10 great traditional Dutch recipes from our Holland trip. While foods in their diet are somewhat similar, there are some great recipes & foods you will enjoy. Read this article to see what you might like to try that will be a little out of the ordinary.
History of Dutch Food
Dutch cuisine like other European Cuisine is a product that has been formed based primarily on available products. Much of it has been shaped by its great availability to seafood products and local farming to a lesser degree. Dutch food has also been shaped by the earlier times when they were a larger seafaring nation both colonizing other areas and bringing back spices to the Netherlands. Since most of the former traditional Dutch Recipes were plain this was a happy change for them.
Most traditional Dutch Recipes are simple “Meat and Vegetable” consumers served with bread and wine. The diet also makes use of the abundant types of dairy products, especially cheese. During the 1300s to 1500s when the Dutch were colonizing and exploring the diet began to change and expand. The Dutch East Indies company and its colonies began bringing in more people and recipes from the colonies and the diet became more international.
Dutch Food Today
Traditional Dutch Recipes and Foods are not a well known or frequently used cuisine but that is a pity. Much like England, it is mostly known for its plain, not too flavorful, outcomes, probably because potatoes are the main ingredient and they just do not provide tasty alternatives. Even Vincent van Gogh painted pictures glorifying the use of potatoes in the diet. That being said there are good recipes from Holland and we have enjoyed our trips there. Some of the recipes can be really good and are usually excellent for cold-weather meals. They are hearty and filling. Here are our favorites.
1. Creamy Advocaat Liqueur
This drink is often called ”advocaat of the devil” because once you start nipping at this sweet nectar, you cannot resist the temptation to have more of these traditional Dutch recipes. Take a Dutch adventure right in your own home and enjoy advocaat as a thick, seasonal tipple during the winter holidays, pour it over vanilla ice cream or use as a filling in desserts, pastries, and cakes.
A note about consistency: the Dutch prefer their advocaat thicker than the eggnog you might be used to. So thick that you can—in fact, must—eat it with a spoon, sort of like a thick malt you eat with a spoon only it’s eggnog-flavored. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add a bit of cream.
2. Hachee Stew
You know it’s a Dutch dish when it has potatoes, meat, and vegetable (we call it AVG: aardappel, vlees, groente). Here’s another example: Hachee. A beef stew traditionally served with potato and red cabbage.
3. Boterkoek (Dutch Butter Cake)
“Delicious, authentic Dutch butter cake. This cake is moist with a great almond flavor – a favorite in most Dutch households!”
4. Farmer’s cheese soup (boerenkaas soep)
Each year, the Netherlands produces 650 million kilograms of cheese and archaeologists have even found remains of cheese making equipment in Holland dating back to 200BC. So it’s no wonder that one of the nation’s most beloved dishes is cheese soup. But not just any cheese, boerenkaas cheese. Meaning farmer’s cheese, boerenkaas is a regulated form of gouda – it must be made using raw, unpasteurized milk from a smaller-scale farm to ensure artisan production. Traditionally, the soup is topped with fried bread, covered with boerenkaas and then grilled until melting and oozy. Here, we’ve used regular gouda and melted it on bread, toasted in bacon fat, to serve.
5. Dutch Baby
A Dutch baby pancake, sometimes called a German pancake, a Bismarck, or a Dutch puff is a large American popover. A Dutch baby pancake is similar to a large Yorkshire pudding. Wikipedia
6. Traditional Dutch Recipes for Apple Pie (Appeltaart)
In the United States the title of “Dutch apple pie” refers to the single-crust style of apple pie topped with a streusel topping. This classic version of the autumn dessert favorite is prepared with a perfectly flaky homemade crust and filled with cinnamon-scented apples. An easy crumb topping made with flour, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon gives a Dutch apple pie the signature appearance and texture.
7. Dutch Musterdsoep or Zaanse Mosterdsoep
This is a typical regional recipe from the middle of the province of Noord-Holland, the Zaanstreek in the Netherlands. The Zaanstreek is situated right above Amsterdam; tourists mostly know it for the mills and old wooden houses at the Zaanse Schans. Here you can find the mill that was the first to make the Zaanse Mosterd (Zaanse mustard). This mustard is coarse and has whole yellow and brown mustard seeds. This is the only kind of mustard you can use for this recipe! When the soup is warm, serve with freshly baked and buttered bread. Eet smakelijk! Good appetite!
Dutch comfort food. And you can’t get much more comforting than stamppot: potatoes roughly mashed with pretty much whatever you like (although purists would probably beg to differ!), often served with rookworst, a smoky Dutch sausage.
9. Asparagus with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce
Aaah asparagus, a true sign of springtime. In the Netherlands, the white ones are the most common. They are cultivated primarily in the south of the country, where you often can buy them directly from the farmer. They are generally available from mid-April until mid-June, so take advantage while it lasts.
A traditional way to serve asparagus is with Hollandaise sauce. The non-vegan version is a kind of warm mayonnaise, using eggs and butter. Most vegan recipes use either silken tofu or are more like a bechamel sauce. In order to stay close to the original recipe, I used vegan margarine. The preparation method is eventually similar to making vegan mayonnaise.
10. Poffertjes or Dutch Mini Pancakes
Poffertjes are little pancake puffs from the Netherlands formed by pouring a yeast-based batter into the cavities of a Poffertjes Pan. They are cooked on each side until golden and finished off with a few dots of butter and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. They are particularly popular as street food during holidays and summer festivals (we got to try them at a food stall in the Markthal in Rotterdam). Evan and Claire were fond of their tiny size which was perfect for little hands. Arousing Appetites has a great overview of the history behind the Poffertjes.
Now that you have read the Netherlands Recipe Guide, what’s next? Let’s learn more about the food in Germany. Check out The Germany Recipe Guide