One of the best ways to experience the history and culture of a new country is to taste its traditional cuisine. In many cases, there is an interesting story behind a local dish. If you are in the Netherlands, you will be amazed by the array of traditional foods that you can sample. While the country is not known for its cuisine, you should at least try out some of the more well-known Dutch foods during your stay. The ingredients used in traditional food in the Netherlands are always fresh, flavorsome, and every dish is lip-smacking good. You will be surprised at how wonderfully good, some of the specialties can taste! As tempted as you may be to stay safe, and opt for fast food, you should not go home without a Dutch culinary experience. Here is a look at the top traditional food that you should taste during your stay in the Netherlands.
1. Erwtensoep (pea soup)
Pronounced “air-ten-soup”, Erwtensoep is a simple pea soup that several countries across Europe share a liking for. Do not be fooled by its simplicity – this is a delicious, stomach-filling traditional Dutch soup that is served in every home. Erwtensoep is a soup typically made with split peas, a variety of chopped veggies like potato, carrot, celeriac, leek and onion, and pork (trotters, ribs and/or bacon). It is often served with Rogge bread, which is a dense bread made of rye. If you want to fill your stomach, order a bowl of Erwtensoep with Rogge bread.
2. Stamppot (mash pot)
If you are visiting the Netherlands in winter, one of the most satisfying traditional Dutch foods to eat after hours of exploring is a plate of stamppot. The dish consists of mashed potatoes combined with sauerkraut, carrots, kale, or endive. The name of the dish varies depending on which vegetable is added. Another important ingredient of stamppot is a locally-made smoked sausage called ‘rookworst’ – it is what makes this dish amazing.
3. Stroopwafel (waffle)
Popular across the globe, the ‘stroopwafel’ is, without a doubt, one of the Netherland’s most famous pastries. It is a unique type of cookie. To make the stroopwafel, a waffle made from baked batter is sliced horizontally and the two thin layers are filled with the ‘stroop’ – a special sweet and sticky syrup. If you are in the Netherlands, you will find bakeries and supermarkets that sell stroopwafels everywhere. Do not forget to get a taste of this traditional Dutch pastry on your trip.
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4. Vlaamse frites or Patat (fries)
The Dutch love fried potato sticks, whether you wish to call the dish chips, fries, or frites. This traditional Dutch snack is locally known as Vlaamse frites, meaning Flemish frites, or Patat. The name Vlaamse frites is to emphasize the dish’s authentic North Belgian origin. This popular street snack is as crunchy as your favorite French fries but are thick-cut like British potato chips. When you are in the Netherlands, you will find Vlaamse frites sold almost everywhere. It is a tasty snack to munch on while exploring the streets of the city you are in.
5. Hollandse Nieuwe (Dutch-style herring)
Also known as herring or haring, Hollandse Nieuwe (which means Dutch new herring) is the traditional food of the Dutch. This dish has raw herring that is served with raw onions and gherkins. Hollandse Nieuwe can also be enjoyed in little pieces or on ‘broodje haring’, which is a Dutch sandwich. Hollandse Nieuwe is a must-try while visiting the Netherlands.
6. Ossenworst (raw beef sausage)
Back in the 17th century, culinary agents across Europe largely used parts of oxen, which is where the oxtail soup comes from. Ossenworst is another product of the use of oxen parts and is an oxen sausage that made its way to the food scene in Amsterdam courtesy of the kosher tradition that Jewish immigrants brought in. Although it was originally made of oxen, the Ossenworst today contains beef and condiments such as mace, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, and salt. It is enclosed in a casing made of beef and then lightly smoked so it appears almost raw when you eat it. This is another traditional Dutch dish you should definitely taste during your next visit to the Netherlands.
7. Hutspot (mashed potatoes)
Nothing beats a bowl of good old mashed potatoes. But, when potatoes are mashed with carrot and served with some slowly stewed brisket - you get yourself a meal that is absolutely heavenly. Stamppot’s cousin - hutspot is an equally good dish. Made from simple ingredients - potatoes, carrots and onions this dish does raise eyebrows. But when paired with braised beef or meatballs, this ecstatic dish is great comfort food on a cold or damp day!
Enjoy the best dishes in Netherland
As mentioned earlier, the Netherlands is not famous for its cuisine, but there are quite a few delicious traditional Dutch foods that you should try out. From soups to snacks to pastries, you will find many traditional culinary delights to enjoy on your visit to this beautiful country. When in the Netherlands do not shy away from trying their food. The Dutch know how to cook, and you will love every dish you taste!
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