Chapter 7: Food

Note: Will be adding posts in random order about random subjects along the way. Enjoy!

Dutch food culture, local dutch food. There really isn’t any. Or, there’s a strong snack-culture, and incorporated foods from the biggest immigrating cultures, but the actual dutch food is quite scarce, and the locals admit it and joke about it as well. Didn’t try the “Stompot” aka vegetable pyre, though. Instead tried kroket, frikandel, kaas souffles, bitter bollen, emansipadas, friets and olliebollen.

  • Krokets are deep fried meat/fish(?) pyre that looks like a big mozzarella stick. It was a nice warm snack to enjoy with either mustard or mayonaise.
  • Frikandel are sausages made of meat-dough that resembles of meatballs, and baked/fried. They are usually served with mayo. I really liked this snack, because this snack actually kept hunger away for a while.
  • Kaas souffles are once again something deepfried. This time cheesy filling in a leafy crispy dough-pocket. Tasty warm snack. 🙂
  • Bitter bollen is a similar to kroket, but a bit more sour, in a form of a ball. They are served with mustard.
  • Emansipadas where a snack in the school cafeteria, a vegetarian option for the days I didn’t feel like eating anything meaty.
  • Friets. Aka Belgian Fries. Fries are originally from Belgium. And the friets served in the Netherlands are usually thick ones, served with mayo, curry-sauce, garlic-mayo, truffle-mayo, sate-sauce or good old ketchup. And with onion. There was a good place in Breda that sold thick fries, cut and fried at place from fresh, big taters.
  • Olliebollen is a local version of “munkki”, a ball of greasy dough, deep-fried and served with powdered sugar. These are usually eaten at fairs and in New Year’s celebrations.

In addition to snacks I tried local semi-processed meal options. The local grocery stores sold pre-cut vegetable packs for bolognese and other italian dishes, but what caught my eye was a nasi/bami-mix of veggies. Turned out it was an asian dish, brought to dutch kitchens by the immigrants. It was easy to prepare a nasi out of a box of these pre-cut veggies, a pouch of a spice-mix, a meat/vege-alternative of choice and either rice or noodles (Nasi is fried rice, bami is fried noodles, I think). It was fast to cook the whole 4-person portion and store it to fridge to have easy meals for the half of a week.

Bread-wise, I’m a bit of a purist Finn, I longed for rye bread. And the dutchies have their own version of it, rogge brood! It’s similar as the Real-bread in Finland, and the taste was good. 🙂 Bread-wise there where white breads and darker breads. There where also sort of sweet, dark breads to serve with chocolate paste or something. Never quite figured out the function of that stuff, but as a sweet snack it was good. 🙂

Once back home I realized that the dutch rusk is a very are specific delicacy as well! It’s a round crispy light biscuit style rusk, and you cover it with sweet or salty things, apparently strawberries and whipped cream are the classic. I tried them with tangerines and Nutella on Sunday mornings. 😀 

One of the most legendary foods in the Netherlands is Stroopwaffel: two round, thin and crispy waffles with caramel syrup gluing the layers together. Incredibly sweet, but oh so tasty! There were at least ten taste variations of it in super markets, my favorite being caramel and sea-salt. Once I also had a chance to try a freshly made one, and it was so goood! 

The downside of the food culture was that it seems like in the Netherlands there isn’t a real culture of a proper lunch meal. Only sandwiches, a salad-table, small soup or snacks. There was a microwave in the lobby to heat ones own meal, but for finns and germans used to a proper lunch meal this was a surprise. Not criticizing, though, it’s a culture thing, and the foreigner adapts. 😀 

The prices are approximately a bit cheaper than in Finland, at least for meats. Cannot guarantee anything regarding vegetarian or vegan options, though couldn’t find dried soy flakes, and the processed vege-options where twice the price of the meat-products. But there were quite a variation of veggies available. 😀 

That’s it for the food stuff. Don’t worry, you won’t starve there. 😀

More to come later! 

Love, A-K