more than okay, because what we are known for, is being international and versatile. Wherever you're from in this world, there is most probably a place in the Netherlands that serves the dishes from home. Whether you're looking for your Belgian fries or tasty Argentinean steak, you should find it here. The Netherlands likes to experiment with different flavors and that guarantees that if you head to the big (but also small) cities, you will be overwhelmed with many delicious food choices. English breakfast? Sure. Sushi for lunch? Alright. Greek grill for dinner? Let's go! Make an adventure out of it and try finding a place that makes the food (almost) as good as home. Let us know in the comments if you've done so and where!
So, the Netherlands really has no food that is typically from here? No matter how international we are, there are of course a couple meals and snacks that we Dutchies love to eat, and eat, and eat!
Tiny, fluffy pancakes? Yes please! Poffertjes are a popular snack amongst the Dutch, especially during the colder days. Easy to make if you have the right bake shape, and very good for a quick, fun meal with friends. Add some powder sugar or syrup and you're good to go. Want to make your own? That is also possible. Every supermarket sells either the mixture pack for those who are interested, but you can always try to make it from scratch. Just google the recipe, it's quite simple!
2. Stampot & potatoes
Can we truly say we're Dutch if we don’t L-O-V-E potatoes? Most of us are crazy about this starch and incorporate in as many meals as possible. Boiled potatoes, baked potatoes, fried potatoes, oven potatoes, and one of the best, stampot! Stampot, aka mashed potatoes, is one of the favored winter dishes amongst us. In many different forms and easy to make, it is a meal that ends up on the table frequently. Add some kale, some carrots, or peas, then drown it in gravy, and add a nice (vegan) sausage to the side, et voila! If you like to survive the cold winter days just like the Dutch do, this is the meal you should make!
3. Dutch snackssss
The chances of you walking past this spectacular thing and not having seen it, would be a rarity. We are talking of course about the "snack wall". The Dutch like their fried snacks, be it a kaassouffle, kroket, or frikadel, and they surely dont make it difficult to get your hands on them. Perfect for those who are craving something quick, there is this snack wall. Usually found in or around a snack bar, there is a wall that has these snacks ready to go. Just throw in the required amount of cash or even pay by card and the door to your picked snack will open.
4. Fries galore
We've already established that we Dutch can't get enough of our fried snacks and potatoes and therefore fries are no exception. One characteristic of eating fries on the go or at a snack bar is to lather it up with sauce. Mayonnaise is by far the most commonly ordered sauce for on fries. In Dutch, all we need to say is "frietje met”, in the Southern part of the country, or “patatje met” in other parts, which translates to "fries with", and they will hand you your fries covered in mayonnaise. But that's not the only option. There is ketchup, curry (not like Indian curry, but a more herbal ketchup), samurai, sage sauce, and onions. Something you could try is called "patatje oorlog" aka "war fries" which is a nice combination of peanut sauce and onions on your fries. Explore the options, as there are many!
5. Stroopwafels & dropjes
The cliche snacks people think of when they hear the Netherlands are stroopwafels and licorice. Even though the popularity drops for licorice, it's one of the main things you can find in the candy isle of your grocery store. They come salty or sweet and in many different flavors. Worth to try or gift it to your family members. The same goes for stroopwafels, which literally means syrup waffle. In this case the waffle syrup is solid inbetween two small thin waffles. Very tasty to dip in coffee or a hot chocolate or eat it by itself.
6. Breaaaad. Every. Meal. Of. The. Day.
Last but not least, were known to be eating bread for most of our daily meals. Both breakfast and lunch consists mostly of some sandwiches with butter and cheese, ham, peanut butter or chocolate paste. Real simple but easy to make and easy to eat. We have gotten many question marks from people who figure out we eat sandwiches all the time, but if you like a cheap but filling meal during the day, that's the way to go! #studenthack
Tosti's are another big thing here, which is a warm version of our sandwich meal, where the cheese and ham melt together with the toasted bread. It is highly suggested to make your own or go and get some at a nice lunch place.
Alright, all the stereotypes aside, it is safe to say that the Netherlands at first sight doesn't have anything new to offer other than your cuisines from home. But once you start digging, you'll realize theres a few quirky facts about what we like to eat, and we recommend you to try all of them yourself while being here abroad!
Eet smakelijk alvast!