Haring ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’
Haring or ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’ (Dutch new herring) is probably the most famous Dutch food. If you like fish you should at least try it once. The raw herring is served together with chopped raw onions and gherkins. Also the way of eating is a real Dutch tradition. In the Netherlands new herring is eaten by lifting up the herring by its tail into the air and then take a bite upwards. Of course you can also enjoy this Dutch delight by eating it in little pieces or on a sandwich called ‘broodje haring’.
Herring can only be called ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’ if the fish is caught between May and July. Also the preparation is quite special and must be done according to the Dutch tradition. The herring is cleaned, the head is removed and it is conserved in a special way (with salt). You can buy herring all around Amsterdam in shops and at street stands.
Popular throughout the world, the ‘stroopwafel’ is undoubtedly the most famous and popular pastry from The Netherlands. A ‘stroopwafel’ is a unique kind of cookie. It is a waffle made from baked batter and sliced horizontally. The two thin layers of the waffle are filled with special sweet and sticky syrup (the ‘stroop’) in between. The stiff batter for the waffles is made from butter, flour, yeast, milk, brown sugar and eggs.
The ‘stroopwafel’ originates from Gouda, a place south of Amsterdam. It was first made during the late 18th or early 19th century by a baker using leftovers from the bakery, such as breadcrumbs and sweetened it with syrup.
You can buy ‘stroopwafels’ in every supermarket. But for the best ‘stroopwafels’ in Amsterdam you should definitely go to ‘Landskroon’ Bakery (Address: Singel 385) or to the Albert Cuyp Market.
The Netherlands is not known for its fabulous cuisine. But regarding to snacks, nobody can beat the Dutch! The ‘kroket’ is a deep fried roll with meat ragout inside, covered in breadcrumbs. The common English translation of’ kroket’ is croquette. The original Dutch ‘kroket’ is made from beef or veal, but there are many different flavors like chicken satay, shrimps, goulash or even a vegetarian ‘kroket’. You can eat a ‘kroket’ as a snack, but most of the time they are served on sliced white bread or hamburger buns with mustard on the side. Be aware; the ‘kroket’ can be quite hot inside.
You can buy your ‘kroket’ almost everywhere in Amsterdam; regular snack bars, cafés, restaurants or ‘McDonald’s’ (McKroket). You can even get on the streets from one of the typical Dutch vending machines filled with hamburgers and snacks. The ‘Febo’ is such a walk-in snack bar located on different spots all over the city and famous for its ‘kroketten’. Three premium brands are ‘Van Dobben’, ‘Holtkamp’ and ‘Kwekkeboom’.
The Dutch version of French Fries has many different words: ‘Friet’, ‘Frites’, ‘Patat’ or ‘Vlaamse frieten’. They are thicker than the normal French Fries and invented in the northern part of Belgium. The Dutch really like them especially with a lot of toppings such as mayonnaise, tomato ketchup, curry or peanut sauce. A famous combination of toppings is mayonnaise, raw chopped onions and peanut sauce and is called a ‘patatje oorlog’ (‘fries at war’). It is tasty, but it does not look that way.
A traditional Dutch batter treat is ‘poffertjes’. They look like baby pancakes but much fluffier. They are made with yeast and buckwheat flour and typically served with a lump of butter and powdered sugar. Fresh ‘poffertjes’ are often made at an outdoor stand during winter. They are served on a small cardboard plate and come with a small fork. While butter and powdered sugar are the most common toppings; whipped cream, syrup and strawberries are also pretty common.
‘Bitterballen’ are the Dutch favorite snack and can be ordered in almost every café and bar, because of its real tasty combination with beer. These savory meat-based balls are deeply fried and traditionally served with mustard. The ‘bitterbal’ has a crunchy breadcrumb coating with soft filling on the inside. Be careful when trying one, because the filling can be very hot. Inside the ‘bitterbal’ you will find a mixture of beef, beef broth, butter, flour for thickening and spices (resulting in a thick ragout). ‘Bitterballen’ are very alike ‘kroketten’ in their ingredients, preparation as well as flavor.