There are so many Dutch foods you need to try before you die, or at least before you leave the Netherlands. Here is a list of the 7 most popular Dutch foods you need to try while walking through the streets of Amsterdam.
1The cute Dutch version of pancakes — poffertjes
Think of them as mini pancakes, but puffier! They are made with yeast and buckwheat flour and are typically served topped with powdered sugar and butter. But why limit yourself, when whipped cream, syrup and strawberries are also possible toppings.
These cloud-like bites of heaven can usually be bought from street vendors in the winter. poffertjes are typically served in mini cardboard boxes, and you eat them with mini plastic forks. It’s all about the small things in life!
2One of the most savoury Dutch foods — Bitterballen
If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, these savory bite-sized bitter balls are perfect for you! Bitterballen are battered in a crunchy breadcrumb coating and filled with a gooey mixture of chopped beef, beef broth, flour, butter, herbs, and spices.
And if this doesn’t already make your mouth water, you get mustard on the side too. Available at almost every cafe and bar in Amsterdam, bitter balls go extremely well with a glass of cold Dutch beer.
3The most popular Dutch cookies — Stroopwafels
Stroopwafels are one of those delicious treats that you buy for your friends and family when you go back home. Made from two thin layers of batter with a sticky syrup filling in the middle, these Dutch cookies are simply delicious. You can buy them in bulk from every Dutch convenience store.
Shops also offer these stroopwafels in a very unique Dutch-style tin packaging, so it’s the perfect souvenir! But if you want to try the real thing, just buy fresh ones from the street vendors in Amsterdam. Small tip — stroopwafels go great with tea or coffee.
4Some Dutch foods may be slightly weird — Hollandse Nieuwe Haring
Think of it as the Dutch version of sushi, but not really! This raw fish might not be up to everyone’s taste but you must try it at least once! Herring fish is typically served with chopped onions. You can also eat it with bread and pickles as a sandwich if you want to tone down the explosion of flavours a bit.
The traditional way of eating herring is by holding the fish by its tail and eating it in one go with your head tilted backwards. This method is attempted only by the most daring tourists! Oh, and don’t forget to have a mint after that, just so that you don’t kill anyone with your breath.
5You will absolutely love this Dutch snack — Kroket
Think of kroketten as a bigger and better version of the bitterballen. The original Dutch kroket is made from beef or veal. But recently many other different flavours have been popping up.
You can try chicken satay, shrimps, goulash or even a vegetarian croquettes. If you want to, you can eat it just like that. However, the Dutch usually prefer it in sliced white bread with mustard.
You can easily find Dutch kroketten in vending machines (yes, I meant what I said). Holland has cafes with special vending machines that keep different types of food warm. All you have to do is put some coins in and voilà, a small door opens and you can just grab your kroket.
6A must when visiting the Netherlands in the winter — Erwtensoep
Erwtensoep, or green pea soup, is something that the Dutch absolutely love! The main ingredient is of course green peas, but the rest is all up to you. Typically this soup is cooked with slices of rookworst (smoked sausage), celery, onions and leeks. However, some Dutchies like adding in some potatoes and carrots in there as well.
The point is, you can go wild with any ingredients you want, as long as the accent is on the green peas. This thick soup is usually very popular around winter time, so if you happen to be in Holland when it’s cold, you know what to order! Your body and soul will be warmed up instantly.
7The food that the Dutch excel at — cheese
You can live in the Netherlands for as long as you want, but you’ll probably never get to try all the variations of cheese. Dutch people have so many different types of cheese, that you can eat it every day and never get sick of it. Of course, the most popular one is Gouda Cheese, but you’ll be missing out on so much if you just stop there.
Apparently, the Dutch have been making cheese since 800 B.C. In fact, they got so good at it that the Netherlands is the largest cheese exporter in the world. So if you’re walking down the streets in Amsterdam and feel like having a cheeky little bite just walk into any cheese shop. There are so many cheeses to taste, that you will get full in no time. Not to mention that you can also buy cheese packages for your friends and family from back home. How cheesy!
So there you have it! Seven Dutch foods you need to try before you die. Did we miss out on any of your favorite Dutch foods? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature Image: Rudy and Peter Skitterians/ Pixabay.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May 2018 and was fully updated in December 2020 for your reading pleasure.