When we think of the Netherlands we tend to think of windmills, bicycles and Doutzen Kroes… not really food, unless it is of the cheese variety. I have found myself spending a great deal of time in The Netherlands over the last couple of years and these are seven of my favourite foods that I have encountered along the way.
Made from thin waffle-like layers and filled with stroop – a caramel-style syrup – you will find these circular sweet snacks everywhere in the Netherlands from supermarkets to street-sellers who make them from scratch.
When the new year rolls around the Dutch people eat oliebollen, which is essentially deep fried dough balls. Truly calorific of course, but oh so good.
The 5th of December is the Sinterklass holiday in the Netherlands, which is where Sinterklass delivers presents to all Dutch children (as long as they’ve been good). Associated with this holiday is pepernoten, a small biscuit-type sweet treat that contains spices including cinnamon and nutmeg. Pepernoten is usually only sold around the Sinterklass holiday and also comes in chocolate coated variations.
The only way I can think of describing hagleshlag is to say that they are basically white and milk chocolate hundreds and thousands. The Dutch sprinkle hagleshlag into buttered bread for breakfast or a sweet snack.
Through spending a lot of time in the Netherlands I have become accustomed to a Dutch phenomenon, which is to add ‘je’ onto the end of a word to make the object in question smaller. It is therefore no surprise that poffertijes are something small, they are in fact small, fluffy, thick pancakes, which are normally served with icing sugar.
6. Bossche Bol
If you get a chance to visit Den Bosch, the capital of North Brabant (and I highly recommend you do because it is a beautiful city) then you may come across the Bosche Ball. This is a chocolate covered ball of pastry filled with whipped cream and can be purchased in bakeries, cafes and restaurants all across the city.
Kroketten are small breaded, fried snacks, which can have a variety of fillings the most common being a potato and meat mixture. The most tasty kroket that I have had the pleasure of eating was a goat’s cheese kroket, think crispy outside and melted cheese in the middle and you will know why it was my favourite. The Dutch have a great way of serving their kroketten by the way of a ‘hole in the wall’. Think of a chest of draws, but in a wall… and just like a vending machine you put your money into the slot, slide open your “draw” and take out your piping hot kroket.
Perhaps I should of warned you at the beginning of this post that the majority – actually all – of the food I was going to mention isn’t particularly healthy. Oh well, everything in moderation and all that.