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My 6 Favourite Dutch Dishes

Date:29 October 2020
Gotta love the Dutch fries (especially with a lot of mayonnaise)
Gotta love the Dutch fries (especially with a lot of mayonnaise)

The Netherlands is known for a lot of things, such as its windmills, tulips and wooden shoes. Yet besides being famous for its Gouda cheese, Dutch food has not managed to conquer the world. Perhaps it is the rather simplistic nature of Dutch cuisine and the limited amount of exotic ingredients used in it that make it neglected on an international level. To put it simply: The Netherlands is great in many different ways, but I do not expect to see many Dutch restaurants pop up around the globe anytime soon. However, before I receive a ton of distraught messages from our Dutch readers, I want to tell you that there are some very good dishes to be found here. In this blog, I have collected six of my favourite ones which I recommend everyone to try when coming to the Netherlands.

1. French Fries

While french fries do not originate from France or The Netherlands (they were invented in Belgium!), the Dutch have certainly mastered the skill of cooking them to perfection. Honestly, you will barely find better fries anywhere else in the world than the Netherlands. If you are looking for some amazing fries in Groningen I’d suggest you check out De Belg Waterloo, Frietwinkel or Friet van Piet. Top your order off with a joppie sauce, brander mayo or oorlog speciaal (peanut sauce with mayonnaise and onions) to eat your fries like a proper Dutchie. 

2. Bitterballen 

As you can already tell the Dutch have a talent for deep frying stuff. Bitterballen are a staple in Dutch cuisine and can be found pretty much everywhere where there is food. In short, bitterballen are small balls of ragout (mashed potatoes mixed with slow-cooked meat), which are battered and subsequently deep-fried. While the description may sound a little off, trust me when I see that these things taste great, especially when eaten together with mustard. 

3. Hagelslag 

Hagelslag, which literally translates to ‘hailstorm’, is one of the most popular breakfast condiments in the Netherlands. Basically, hagelslag is chocolate sprinkles which are spread all over a piece of bread. Remember when you used to get chocolate sprinkles on your ice cream as a kid when you were lucky? Yep, Dutch kids get to eat that every morning for breakfast.  While it usually comes in the form of chocolate, there are a variety of different flavours available such as strawberry or caramel. 

4. Stamppot

There is no better dish to eat on a cold, rainy day than Stamppot, which is probably the reason why it was invented in the Netherlands. In essence, Stamppot is made by mashing potatoes and vegetables (e.g. kale, sauerkraut, spinach etc.) together and adding a smoked sausage (Rookworst) or some stewed meat. It is simple yet delicious and gives you a warm and cosy feeling on the inside when eating it. 

5. Oliebollen 

When talking about Dutch comfort food you can’t miss out ‘Oliebollen’. Although the name does not sound very flattering (Eng: ‘Oilballs’), you should not let this keep you from trying them. Essentially just a Dutch version of a doughnut, you can usually find them freshly made on the market or by the Grote Markt. Topped off with some powdered sugar or Nutella, this warm dessert is a guilty pleasure you won’t want to miss.

6. Kibbeling and Broodje Haring

Throughout their history, the Dutch have always had a close connection to the sea. This is also reflected in their cuisine. At almost every Dutch market you will find a fish stall where you can get Kibbeling and a Broodje Haring. Kibbeling is, how would it else be, battered and deep-fried white fish (usually cod) which is usually served with garlic sauce or mayo. If you’ve had enough of the fried stuff, you can also try a Broodje Haring. A broodje haring consist of a herring filet placed between some soft white bread… voila! As this might be a bit bland for some, I’d recommend you to ask for some additional onions and pickles to add a little extra flavour into the mix.  

What is your favourite Dutch meal? Let us know in the comments below! 

About the author

Hey there! My name is Asmo and I’m a Finnish/German student exploring life in the Netherlands. Besides being into photography and politics, I am currently completing my double master's degree in European law and international law. Oh, and I write blogs as well.


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