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Customs

Dutch Kitchen

In general, the Dutch have three meals a day. In the past, they had meat, vegetables, and potatoes for dinner, but nowadays they are influenced by other culinary tastes. This is also reflected in the variety of restaurants. Lunch will normally consist of bread and cheese or light spread and will be taken between 12.00 and 1.00.

A very traditional dinner dish is stamppot – the name for several variations of a winter dish with mashed potatoes and vegetables, such as hutspot with carrots and onions, stamppot boerenkool with green kale, or stamppot zuurkool with sauerkraut. Erwtensoep or snert (two different types of pea soup) are well known and traditionally eaten after ice skating or working hard in the cold.

The Dutch do not only eat a lot of cheese (on bread), but it is also a substantial export product. Another typical bread topping is hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles) that is not only eaten by children but by adults as well. A surprisingly wide variety of hagelslag is available in the supermarket.

 

There are vending machines built into the walls of snack bars where you can purchase a snack (kroketten, frikandellen, etc.) without a shop assistant. They call it “eten uit de muur” (eating from the wall).

 

Some other typical foods include:

  • Haring: raw herring; it’s seasonal and the first barrel in June is auctioned for charity. You eat them by hand with raw onion at stands on the street or at the fish shop.
  • Poffertjes: mini pancakes. You can buy them at special stalls, and they are served with butter and icing sugar.
  • Drop: Licorice
  • Stroopwafel: Waffle cookies with a syrup or caramel middle