The Dutch people and traditions are totally different from any other country in the world. This also goes for traditional Dutch food. Let me tell you all about 15 typical Dutch food items you need to try and how they are baked into the Dutch traditions.
Table of contents
- Stroopwafel (Best Dutch Cookie!)
- Broodje Kaas
- Stamppot (Traditional Dutch Food Alert!)
- Friet Met Kroket/Frikandel
- Beschuit Met Muisjes
- Dutch Comfort Food: Erwtensoep
- Broodje Hagelslag – Best Typical Dutch Breakfast Food
- Vla: The Iconic Dutch Dessert Food
- Typical Dutch Celebration Food: Oliebollen
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Stroopwafel (Best Dutch Cookie!)
When you travel in the Netherland, you cannot miss the stroopwafels, the most delicious dutch cookies. A stroopwafel is made out of two thin biscuits with a layer of caramel in between. The best place to eat a stroopwafel is when it’s made fresh on a daily market. Then you can eat it while it’s still warm.
Whether you are going for a picnic, have lunch at home, or a day out to a theme park. One of the most common lunch and traditional Dutch foods is a bun with cheese or broodje Kaas. Usually, this is young cheese and sometimes there’s even some ham on there. It’s a very basic snack but everybody in the Netherlands knows it and has eaten it at one point in his or her life.
Stamppot (Traditional Dutch Food Alert!)
If you love eating things that are soft and meshed together, you are going to love the Dutch Stamppotten. Stamppot is all about comfort and warmth and will bring any duchy back to their childhood.
Basically, a stamppot is a mix of boiled potatoes and one kind of vegetable mashed together. Usually, the stamppot is topped with sausage.
They’re all different kinds of traditional stamppot recipes and the only thing that really changes is the vegetables. There is Hutspot stamppot (with carrots), boerenkool stamppot (with kale), andijvie stamppot (with escarole) zuurkool stamppot (with sauerkraut ), and many more.
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Something most non-dutchies despise about Dutch food is the drop or licorice. The Dutch drop is kind of old school, and compared to other licorice in the world it’s very salty. You are either going to hate it or you are going to love it.
Just like with stamppot, there is a huge abundance of different kinds of liquorice. Go to the supermarket and try at least two different kinds: honey liquorice which is a bit sweeter, and the coins which are more like every other kind of Dutch liquorice.
Friet Met Kroket/Frikandel
This is definitely my guilty pleasure and ever since I’ve been living together we’ve been eating this way more often: friet or fries with a kroket or frikandel. In the Netherlands, you will find cafeterias everywhere around you and it is a typical to eat fries with a kroket or frikandel as Dutch take-out food. Many families even have a special day planned in their week to eat this, and everybody is looking forward to it.
The Dutch fries are a bit thicker than French fries and are served with a ton of mayonnaise. Order some fries with a kroket or frikandel when you are visiting a city or just when you are laying on the couch in your hotel.
Beschuit Met Muisjes
Another traditional food in the Netherlands is beschuit met muisjes or “biscuit with mice”. Of course, these are not real mice, the mice are sprinkles made out of anise in white, blue, and pink colors.
It’s a tradition to eat beschuit met muisjes to celebrate the birth of a child. For a boy, you’ll get beschuit with white and blue muisjes, and for a girl beschuit with white and pink muisjes.
You can really notice that the Dutch know their traditions. When I was buying some beschuit met muisjes to take photos with, I immediately got asked by the cashier if I was pregnant… Whoops haha
You might have seen some photos of a man and a woman in traditional Dutch clothing holding a fish above their heads, ready to eat it. That fish is called a haring or herring.
Herring is caught in the North Sea and is usually eaten with some onions on the side. The best place to eat a herring is at a fish stand on a daily market. It’s a bit of a salty fish, and the way to eat it is to pick it up, hold it above your head and lower it into your mouth.
Another Dutch fish that many people eat, especially along the coast is kibbeling. The Kibbeling is prepared by cutting codfish into pieces, coating it with a layer of spices, and keeping frying it. After frying the fish an additional layer of spices is added.
Dip your kibbeling into some remoulade sauce and you are good to go. Kibbeling is definitely my favorite traditional Dutch food and every Friday we go to the beach in Zeeland to eat it.
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After a fun night out drinking and dancing many people go for a bite to eat in the middle of the night. Kapsalon is a dish that you can get at almost any cafeteria. When you order a Kapsalon expect to get a pile of kebab, fries, and a bit of salad drowned in garlic sauce.
This is the perfect food to regain some energy and to talk over the night. If you propose to get Kapsalon after a night out in the town, you are invading the Dutch culture splendidly.
Pannenkoeken is typical Dutch food, but they are totally different from the French crepes or American pancakes. Dutch pancakes are usually the size of a large plate and about 3 to 5 mm thick. Natural pannenkoeken are made with milk, eggs, and flour, but often bacon, cheese, or apples are added to the mix for some variety. Put powdered sugar or syrup on your pancake as a topping, roll it up and enjoy!
When you are travelling to Netherlands, visit a pannenkoeken huis or pancake house, which is a restaurant completely focused on the different variation of dutch pancakes. And it’s freaking delicious!
One of the most typical Dutch pastries is tompoezen. A tompoes has a crust on the top and bottom layer with a pink glaze over it, and the middle is filled with a firm cream. This is a very sweet pastry and during Kingsday you will find orange tompoezen all over the country.
It’s funny because every Dutch person eats their tompoezen differently. Some put in their mouth as it is, some eat the crusts first, and others slice the tompoes through the center of the cream, so you have 2 mini tompoezen. A funny thing to do is to ask any random Dutch person how they eat their tompoes.
Dutch Comfort Food: Erwtensoep
In the wintertime, the Netherlands can become very cold, so comfort food is everything during those frozen days. Ewrentsoep or pea soup is made out of green peas, carrots, and sausages. The texture is very thick with large chunks of rookworst (dutch sausage).
Broodje Hagelslag – Best Typical Dutch Breakfast Food
A typical Dutch thing to eat in the morning is bread, especially when it’s topped with a little butter and chocolate sprinkles or hagelslag. Many people are astonished by this because they do not understand why you would start off your day with chocolate. But in the Netherlands, it is as normal as riding your bike.
Vla: The Iconic Dutch Dessert Food
As a kid, whenever I would have dinner with my parents at the kitchen table we would have Vla as dessert. The traditional Vla is a kind of sweet yogurt with a yellowish color. Nowadays, there are tons of varieties like strawberry Vla, with chunks of chocolate, half yogurt half Vla and Vlaflips!
Ask any Dutch person about Vlaflips and they’ll go crazy as it takes them back to their childhood. Vlaflips are dessert cups with half yellow Vla, half chocolate, or vanilla with a topping of whipped cream (must try).
Typical Dutch Celebration Food: Oliebollen
On New Year’s Eve, the Netherlands goes crazy with fireworks, drinking, and extreme parties. The traditional food to celebrate the New Year’s with is oliebollen.
Oliebollen are balls of deep-fried batter. The oliebollen or “oily balls” taste sweets and sometimes having raisins in them. The best way to eat them is to warm them with some powdered sugar.
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