Traditional Dutch food could be described as rustic. While I sometimes think of our traditional Dutch kitchen as common, I’ve come to appreciate many Dutch dishes. They are in fact common to me, but I still miss my Dutch food whenever I’m abroad. In the Dutch kitchen you can find a variety of foods that are great in wintertime and give plenty of energy. We also have a love our different sweet foods and snacks.
While our traditional food isn’t really fancy or elaborate, they do represent our culture and history and, in some way, represent the phrase: doe maar normaal, dan doe je al gek genoeg! (Just act normal, that’s already crazy enough!). Below is a list of the most traditional Dutch foods.
The haring is usually served with onions and sometimes pickles as well. You can buy it at markets and the traditional way of eating them, is taking the fish by the tail and putting it in your mouth. Haring that has been caught between may and june is called ‘hollandse nieuwe haring’. In this period the fish is at it’s fattest. You eat herring kind of raw. I say kind of, because the fish undergoes a process where they cleanse the herring and let it ‘ripe’ in which the fish gets it’s typical flavour as well as adding salt. This way, the flavour is optimal and no harmful bacteria are found.
Stamppot is most commonly eaten during the colder seasons like autum and winter. It is a simple dish that gives a lot of energy throughout the day. Potatoes are mashed together. with a vegetable like boerenkool, andijvie or carrots. Traditionally it’s served with some kind of sausage.
Stoofpot is a dish in which beef is cooked for a couple of hours on the stove, with or without vegetables and herbs for flavour and red wine. You can vary the ingredients that will be cooked together with the beef.
This is a dish that you can commonly find in markets as well. It is fried fish in a crunchy layer with sauce like: ‘ravigottesaus’.
Us Dutch people love our snacks. You can find patat (fries) in a lot of places and it is mainly served with mayonnaise or ketchup. There are different snacks that go together with the fries, like the kroket in the photo. Those snacks are fried meat with a crunchy layer around it and can be soft or hard inside.
Also called ‘snert’. This Dutch dish is a filled pea soup with or without sausage. It is very popular on cold days.
Cheese is something we eat with many types of food. Traditionally we eat a lot of bread, for breakfast and for lunch. On our bread we put a lot of toppings and one of the common toppings is cheese. Bread with some butter, a nice piece of cheese and we’re ready to go!
These pannenkoeken, which means pancakes, is a dish that’s always popular with children. We add a lot of sweet toppings to the pancakes, like powdered sugar, sugar, stroop and jam. But you can bake fruits like apple in the pancakes as well.
Poffertjes are a kind of mini pancakes baked in butter and served with powdered sugar and butter on top. They seem small but can get you filled pretty quickly.
Applepie is another lovely sweet dish that many people eat with a hot chocolate milk or coffee. Together with some whipped cream and especially made by your mother or grandmother, it can feel like home.
Hangop is a type of dessert which is made out of yoghurt or buttermilk. It is thicker than yoghurt. You can add toppings like walnuts or honey to the dish.
Drop is licorice. But for some reason we love drop and for some reason a lot of internationals don’t. Why? We have them in different variants from a little bit sweet, to honey flavored, to salty and double salted. If you try them and you don’t like them, you were warned 😉
A stroopwafels is a type of cookie with ‘stroop’ inside. If you buy these at a market, they can be double or triple the size as what you see in this image and will be served hot. This way, the stroop inside is still liquid and they taste extra delicious that way! If you buy these at the store, the stroop inside will be hard, so if you eat them and put them on top of a hot cup of tea or coffee, you can soften the stroop a little bit. That’s what you see in this photo as well.
Last but not least, we have hagelslag. Hagelslag are chocolate sprinkles put on top of your bread. Ofcourse children love this!
What kind of traditional Dutch food do you like from the Netherlands? Leave a comment below to let me know!
Featured photo by Tommy Ferraz on Unsplash
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