Moving to the Netherlands has definitely brought some challenges to my life when it comes to food.
In the Czech Republic, traditional eating habits are a small breakfast, a big and warm lunch and kind of small dinner with some snacks in between. Sometimes we have as well warm dinners but a warm meal in the middle of day is a must-have. And that’s why it got some getting used to having a coffee for breakfast, two sandwiches for lunch and then stuff myself with a warm meal in the evening.
The Dutch are very strict with their eating habits so get ready for preparing your lunch box in the morning and eating dinner precisely at 6pm with everyone around one table.
Breakfast: no strict timing- you eat when you wake up, hot beverage plus bread with something on it or yoghurt with muesli is pretty common.
Lunch: Simple sandwiches, large variety of what to put between your slices, for example delicious Dutch cheese, ham, sausage, filet americain (tendered piece of raw beef, grinded up, mixed with some seasoning- no matter how this sounds, it’s one of my favourite options).
Dutch people also really like putting sweet things on their breads like for example jam, peanut butter or something called Hagelslag. It’s basically small pieces of chocolate or flavoured sugar sprinkles placed on bread with some butter or peanut butter. How genius!
Dinner: The most common Dutch dinner meal is potatoes, meat and vegetable made in a thousand different ways.
I love trying out new food, so when I came to the Netherlands, I made my own food bucket list of things I had to try. I included the most traditional food. When I was making my list I was very surprised to find how much the Dutch kitchen is influenced by foreign food.
Surprisingly I have learned to eat much more spicy food than I was used to in Czech, since I live in The Netherlands. The Dutch in general love the Thai, Indian and Indonesian food as well as Italian, Turkish, Chinese or German. Dutch cuisine is mix of any culture you can imagine.
However let’s not take their fame away. Maybe the Dutch food isn’t the most famous around the world but it has definitely a lot to offer.
Haring – Salted raw fish served with onion
This was the only thing from my list I was not looking forward to try. It took me over a year to get the courage but I did it! I love fish but this was new, different level of fish. RAW! I actually did not mind the taste of Haring at all. But I really hated the structure of the meat. And this is the way you eat it!
Drop- salty/sweet hard liquorice candies
Most of Dutch people are crazy about these. I’ve tried sweet liquorice many times and I actually quite like it. And what about the salty one? Oh for me that’s a big NO!
Pindakaas met hagelslag – peanut butter with hagelslag
This is a child’s dream come true! Who wouldn’t like to eat chocolate on a bread for lunch!? Although I eat it much less often than I thought I would when Hagelslag was introduced to me.
Boerenkool – mashed potatoes mixed with kale served with big smoked sausage
I like it! Mashed potatoes with some veggies and sausage are tasty. And if you add extra bacon…”mmm lekker!”
Oliebollen – deep fried pastry similar to donuts
Oliebollen are traditionally made in an occasion of New Year. You can buy them on every corner from November till the end of the year. I really like it so I even made it at home.
Bitterballen – popular deep fried snack in bars
Made with beef, onion, butter and flour into a sort of beef gravy. This food is definitely worth it! I am thinking about making a business from introducing Bitterballen to the Czech market.
Stroopwafel – Dutch cookie filled with caramel
I was familiar with stroopwafel already back at home. It is really nice to eat when the caramel melts by putting the wafel on top of your cup of coffee.
What about you: what is your favourite Dutch food?
Czech girl, currently tasting life in the NetherlandsGo to programme
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