The cuisine of the Netherlands is characterized by easy-to-prepare nutritious dishes, an abundance of appetizers from fish, sausages and potatoes, cheeses, and mouth-watering desserts. For the holidays, delicacies and food are prepared from unusual ingredients.
Distinctive features of Dutch cuisine
The culinary traditions of Holland are characterized by affordable and simple ingredients used in cooking, a moderate amount of spices.
Among the food of the inhabitants of the Netherlands, fish, seafood, meat, milk, cheese, potatoes prevail on the tables. On holidays, a greater variety appears on the menu, a lot of delicacies and desserts.
Dutch food is high in calories. It is customary to cook and serve large portions – thick cuts of meat, large rolls and loaves. The national cuisine of the Netherlands combines features of the gastronomic customs of Germany and France.
Inhabitants of the Netherlands eat hot dishes only for dinner – once a day. But the whole family gathers at the table. Sandwiches made from bread, cold cuts, Nutella, and chocolate chips are a popular food even for lunch.
The Dutch rarely visit local catering establishments due to their high cost. They prefer to prepare sandwiches in advance or buy them at a lower price than hot food.
The people of the Netherlands love to have snacks on the go. On the territory of all settlements of the country, small cafes, stalls, and tents selling ingredients for snacks are widespread.
Holland loves French fries from Belgium, which are served in paper bags. It is seasoned with mayonnaise. Deep-fried croquettes and bitterballens are also a favorite snack in the Netherlands. They are eaten hot and with mustard, washed down with beer.
Another popular type of snack is savory and sweet baked goods: croissants, puff pies, bread, sandwiches.
Abundance of fish and seafood
Due to its close location to the sea in Holland, fish dishes can often be found on the tables.
The most important fish in the Netherlands is herring, which is served lightly salted. Smoked eel is also popular. Sandwiches with shrimp, shellfish and other seafood are sold on the North Sea coast.
Love for hot dishes
The Dutch love hot soups cooked in water or concentrated broth. Sausages, potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, celery, and tomatoes are added to soups. Eggs, cheese, cream are used as a dressing.
When preparing hot stews, the inhabitants of the Netherlands stew, bake and steam vegetables. Popular hot meat dishes as an appetizing addition to vegetables – sausages, sausages, meat balls.
Desserts in Holland, like all other dishes, are easy to prepare.
Among their favorite sweets, the inhabitants of the Netherlands distinguish:
- hahelslah – bread sprinkled with chocolate chips or grated chocolate;
- Dutch apple pie – dessert with cinnamon, whipped cream;
- gingerbread cookies – small round holiday cookies that are prepared for the feast of St. Nicholas.
Popular Dutch sweets include peanut butter, marmalade, marzipan, chocolate figurines, almond, shortbread, and pink cookies.
Abundance of cheeses
Cheese in Holland is eaten in its pure form and salads and soups are prepared on its basis. Spices, mustard, and cumin are often added to these delicacies. They like to eat with sauces, preserves. Several dozen varieties have been developed in Holland, among them goat and sheep.
There are several recipes for hot dishes from the baked version of this sour milk product: with fish, ham, pineapple.
Varieties are subdivided into young, mature, old, which are aged for several months or more than a year.
A short list of popular varieties:
- Maasdam. It is characterized by a yellowish tinge, large cavities – “holes”, has a nutty flavor.
- Gouda. Has a light yellow color, small holes, creamy to taste.
- Edam – round or spherical, covered with red paraffin.
- Old Amsterdam. Has a nutty and caramel flavor, contains a splash of salt. It is prepared with a special ferment and aged for 1.5 years. Consumed with sweet mustard.
- Old Dutchman. Withstands more than 1 year. Includes spices.
- Bemster is soft, sweetish, with a taste of field herbs.
Before buying, cheese is often offered to taste in order to evaluate the taste and choose.
Pancakes in Dutch cuisine
Pancakes in Holland are made by residents of the country at home. Pancakes are also sold in shops and specialized pancake houses. In the Netherlands, it is customary to serve pancakes as a pizza base, sprinkling a filling of vegetables, meat, mushrooms, herbs on top.
In winter, the Dutch offer to taste small pancakes with powdered sugar, donuts.
Dutch daily food
The Dutch daily diet consists of sandwiches, toast, light snacks for breakfast and lunch. The main meal is dinner, when hot dishes are served.
The inhabitants of the Netherlands have “coffee time” when it is customary to drink coffee with milk or black coffee: from 10 to 11 and from 19 to 20 hours. Cookies and muffins are served with each cup.
In winter, the Dutch drink milk with anise, hot chocolate, and warm Kvast lemonade.
What to try in the Netherlands
In Holland, it is recommended to try local sausages. A popular dish is stewed cabbage with sausage, pepper and juniper berries.
Chefs in the Netherlands prepare and serve chicken with peanut sauce in almost every restaurant – poultry fillets with peanut, soy, honey and olive oil gravy.
Going to the Netherlands on a gastronomic tour, you should pay attention to genever. It is a traditional alcoholic beverage made up of barley, rye, juniper, corn and spices. The strength of the liqueur is from 30 degrees and above.
Scrambled Egg Sandwich
The fried sandwich, or “bouncer sandwich,” is considered an urban street snack. It consists of a whole loaf, ham, cheese and scrambled eggs. The sandwich is made three-layer, sometimes seasoned with ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise.
Herring is considered the main traditional food of the people of Holland, a gastronomic symbol.
After the catch, the herring is immediately frozen for 24 hours, pickled and salted. The fish is served chopped, cut into pieces. White bread is offered to her. Sometimes herring is eaten as part of sandwiches, sprinkled with hot onions on top.
The Dutch eat this fish, taking it by the tail, throwing their heads back and biting off. The optimal side dish for herring is young potatoes, pickled cucumbers, onions.
In the Netherlands, there is an annual holiday dedicated to the first herring catch – Flag Day, which is celebrated on the first weekend of June.
This dish is considered a street delicacy. It consists of pieces of white fish (cod) in a crispy sprinkle. The fish is deep-fried, seasoned with tartare and garlic sauce, served with pickled cucumbers.
Canned stewed meat
Flemish stew is sweet and sour beef. The gravy is made on the basis of beer. Mustard, laurel, thyme are added to the meat.
In Holland, they prepare meat croquettes, or bitterballen meatballs. Minced veal is used as a base, to which nutmeg is added.
Before frying the cutlets, they are rolled in breadcrumbs and eggs and frozen. Frying is deep-fried. Thanks to this method of cooking, the croquettes acquire a crispy crust, the meat inside remains soft and juicy.
Sometimes additional chicken, boiled eggs, vegetables and rice are added to the filling.
Stropwafli are two thin dough waffles stacked on top of each other, between which there is a layer of caramel. The waffles have a traditional round shape. They are best used with coffee or hot chocolate.
The waffle filling can additionally include nuts, coconut, fruits.
This is the national side dish of potatoes, broccoli, onions and carrots – “Leiden mix”. Mix the vegetables and grind a little, turning into a puree. The chefs add other ingredients to the stumppot to taste: parsnips, celery, spinach, turnips, peas.
When meat, sausages or sausages are attached to a stumppot, the dish is already called a hudspot.
In Amsterdam, they can offer a sweet version of stampot for dessert made from apples, pineapples, pears, nuts and cheese.
The Dutch call their pea soup “Snert”. There are several dozen pea soup recipes in the cookbooks of the Netherlands.
The soup has a thick consistency, similar to mashed potatoes. There should be a spoon in it. Dry peas are used for cooking. It is soaked at night for several hours, boiled and then vegetables (carrots, onions) and smoked bacon are placed in a saucepan. Sometimes the soup is diluted with water, meat broth, spices and laurel are added to taste.
This soup is considered a winter festive dish, it has a delicious aroma and appetizing. It is eaten for dinner by the whole family along with rye bread, smoked bacon.
The Dutch make pannenkonen pancakes thin and stuffed with meat, vegetables, mushrooms, fish and fruits. There are options with sweet chocolate and nut fillings.
Pancakes are made from dough containing milk, buckwheat flour, eggs and salt.
This appetizer is considered universal, it is eaten on weekdays and holidays.
The Limburg pie is called Vlaai. This is a thin pie with fruits and berries, topped with a decorated lattice of dough. Soft yeast dough is used to prepare this dessert. Semolina can be added to it to taste. The filling is apples, apricots, currants, cherries.
Street food in Holland
The inhabitants of the Netherlands prefer hot and cold sandwiches, canapes.
The fish is eaten separately as a snack.
- smoked eel;
One of the most popular appetizers is patat – French fries prepared in large pieces. Patat is served with a sauce of mayonnaise, peanuts and pickled onions.
The street snack kapsalon is also a favorite among the inhabitants of the Netherlands. It is baked and served in a disposable aluminum dish. The capsule contains veal or chicken meat covered with layers of potatoes, cheese, mushrooms and sprinkled with vegetables.
Ready-made snacks can be purchased in special fast food vending machines – a type of vending machine. You can buy croquettes and burgers here at a low cost.
Festive Dutch cuisine
For the festive table, the inhabitants of Holland serve meat seasoned with sweet sauces of apples, berries, ginger, prepare fish marinated with honey. Stamppot and pea soup are eaten as a hot dish. Much attention is paid to sweet treats.
The Dutch love sweet and savory liquorice candy. They are made in the form of various figures, covered with food paints of different colors.
During the Christmas and New Year holidays, olibole is a popular snack – deep-fried balls of dough with raisins and powdered sugar.
On Nikolin’s day (December 5), they prepare the gingerbread “Spekulaas”. It is baked using a curly shape and a board with a hollowed out pattern. After the dough is pressed into the container, it takes on the shape of this shape and gets a relief pattern.
On the eve of Nikolina’s day, they drink Bisshops-väin or “bishop’s wine” – a festive alcoholic drink with anise, cinnamon, nutmeg and citrus slices.
Holland is the birthplace of national brands of beer Heineken, Amstel, Grolsch, Bavaria, which are in demand all over the world. Beer is served in small glasses so that it retains its taste for longer and does not heat up. Its temperature should be about 5 degrees.
Popular beers in the Netherlands are Pilsner, a bottom-fermented lager. Strong, aged beers include bockbier and Dortmunder lager. The inhabitants of the Netherlands love the “wine” beer Oud Bruin, which is aged in oak barrels for a year and a half.
In Holland, wheat, barley fermented beer, ale, and seasonal beer are widely produced.
Snert pea soup
To prepare this traditional soup, you will need products (for 12 servings): 2.5 liters of water, 500 ml of milk, 1 kg of green split peas, 500 g of pork ribs, 400 g of boiled smoked sausage, 200 g of smoked pork belly, 200 g dried smoked sausages, 1 pork leg, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 leek, 1 celery root, a bunch of parsley, 1 tbsp. l. vegetable oil. To taste – spices, laurel.
- Put pork ribs, brisket, cured smoked sausages and pork leg in a saucepan, cover with water, add washed peas. Boil the soup, remove the froth and leave to simmer for 1 hour.
- Peel and chop celery, carrots, onion. Spread the vegetables in oil. Wash the leeks and chop thinly.
- Remove the meat and sausages from the soup. Add vegetables to it, pour in milk, cook for 15 minutes, stirring regularly so that the pea puree does not burn. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Free the meat from the bones, cut into cubes, put in the soup.
- When the soup is almost ready, add boiled-smoked sausage, celery, parsley, cut into circles.
A properly prepared pea soup should have a thick consistency that can hold a wooden spoon upright.
To prepare 3 servings of this vegetable casserole, you will need products: 100 g of white bread, 2 onions, 1 egg, 1 glass of milk, 150 g of ham, 100 g of hard cheese, 30 g of vegetable oil, black pepper to taste.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Peel and chop the onion.
- Pour ½ cup milk over the bread slices and let sit for 10 minutes. The bread must be soaked in milk.
- Fry the onions in oil.
- Cut the ham into small cubes. Grate the cheese.
- Oil a baking dish. Place the milk-soaked bread in a mold. Place ½ part of the fried onion on the bread, then the layer of ham, then the rest of the ½ part of the onion.
- Stir an egg into ½ cup milk, add salt and pepper. Pour the resulting mixture into a mold, sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
This is a sweet Dutch breakfast dish. To prepare 2 servings of it, you will need products: 1 apple, 120 ml of milk, 2 eggs, 70 g of flour, 25 g of butter, 25 g of brown sugar, 1 tbsp. l. icing sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 0.25 tsp each salt, nutmeg and vanillin. For serving, you need to prepare mountain ash and mint.
- Melt a small piece of butter in a skillet. Pour brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon into the pan. Stir until the sugar caramelises.
- Peel the apple, remove the seeds and skin, cut the fruit into thin slices, put in caramel. Simmer the apple for 7 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees. Mix eggs with warm milk, salt, whisk, add vanillin. Then add the sifted flour and stir the dough until smooth.
- Pour the dough over the apples and place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Put the pie, cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar on top, garnish with mountain ash and mint.
Amsterdam Rice Puff Pie
To prepare 2 servings of this hot dish, you need the following ingredients: 2 smoked herrings, 2 cups of cooked round grain rice, 4 tomatoes, 0.5 cups of cream, 2 tbsp. l. hard grated cheese, butter, salt.
- Divide the cooked rice into 3 equal portions. Place one of them in a greased mold and flatten. Put a layer of fish fillets, tomatoes on top of the rice and repeat the layers again.
- There should be a layer of rice on top. Pour cream over it, add a little salt, put butter, grated cheese on top.
- Put the pie in the oven for 15 minutes, bake until tender.
The dish is served with a green salad.
Dutch caramel cookies
For this dessert, you will need ingredients (for 50 servings): 300 g of flour, 150 g of cold milk, 150 g of softened butter, zest of 1 lemon, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tbsp. l. lemon juice, 0.3 tsp. dry yeast, 0.5 tsp. vanillin.
- Combine flour with yeast. Pour cold milk, lemon juice, zest into it.
- Divide the butter into 12 parts, add in succession to the dough.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 5 hours.
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Preheat oven to 160 degrees.
- Cut a small piece of dough from the refrigerator, roll it out and cut into small pieces. Roll these pieces into circles.
- Pour sugar into a separate bowl. Put a cake on top of it, roll in sugar.
- Put the resulting dough and sugar pieces on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown.
Cookies are best kept in a sealed container.