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Top 5 Foods You MUST Try When Visiting the Netherlands

One of the greatest highlights of any trip is sampling local cuisine. Food is powerful for obvious reasons, but also delights our taste buds and provides lasting memories. Enjoying native cuisine helps involve all of your senses in the cultural experience.

During your stay in the Netherlands, many foods are considered a “must” try. Dutch food tends to be overall light, healthy and tasty, making it hard to narrow down the best choices. Here are our top five recommendations to sample on your trip.

Croquettes– These savory sausage snacks are considered one of the most popular foods in the Netherlands. Popularity surged after WWII when croquettes started being mass produced. Today, they’re often served as a side dish around holidays, but can also be found at fast food restaurants. Croquettes are usually filled with a mixture of mashed potatoes, beef and spices, then coated in crunchy breadcrumbs. Perfect as a snack on the go or light lunch.

Stroopwafels– Very thin waffles are ‘glued’ together with a caramel filling and best enjoyed warm with honey or syrup. Stroopwafel literally means “syrup waffle” and was first made in the 18th century as a way to use up baking scraps. The earliest recipe originated in Gouda from a baker named Gerard Kamphuisen in the early 1800’s. Today you’ll find stroopwafels sold at many common places throughout the Netherlands. United Airlines even offers them for a breakfast snack on domestic flights.

Drop– This Dutch form of licorice is the Netherland’s most loved candy. In fact, it’s believed that the average resident consumes over four pounds of candy each year! Drop is a popular tourist treat with more than half of all vacationers bringing some home. They’re also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and are commonly used as a lozenge to soothe sore throats. Drops come in many flavors and varieties, so be sure to pick some up as a memento of your trip.

Stamppot– In Dutch, stamppot means ‘mashed pot’, and is a traditional potato dish with vegetables mixed in, served with a side of gravy and sometimes smoked sausage. It’s considered one of the oldest and most popular recipes among locals. This filling dish originated as a cold weather staple and was popular during harvest months since it could be made with inexpensive ingredients. Now, shops and supermarkets throughout the country sell this classic favorite.

Kibbeling– Like fish and chips? Then you’ll love this Dutch interpretation. Small pieces of cod are battered and fried, then served with a light and creamy lemon sauce for dipping. Cod became popular in the 19th century, resulting in kibbeling’s rise in popularity. Today, it’s traditionally sold at fish stands and consumed as a snack.

Close proximity to the sea, cool climate, and strong sense of adventure have helped shape the Dutch culinary experience. Some foods such as hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) and gouda are readily available outside the country’s borders, but we hope you’ll take the opportunity to taste some of these lesser known delicacies when visiting the Netherlands.