They really eat that here?

Though the Dutch have no significant traditional cuisine, there are a few simple, but typically dutch dishes.

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Appeltaart - Apple Pie* Appeltaart
Recipes for Dutch apple pie go back centuries. There exists a painting from the Dutch Golden Age, dated 1626, featuring such a pie. Though it  originated in The Netherlands, it is now a delicacy served around the world. In The Netherlands it is usually eaten cold with whipped cream.

* Pepernoten & Speculaas

This candy is only available during the weeks leading up to the St Nicholas' Eve celebration on December fifth. Pepernoten are tough, cookie-like candy and is traditionally made with anise, cinnamon and clove. A more crunchy variety, that uses the same ingredients as Speculaas is nowadays more common.

Speculaas are cookies that are also traditionally baked for consumption on St Nicholas' Eve. They are thin, very crunchy, slightly browned and, most  significantly, have some image or figure (often from the stories about Sinterklaas) stamped in bas-relief on the front side before baking; the back is  flat. Speculaas are flavored with cinnamon and special ‘Speculaas spices’.

Drop - Liquorice* Drop
The Dutch are crazy about liquorice, or as they call it, ‘drop’, and have the highest per capita consumption of liquorice in the world (two kilo per person  per year).

Stroopwafels* Stroopwafels
Stroopwafels are the thin Dutch waffles with a syrup filling. They were first made in Gouda in the North of the Netherlands, in 1784. Large versions are sold on street markets.

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Patat met Mayonaise* Patat met Mayonaise
You probably remember the conversation in Pulp Fiction about the French fries in Amsterdam, where they discuss that the most common condiment  served with them is mayonaise. Not only is that true, but French fries are an obsession in the Netherlands and it’s difficult to find a  restaurant in Amsterdam that doesn’t serve them.

A couple hundred years ago, in the part of the Netherlands that is now Belgium, some genius decided to slice up some potatoes and then deep fry  the slivers. The Brits call them “chips,” the French call them “pommes frites,” and for some reason the Americans call them “French fries.” But in the Netherlands and Belgium they call them “Vlaamse frites” (Flemish fries) attributing them to Flanders, the region in northern Belgium where  they originated.

Best place to get Patat: Manneken Pis (Damrak 41), Vlemminckx (Voetboogstraat 33)

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* Stamppot
Mash Pot is a traditional Dutch dish made from a combination of mashed potatoes with one or several sorts of vegetable, sometimes also with bacon.  These vegetable pairings traditionally include sauerkraut, endive, kale, or carrot & onion (the latter combination is known as hutspot). It is usually served with smoked sausage or stewed meat. When served, most locals make a small 'pond' in the mash and pour gravy in there.

Best place to get Stamppot is at the ‘Keuken van 1870 (Spuistraat 4)

* Pannenkoeken
Dutch pancakes are larger and thinner than in most other countries and are prepared with toppings such as cheese, banana, smoked bacon & syrup,  or apple & raisins. Other famous combinations are ice-cream & Grand merrier or strawberries & whipped cream. Plain pannekoeken are often eaten  with just some brown sugar or syrup.

Beastie Boys say; "And when i'm in Holland i eat the Pannekoeken.."

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* Toasty
Small grilled sandwich with melted cheese (preferably Edam or Gouda) and ham. A great quick snack, available at most neighbourhood pubs.

* Uitsmijter
A few open slices of white bread with Dutch cheese and/or ham (and/ or roasted beef) topped with two or three fried eggs ‘sunny-side-up’. Best ordered as sturdy breakfast or early lunch in a old Amsterdam café (pub) in the Jordaan area.

* Bitterballen
A one-bite snack dipped in mustard, dubbed ‘Dutch Tapas’ by our Spanish friends. It does have the same function as the Mediterranean equivalent; eating to support drinking. This little ball of ragout in deepfried breadcrumbs is essentially the same as a kroket (see below), but much smaller and round rather than cylinder shaped.


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