Living in Holland means that you are doing two things: riding a bike everywhere and eating Dutch cuisine. You might think that Holland isn’t very known for it’s food in the same way the French or the Italians are; you’re wrong, friends. Traditional Dutch food is an amazing mix of sweets and savouries, and some are seriously unique (raw herring, anyone?). If you’ve gone on bike trips all over the country, you might have seen different types of Dutch cuisine in different cities and towns. However, there are a few dishes that you can find anywhere in Holland; really, anywhere. We’ve curated a list of the best Dutch food you need to try! You’ll get serious FOMO if you don’t, trust us…
Let’s see what’s on the Dutch menu, shall we?
Probably the most infamous of the Dutch dishes, stroopwafels are waffles coated in syrup. They were originally made in the 18th century in Gouda, but are now among the most popular foods in the Netherlands. Or, should we say, snacks; you probably couldn’t manage eating just syrup waffles for a meal (well, who knows, we won’t judge you). If you haven’t seen them anywhere, you must not be looking very hard; you can buy these at every corner, every store and every bakery. They are also very popular at indoor and outdoor markets.
These are tiny, baby pancakes made of yeast and buckwheat flour. Usually, they are served with powdered sugar and butter. These are also really popular at outdoor markets because they are a warm food. Instead of being flat like American pancakes, these are fluffy and almost round! What’s more, if you become addicted to these mini pancakes, you can find ready-made ones in a lot of supermarkets. Or, if you feel up to it, you can always try to make it at home!
Hollandse nieuwe haring
Okay, a departure from the sweet stuff; it’s giving us cavities. Hollandse nieuwe haring should be tried at least once during your studies! They are raw herrings usually served with chipped unions, and sometimes with bread. What’s special about these herrings is that they are caught between May and July, and you can find these at a lot of markets round the Netherlands.
Any fellow Scandinavians out there? You might love what I’m about to tell you: liquorice is also really popular in the Netherlands! Liquorice is a black candy with a very particular sweet and salty taste that is very popular with the Dutch; the Netherlands eats the most liquorice in the world per year! You can find rows upon rows of liquorice, or drop, in many different shapes and flavours, in every supermarket or candy shop. If you are really daring, you can try salmiak, which is even saltier than drop.
If you’re not entirely convinced by raw herrings and salty sweets, then maybe cheese is a bit more neutral for your taste buds. It has long been a stereotype that Holland is composed of three things: windmills, bikes, and cheese. Consequently, Goudse kaas, or Gouda cheese, is one of the most popular cheeses in the world! Cheese is most commonly eaten on sandwiches or as snacks with wine or beer. Moreover, you could try kaasbroodjes, which is a cheesy puff pastry. Cheese in any form or shape is a must-try when living in the Netherlands.
The best of Dutch food
Now that you've looked at the menu, go choose something! Dutch food can be really interesting and frankly quite fun to try. As a student, it's always exciting to try new things and experience the culture you are studying in. Food could also be a great motivator for studying in the Netherlands...
What are some of your favourite Dutch foods? Leave a comment!