Winter is approaching the Netherlands: the days are getting shorter, colder and darker. And what better way to get through these days than with comfort food? Dutch cuisine might not be as widely known as the Italian, French or other European kitchens, but that does not mean that the Dutch don’t know how to cook. Especially around this time of year, some of the Netherlands’ signature dishes are to die for! Have you already tried stamppot, snert and bitterballen?
Mash it up!
Probably the most famous Dutch recipe, particularly in autumn and winter, is stamppot. It’s literally translated as ‘mash pot’, and the dish knows endless variations. The main ingredient are usually potatoes (surprise!), mashed together with any kind of greens or vegetables. The versions with boerenkool (kale), andijvie (endive) and of course hutspot (the name for stamppot with carrots) are the most popular. It is traditionally served with meat and of course the jus (gravy) can’t be missing!
Although many people think stamppot is dating from ages ago, it is actually not that old: It was actually not until the 18th century that potatoes became popular in the Netherlands. The word hutspot on the other hand, was already found in books dating from the 14th century. However it referred to stews pot dishes and had little to do with the potato-carrot mashup it is now associated with.
Warmth in a bowl
Another typical Dutch favourite is snert or erwtensoep (pea soup). It warms you up during the coldest days and is often associated with the elfstedentocht, the city skate tour that used to be one of the biggest events in the Northern parts of the Netherlands (when freezing winters were once normal..) The soup contains peas, potato, bacon, and the star of the show is rookworst. This u-shaped, smoked sausage is a delicacy on it’s own and hugely popular among the Dutch. Rookworst is actually often served with stamppot, and also a beloved snack on bread. Don’t eat meat? No worries, recently there are vegetarian versions on the market!
Bier with Bitterballen!
The last Dutch delicacy we don't want to keep from you are bitterballen. (Almost) everybody loves them, and they taste particularly good with a nice cold beer. Bitterballen are deep fried snacks with roux and beef on the inside and breadcrumbs on the outside. When the clock strikes 5, Bitterballen are massively ordered in Dutch cafes. It is the perfect borrelhap (snacks and bites served with afternoon drinks) and they are anything but healthy or low in calories.. But once you've tasted one, none of that matters anymore.
Gotten hungry already? The Dutch have many more typical foods you will love! Did you know the Dutch courses at Taalthuis introduce you not only to the Dutch language, but also make you familiar with Dutch customs, traditions and culture? Check out our website!