Hailing from a country where a multitude of spices are used to one where they use literally none, can be quite a shock especially if you have not brought any spices with you. Dutch food has negative saltiness and so little aroma that it stays bland whatever you do. They like to keep things simple. It can be evidently seen in their style of cooking and the food they eat.
There are two types of Dutch food you come across!
Bland foods and Sweet foods
Let’s start with the Bland foods. Very typical ways the Bland Dutch food is made
- Deep fry the hell out of something
- Boil and Mash the life out of something
Deep fried Foods
1) Croquettes and Bitter ballen
You will popularly find round or rod shaped food like these fried in oil looking either yellow, mustard, brown or orange in color. Round shaped foods are known as ‘Bitterballen’. Rod shaped foods are known as ‘Croquettes’.
They have meat, cheese and a little salt in them, but not a trace of chilly or any other spice. You eat them with mustard sauce or ketchup which again looks yellow, mustard, brown or orange in color.
It literally means ‘oil balls’. They are deep fried flour balls with sugar and has raisins in it – One hell of a non-diet snack
In retrospect we have a dish called Nei Appam which tastes exactly like Oliebollen which uses the same ingredient and it made from Jaggery instead of sugar
3) Big dutch fries
The dutch fries are thicker and not as crispy as the ones in Mcdonalds. You have various sauces to eat them with like mayo, cheese,ketchup, mustard and peanut. Manneken pis fries at Damrak is a must try out place.Again I must say a very fatty snack.
Boiled and mashed foods
Be it potatoes, cabbage, vegetables, chicken they are boiled and mashed into a gravy or processed in form of a rod
It is baically mashed potatoes and cut sausages. Period. Its called the ultimate dutch food .*No comments
It’s a thick pea soup with pork or beef strips inside. It was bland and mustardy in flavor. Not a soup to have every day.
3)Pancakes with bacon
This is one of the weirdest foods I have come across. Pancakes have bacon in it and is eaten with Maple syrup. Pancakes have sugar in, the bacon is salty and maple syrup is cloyingly sweet.
Most of the cooked dutch foods will not contain adequate salt or pepper. The most flavored dutch food you can eat is ‘Apple pie’ which has cinnamon in it. Ironically the dutch trade spices with the East India company and did not know how to use them in food. They ended up using it in pastries and medicines and gave up using them in the end!
Hoo I miss the spices **Nostalgia
Foods that DON’T need cooking/ Snacks
Herring is the famous Dutch fish that people here eat raw! It might be strange but if you get used to it you will start liking it. The fish is pickled with vinegar and eaten! It is an acquired taste so don’t freak out the first time you eat it.
Everywhere in Netherlands you will find bread. Not this bread below you find in India
It is everything but this. Hard crusted oven baked breads are a staple food here.
You frequently find baguette bars which sell ‘tough to eat’ sandwiches – A long heard bread with leaves or raw pickled meat inside. Take your time to try out different breads to find out ‘what not to eat’ and embrace what you can eat! Because it can save your life when you are really in need of food.
3) Milk and Cheese
Dutch cows are the happiest in the world –cows of the first world. Green pastures and canals everywhere! There is a huge dairy industry in Netherlands and Milk is abundant. You find cheese making farms in every village in Netherlands and the types of cheese here will blow your mind.
You find blocks of cheese as big as a car tire, Cheese colored blue, green, red; Flavored Cheese with chilly flakes, pesto, garlic. They have cheese tasting available in all big cheese stores and don’t forget to get a taste of all the free cheese available 😛
We have a name for these- Pastries as I would like to call them. We have them for birthdays and special occasions but here it is something people have every other day. Cake, Macaroon, candy shops are famous and are all over the streets.
If you have a sweet tooth and like to eat candies and cakes all day you might develop a liking towards dutch food.
1) Stroop Waffles
These are a gift from the Dutch cuisine. Something to take home from the country and distribute. They are sumptuous layers of wafers with caramel in between them. It is my personal favorite. Too bad they are one of the most sugary foods you can eat and might end up with Diabetes if you eat them every day.
Poffertjes are small and fluffy batter pancakes, served with powdered sugar and butter, sometimes with syrup. This dish is strickingly similar to a dish from south India called ‘Kuli paniyaram’
Image: Kuli paniyaram from South India
You might have heard of them before. You will find cute colored flavored macrons with creamy stuffing in Netherlands. It’s my personal favorite and I would totally recommend you to try them if you are here
Back In my place we have plain white macaroons like this
One and only advice- Don’t try them!
Drops are licorice candies that are bitter, salty and like cough syrup and are an acquired taste; you need to have been eating them from your childhood in order to like them. Too late if you visit Amsterdam when you are an adult. For curious souls – Try one or two but don’t forget that I warned you!
Dutch people consume some untoasted brown bread covered with butter or margarine and sprinkled with hagelslag (famous Dutch chocolate sprinkle).
- Dutch people are said to consume over 14 million kilos of hagelslag each year!
- Hagelslag comes in many varieties (chocolate, fruit flavoured and anise seed (licorice seed) hagelslag)
Frankly I have never eaten this but seen a lot of this in supermarkets
Dutch food is not the most exciting foods to eat everyday but if you are a tourist you must try out these to get a taste of Netherlands
- Poffertjes and Pancakes
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