If you’re a food lover who is excited to discover some incredible Dutch delicacies, you’ll want to read this. This article introduces you to the best Dutch foods you should try once you arrive in the Netherlands. Get ready to dig in and discover the good stuff.
Tasting Dutch foods from the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a small, densely populated country in Western Europe. It is known for its culture, diversity, and food. The entire country’s food has a very special flavor and spiciness. There are some local delicacies which are hard to find in other countries.
Check out the following Dutch foods you must try in the Netherlands:
- Hagelslag – Hagelslag is a traditional Dutch delicacy and is not well known outside of the Netherlands. It’s a crunchy mixture of powdered sugar, egg whites, and ground almonds. The mixture gets its name from the sugar crystal that gets sprinkled on top. Hagelslag is available all year round, but it is traditionally eaten around Christmas time.
- Speculoos – This spiced biscuit is traditionally baked on the 5th December in the Netherlands during St Nicholas Day. (Don’t be confused by the spelling. Speculoos, or Speculaas, is Dutch for Speculaas.) This tradition stems from the custom of giving children spiced biscuits as a symbol of good luck, which is why St Nicholas (called Sinterklaas in Dutch) is traditionally depicted as a jolly, chubby man riding a magic carpet.
- Oliebollen – If you are planning on visiting the Netherlands in the near future (and I hope you are), you should definitely try the Dutch specialty “oliebollen,” which is deep-fried flour bread. These are traditional Dutch gifts used to celebrate birthdays and holidays and are a real treat. Oliebollen are made from yeast dough, similar to bread, but they are much denser, and their taste can best be described as a cross between a cinnamon bun and a crêpe. Oliebol is often served with butter and sugar.
- Drops (Licorice) – Drops are a popular snack in the Netherlands. So popular, in fact, that the government has banned the sale of them. This is because the high sugar content of drops causes many children to become overweight. Now you may be thinking that these aren’t a Dutch food, but you’d be wrong. In fact, the Dutch are so big on them that they have the world’s largest producer of drops.
- Stroopwafels – Stroopwafels are a traditional Dutch treat. They are also delicious. Once you’ve tried them, you’ll be craving them. (Try them with extra butter!) And if you’re already thinking of going to the Netherlands, you really should try out these tasty treats at least once.
- Kaas (Dutch Cheese) – If you’re looking for some warm and hearty Dutch food, you need to try Kaas. It’s rich, creamy, spread by putting it between two slices of bread. It’s also served with chips and can be used as a base for many different Dutch recipes.
- Hollandse Nieuwe or Haring – This is a traditional dish where the herring is pickled in liquor and then served in a sauce with mustard. The herring and sauce are served with boiled potatoes and cabbage. The herring is usually served with a side of bread and butter.
- Krokets (Croquettes) & Kaasbroodjes – Krokets and Kaasbroodjes, or croquettes as we call them in the Netherlands, are two of the Dutch foods you must try. Krokets are a delicious ball of mashed potatoes and beef, which you can use to make Krokets de cuisson or Krokets a la viande. And Kaasbroodjes is a delicious piece of Kaasbrood and butter, which you can eat with a glass of cold milk.
- Pannenkoeken – Pannenkoeken, in Dutch, known as pancakes, is one of the top snacks to try if you come to the Netherlands. These traditional thin pancakes made from wheat flour, butter, and eggs, are delicious and literally melt in your mouth. Pannenkoeken is eaten with a variety of toppings, such as apples and sugar, to make the pancake yummy but also make it taste completely different from a typical American pancake.
Food is a big part of life in the Netherlands, and certain foods are known around the globe. It is important to understand the cultural background of the foods you are consuming, even if you are visiting the Netherlands for the first time.