8 foods you have to try when visiting the Netherlands

Tompouce | Dutch food

8 foods you have to try when visiting the Netherlands

Tompouce | Dutch food

8 Dutch foods that you have to try

Being a Dutchie myself, I feel like I’m allowed to say that we don’t really have an extensive dinner culture. Snacks however, are something that we take very seriously. While most Dutch food customs are about efficiency, a lot of the foods I’m about to name are eaten at social gatherings, markets, and national holidays.

First of all, you don’t have to worry about raw herring or licorice appearing on my list. Besides these also being my personal favorites, I kept the foreign palate in mind as well. These are the eight foods I think you should really try and would enjoy if you’re ever visiting the Netherlands:

1. Stroopwafel {st-rope-waffle}

This cookie is probably the ultimate favorite among tourists. Because of its popularity, it’s even available in the States nowadays! The stroopwafel is a thin wafer that is cooked in a grid-textured iron until the outer layer is slightly crispy but still chewy. After cooking, they slice the wafer in half and cover the inside with a layer of hot caramel-like syrup.
That is why I personally think it’s best to get them freshly made at a market. They will be crispy on the outside, with soft syrup on the inside, and still nice and warm! A little tip: if you get them premade at a supermarket, you can also warm them up a bit by placing them on top of your cup of coffee or tea.

Stroopwafel | 8 Dutch foods you have to try

2. Tompouce {tom-pooze}

The tompouce is a Dutch pastry inspired by the French Mille-feuille, which consists of three layers of puff pastry, 2 layers of confectioner’s cream, and is topped with a layer of frosting. The Dutch tompouce however, only has two layers of puff pastry and one thick layer of confectioner’s cream. The frosting is usually pink, but for King’s Day orange versions are being sold everywhere. The tompouce is available at local bakeries & supermarket bakeries.
Just be careful eating it, because as soon as you bite into it, the cream will spill out the sides! So of course there are various techniques for eating a tompouce without spilling. Both involve removing the top layer with the frosting and either: eating it by itself, or sticking it to the bottom layer. There are no real rules on how to eat it though, so just make sure you enjoy it to the fullest!

Tompouce | Dutch food

3. Erwtensoep {air-ten-soup}

Erwtensoep is a thick & hearty soup that is most enjoyed when it’s colder outside. This comfort food is made with split peas, vegetables such as diced carrots, and slices of smoked sausage.
I personally think a nice homemade erwtensoep or one from a café or restaurant will provide you with the best experience. But if you don’t have the opportunity, you can also buy premade erwtensoep in cans from the supermarket! Don’t know which one to get? Your best bet is probably the one from the famous Unox brand, which is most known for its delicious smoked sausages.

soup, bread, pea soup-475077.jpg

4. Poffertjes {puffer-chess}

Poffertjes are easiest described as some sort of mini pancakes topped with a knob of butter and powdered sugar. Fresh poffertjes should be slightly crispy on the outside while nice and fluffy on the inside.
They are prepared in a special cast-iron pan with multiple small, shallow indentations in which they pour the batter. This pan makes it possible to prepare a big batch of poffertjes on a smaller surface without them all lumping together. Poffertjes stands are most common at festive seasonal markets such as summer festivals & Christmas markets. They are usually freshly made once you order them, and it’s really cool to see the speed and technique the vendors display when preparing large batches of poffertjes.

5. Kibbeling {kibble-ling}

This Dutch snack consists of battered pieces of whitefish that are deep-fried until they’re crispy & golden-brown. Most of the time the kibbeling is paired with a mayonnaise-based sauce or a tartar sauce. And if given the choice I definitely recommend getting the kibbeling seasoning to complete your experience! 
Freshly made kibbeling is available at market stands and local fishmongers. You can order yourself a single portion or take a bag of kibbeling to-go and enjoy it at home or in the park.

6. Saucijzenbroodje {sou-size-en-bro-cha}

A saucijzenbroodje is a savory snack that is best enjoyed while warm. This rectangular puff pastry filled with a sausage-shaped roll of seasoned minced meat is available at most bakeries, railway kiosks & the bakery department of supermarkets.
For a couple of years now, there is also a really delicious vegetarian saucijzenbroodje available from a company called ‘de Vegetarische Slager’ (the Vegetarian Butcher) which I think tastes even better than most of the ones filled with meat! The vegetarian saucijzenbroodje from de Vegetarische Slager is available at supermarket bakeries and the railway kiosk: AH to-Go. You can recognize the vegetarian ones by the logo and the v-shaped indents in the puff pastry.

Saucijzenbroodje | Dutch food

7. Bitterballen and/or Kroket {bitter-ball-en/ crow-ket}

The bitterballen and kroket are some of my personal favorites among the Dutch snacks. While originally derived from the French croquettes, the Dutch kroket is characterized by its meat filling which most often consists of beef or veal. Like other croquettes, they are cylindrical-shaped fillings that are breaded and then deep-fried. Kroketten are often served with mustard and two slices of bread in cafés for lunch, or on a soft bun, or just by themselves at snack bars.  
The bitterballen are basically the party snacks versions of the kroket. They have the same ingredients but are round and bite-sized. Bitterballen are mostly eaten at bars and parties while enjoying a cold beer. 
Both the bitterbal and kroket also have a vegetarian version as well. More bars and snack bars are offering these vegetarian options nowadays, but you can also get them at the freezer section of most supermarkets.
However you decide to enjoy them, just be careful biting into them at first. You wouldn’t be the first – or for that matter last – person to burn his mouth!

8. Limburgse Vlaai {Limburg-se vly}

And last but certainly not least, the Limburgse vlaai. The Limburgse vlaai is a pastry pie or tart with filling. The name is associated with one of the Dutch southern provinces: Limburg, but vlaai is eaten throughout most of the Netherlands. I have to admit though, the best ones I’ve had were from Limburg!
Limburgse vlaai comes in many varieties of fruit fillings as well as rice, often topped with something similar to chewy cookie crumbles. Vlaai is often eaten on special occasions such as birthdays, but they are also available as a tea-time snack at bakeries.

Limburgse vlaai

I’m very curious to hear what your personal favorite Dutch snack is, especially if it’s not already listed above. And which of the above snacks would you love to give a try if you’re ever in the Netherlands? Or did you have a not-so-pleasant experience trying out Dutch food? Would love to hear your stories in the comments!

 

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Mariette Schepers
Mariette Schepers
1 year ago

I personally prefer worstenbroodjes over saucijzenbroodjes and I don’t really like erwtensoep, but overall I agree with what you state here

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