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Dutch Cuisine: 10 Traditional Dishes from the Netherlands You Must Try

Dutch Cuisine: 10 Traditional Dishes from the Netherlands You Must Try

These famous icons include windmills, bulb fields, wooden shoes, cheese markets; the Netherlands is known for many things, but not necessarily its food.

Despite being only a relatively small country in Northern Europe, the Netherlands has had a significant impact on the world owing to its historical empire and important role on the continent. Along with their neighbors (and rivals) Germany, this part of the world has not made as much a name for itself in terms of cuisine as foodie behemoths such as France, Spain and Italy.

But write them off at your peril! Overlooking the tasty delights of the Netherlands will mean you miss out on some of the most exquisite dishes and sweet treats found in Europe.

Most Popular Dutch Foods

Dutch cuisine is typically quite simple: breads, meats, cheeses and vegetables. However, owing to its colonisation of far flung countries such as the East Indies, the dutch cuisine began to evolve somewhat over the 20th century to become much more diverse in its range of flavors.

But what the Dutchies do best has to be sugary snacks, which you’ll find in abundance in this list. So without further ado here are the most popular traditional dutch foods to try:

Poffertjes

Poffertjes

Poffertjes, simply called Dutch mini pancakes, are small, fluffy yeasted treats that are baked in a special Poffertjes pan.

Poffertjes can be made with various savoury fillings of your choice including jams, fruit syrups, chocolate and grated cheese. These fluffy pancakes are served on paper plates with plastic forks and are presented with a lump of butter and icing sugar or cinnamon sugar.

Our favorite Poffertjes recipe.

Stamppot

Stamppot

Stamppot is a comfort food of the Netherlands. It is quintessential Dutch fare and it can be made with many variations. 

This delicious dish is made with mashed potatoes and smoky sausages that are topped with a variety of vegetables like carrot, onion, turnip and spinach.

Our favorite Stamppot recipe.

Oliebollen

Oliebollen

The word ‘Oliebollen’ literally means ‘oil balls’. Oliebollen are commonly known as the old fashioned Dutch doughnuts. These doughnuts can be enjoyed all-round the year but Christmas and New Year are typically the best seasons to enjoy them.

Oliebollen are basically deep-fried balls of dough that are centred with raisins or currents and dusted with powdered sugar. The modern versions of Oliebollen or Dutch doughnuts uses several berry fillings as a topping.

Our favorite Oliebollen recipe.

Hollandse Nieuwe Haring

Hollandse Nieuwe Haring

Hollandse nieuwe haring, commonly known as ‘scoused herring’ is a raw herring that is cooked in a variety of spices and apple cider vinegar and is coated with a preserving liquid. 

It is usually eaten as a snack. It can be eaten alone and can also be served with onions, depending upon your choice.  

Appeltaart

Appeltaart

Appeltaart is quite simply the Dutch version of apple pie.

This simply perfect and delicious apple tart is made by slicing the apples and covering them with a lattice pastry. The appeltaart is then served with whipped cream.

Our favorite Appeltaart recipe.

Bitterballen

Bitterballen

Bitterballen are similar to the British scotch egg. Beef is generally used to make this delicious and crispy snack-time recipe.

For Bitterballen, beef is finely chopped and seasoned with several spices. Spicy beef is then rolled into balls. These balls are then coated with bread crumbs and are deep-fried.

Our favorite Bitterballen recipe.

Stroopwafels

Stroopwafel

Stroopwafel is the most famous and delicious pastry of the Netherlands and is also popular throughout the world. It is a unique kind of waffle which is made from baked butter that you place on a hot cup of tea or coffee to make the insides all gooey.

The Stroop is a special sweet and sticky syrup that is filled in between the two thin layers of the waffle. Butter, eggs, milk, brown sugar, flour and yeast are all used to make the stiff batter for the waffles. These cookies are super delicious.

Our favorite Stroopwafels recipe.

Erwtensoep

Erwtensoep

Erwtensoep is basically a thick split pea soup. This smoky soup is made with peas that are simmered with meat, onions, carrots and celery.

Our favorite Erwtensoep recipe.

Lekkerbekje and Kibbeling

lekkerbekje

Lekkerbekje and Kibbeling is the Dutch version of famous fish and chips but this dish is without chips. 

Generally white fish or codfish is battered with various spices and is deep-fried. For Kibbeling, the fish is cut into small chunks whereas for Lekkerbekje, the fish is whole and not cut into chunks.

This mouth-watering crispy fried fish is served with various dipping sauces of your choice like mayonnaise sauce, garlic sauce and tartar sauce. 

Patat

Patat

Patat are the delicious French fries of the Dutch cuisine and loved by every Dutch. It is known by different names like ‘friet’, ‘frites’, ‘vlaamse frieten’ and ‘Patat’.

Patat is thicker than the normal French fries. Patat is served with a variety of toppings like tomato ketchup, peanut sauce and mayonnaise.

‘Patatje oorlog’ is a famous version of Patat in which the French fries are served in a box or paper cone with raw chopped onions, peanut sauce and mayonnaise. 

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