Europe Recipes Travel

Typical Dutch Food

As some might know, I am dutch. We have a lot of food that non-dutch people never heard of. If you ever visit Holland, which I recommend, try these typical Dutch foods. Some might sound a bit gross or weird, but they taste pretty good. 

You will probably know a few of them, but maybe not realize that it is Dutch.  There are some great cities to visit and try the whole list of typical Dutch food. Not only Amsterdam has something to offer. Plan your trip with this ultimate guide to the Netherlands!

Savory

Stampot

Stampot is actually not really one dish, but a kind of dish. It is a kind of vegetable mashed together with potatoes. Often eaten with sausage or a meatball and jus/gravy. You can find it in a lot of places, but only during autumn and winter, because it is quite heavy. 

My parents always have to eat it on the first cold and rainy day. That is their excuse to eat it again. There are a few lighter versions nowadays, so you can also eat it in autumn. 

Kroket

A Dutch kroket looks a bit like the Spanish croquetas, but not really. It is a kinda sausage from ragout with a crispy outside. You have different kinds: Veal, Vegetable, beef etc. 

You also have Bitterballen. These are little rounds instead of sausage like. But it tastes the same.

You can eat it as it is or put in in a bun. Then it is called a broodje kroket. Most people eat it with mustard or without sauce. 

Frikandellen

Well, if I explain this one, it will sound disgusting, but it is actually pretty good. A frikandel is a sausage made of leftover meat. you know, the parts nobody wants to buy, so they grind it and put it in a frikandel.

You also have frikandel special/special. That is a frikandel with onion, ketchup, and mayonnaise. This is also fast food, just like the kroket, and you can also put it on a bun for a broodje frikandel.

Kapsalon

Kapsalon is something from Rotterdam and it is hangover food. It is like donner and kebab, but different. You get it in a small kinda bowl with different layers. 

You start with fries, kebab meat, cheese and then you put it in the oven again so the cheese melts. After that, you add the sauces, sambal/spicy sauce and garlic sauce, and the salad: onion, salad, tomato, and cucumber.  Add some more sauce and enjoy!

It actually started as a joke. This hairdresser wanted fries, but also kebab. So the asked the kebab place to mix it up. It tasted really good and it became really popular. 

Erwtensoep

Translated Pea soup. This is a typical winter soup because it is very thick and heavy. It is so thick that it is more a porridge. The main ingredient is peas, but there is also celeriac, onion, and carrot in there. Most of the time they add sausage, bacon or other meat in there. One plate of Erwtensoep is enough for a whole meal because it is so filling. 

Kibbeling / Lekkerbek

These are two dishes, but almost the same. Lekkerbek (tasty mouth) is cod fried with a batter. It is mostly eaten with cocktail or remoulade sauce. You can get is on markets and at the harbors. the fish is caught in the morning and everyone can enjoy it just a few hours later. 

Kibbeling is pieces of fried cod and other white fishes in a batter. It is the same batter as the Lekkerbek, but they are the pieces they cut off to form the Lekkerbek. 

I, personally, like the Kibbeling better. They have more batter because they are smaller. You get a bunch of them as a portion. You can try them both, but they taste the same. 

Cheese 

Alright, every country has cheese. But the Dutch cheese is very popular. One of the most popular is the Goudse Kaas. It is a hard cheese and you have it in different kinds. How longer they let the cheese wheel ripe, the harder it gets. Some like it very young and soft and others like it older, spicier and firmer. 

You can eat it in so many ways. On a sandwich, pancake, melted on a grilled cheese or just ‘uit het vuistje’. ‘Uit het vuistje’ is a Dutch saying. We actually just mean to eat it without anything else. Just a piece of cheese. 

Sweets

Stroopwafel

This is actually a cookie you can find all over the world. I heard you can find it in the USA, Spain, and even Iran.  So, it is basically a cookie filled with caramel. They make the cookie in a waffle iron, cut it in half when it is still warm and add the caramel. 

You can put the cookie on the top of your tea glass to heat it up a bit and make it soft. Or you eat it like me. A whole package at the same time. 

Drop

Some people know this candy by the name licorice. Dutch drop is not something a lot of foreign people like. I bring it with me if I work abroad and I often eat the whole bag, because they do not like it at all. But make sure you try it. 

You have it in a lot of different kinds. Hard, soft, salty, sweet, minty, licorice root etc.  It has a very specific taste I can only describe as drop. So I guess you just have to try it.

Speculaas

Speculaas is a very Dutch cookie. It is even shaped like a windmill. Speculaas is also a taste here. Kruidnoten taste like speculaas. This is a cookie you will find in every supermarket and often get with your coffee.

In between sweet and savory

Alright, so we have some things that are not really sweet but also not really savory. Just a bit of both. 

Beschuit met muisjes

If I translate this it says biscuit with mouses. Don’t worry, no real mouses are used. Beschuit is a round crispy savory kinda cookie. It is often eaten with breakfast with cheese, jam, muisjes etc. 

There are three different kinds of muisjes. Blue/white, Pink/white and mashed.  The color actually does not matter to the taste. This is again something that is very hard to describe how it tastes. 

There is a reason that there are two colors. Beschuit met muisjes is often treated on when a baby is born. Pink if it is a girl and blue if it is a boy. 

Pannenkoeken 

Basically pancakes, but different. We make our pancakes very thin and larger than the American pancakes. It is in between the French crepe and the American pancake. 

Some like the pancake with cheese or ham or bacon and others with apple or plain. You can add syrup, sugar and basically everything.

Haagse Hopjes

This is actually my favorite. They are basically hard caramels with coffee flavor. They are called Haagse Hopjes because they were invented in the Hague. 

Holidays

Kruitnoten en pepernoten

This is classic holiday food. We have a holiday on the 5th of December called Sinterklaas. This is a saint who comes from Spain and gives presents. He has helpers who throw food when they enter the room. These are the kruitnoten en pepernoten. 

Kruidnoten tastes a bit like speculaas and are hard small round drops. You have them in a lot of different kinds nowadays. Yogurt covered, chocolate covered, caramel covered and even coffee flavor. If you can think of it, it exists. 

Pepernoten are soft and have a very subtle flavor. You like them or you do not. I personally do not like them. I eat bags of kruidnoten, but no pepernoten. 

You can wake me up for kruidnoten, especially the white chocolate covered ones. I always buy a big bag the week after Sinterklaas. They are on sale then and I will eat them in the summer if they make it to the summer.

Oliebollen

At New Years we always make Oliebollen. They are basically dough balls that we fry. There are two different kinds. ‘Oliebollen met krenten’ ones that have raisins and currant in them and you have just the ‘Oliebol’. The normal one is without anything and they are very simple. 

The oliebollen are very airy because we let them rise a long time. We eat them with powdered sugar. You can get them from the end of November till halfway January. 

Appelflappen / Appelbeignets

These two really look like each other but are not totally the same. Appelflappen are a kind of small apple pies. 
Small parts of apple with sugar and cinnamon folded in puff pastry and then baked in the oven. When it is still hot from the oven, then they sprinkle some sugar on top. 

Appelbeignets are available in two different kinds. Some make it with puff pastry and the other use a batter.  It is a thick slice of apple with almond paste in the pastry/batter. Then it is fried in oil and thrown into cinnamon sugar. 
The puff pastry is my favorite. It is crispy and airy. The batter is more compact and soft. 

As most people make the Oliebollen and Appelflappen themselves, a lot of different recipes exist. But you can also get them at every ‘Gebakkraam’. Booths on the street with all the holiday food. 

They are coming up with a lot of different versions. You can also find them with pineapple or different fillings. 

Typical Dutch Food

So as you can see, there are a lot of different things. The list is way longer, but these are the most-known or the best to try. So plan your trip to the Netherlands and get some great and weird food. 

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typical dutch food

Have you ever tried some Dutch specialties? What is a typical food from your country?

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