Contrary to some beliefs, Dutch cuisine goes way beyond herring and cheese. Meet culinary entrepreneurs and passionate foodies explore intriguing Dutch food trends and discover the hottest restaurants, local favourites and must-try dishes. Enjoy!
Best of breadDenise Kortlever, Monday, March 17, 2014
Gebr. Niemeijer is one of the best bakeries in Amsterdam. Everything in this French bakery, from breads, to viennoiserie and patisserie, is hand-made - without any additives - and baked in a large stone oven. Their croissants have many local fans and even the most critical of French customers stand in line for their pain au chocolat and baguettes. Located on the Nieuwendijk, Niemeijer is both a bakery and a charming art-deco style café where they serve great (South Italian) coffees. Buy a fresh sourdough loaf to take-away or enjoy lunch with walnut bread and homemade fig jam. Remember to save some room for the lemon tartelettes or macarons!
Say cheeseDenise Kortlever, Monday, January 27, 2014
Betty Koster is the ultimate cheese expert in Holland and owner of l’Amuse, a highly recommended cheese shop with locations in Santpoort and Amsterdam. Few people are as knowledgeable and can talk as passionately about cheese as Betty. According to her, what’s so special about Dutch cheese, is that our little country has many different terroirs and it is exactly those that determine the taste. “In the Netherlands, we have mature cheeses from the Groene Hart area and sweet and creamy cheese from the province of Brabant, where the cows graze on rich grass. We have the pré-salé (saline pasture) sheep cheese from the islands of Texel and Terschelling, and also the intense and smooth dairy products from the polders of the province of Noord-Holland. A journey along some different types of cheese you definitely need to try when visiting the Netherlands:
Oliebollen en appelbeignetsDenise Kortlever, Monday, December 16, 2013
Enjoying these sweet fried treats is an integral part of celebrating the new year, usually accompanied by a glass of champagne at midnight. ‘Oliebollen’ are dough balls, made from a batter consisting of flour, eggs, yeast and milk and are deep-fried in hot oil. Sometimes beer is used instead of yeast, and raisins, candied peel and apples are optional add-ins. Dusting the ‘oliebollen’ with a generous amount of powdered sugar is a must! ‘Appelbeignets’ are round apple slices dipped in a sweet batter, deep-fried and then served with some cinnamon and sugar.
A Cruise Full of Dutch PancakesHeather Tucker, Friday, September 13, 2013
On your marks, get set, go!!
When I think of an all you can eat buffet, this is the type of atmosphere I expect to encounter. That’s why when we arrived in the car park across from Rotterdam’s iconic Euromast, I expected to find hoards of hungry people crowding the Pancake Boat’s dock.
The Pannenkoekenboot offers trips that last from one hour to two and a half hours. During which time the boat cruises along the river, taking in sights such as the Erasmusbrug and the Willemsbrug.
Wild Wild EastDenise Kortlever, Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Even though Holland is a small and densely populated country, we have a relatively high game population count thanks to careful wildlife management. Forests and fields are inhabited with large numbers of hares, boars, pheasants and deer. The eastern part of our country is especially known for its good quality game meat. The reason is that on the sandy soils of ‘the Veluwe’ nature reserve, animals really have to forage their food. All that exercise is very beneficial for their meat quality and makes it nice and tender. Wild game is often seen as honest and probably the ultimate form of sustainable free-range meat.
Dutch and their beerAmber el Zarow & Harold Verhagen, Monday, August 26, 2013
Even James Bond discovered who make the best beer; in his last movie he drunk a Dutch pale lager.
With 678 breweries in 1819, the Dutch have may years of experience with beer brewing. Even though this number declined over the years, the flavour and quality of our beer increased. The Dutch are ranked 14th on the list of beer consumption per capita, with around 77 liters per person per year. January 2014 the legal age for drinking shall be raised from 16 to 18 years. This will be the first time in the history of Holland that the legal age for driving and drinking will be the same.
The Humble KroketHeather Tucker, Friday, August 9, 2013
Kroketten and I have not had the best of introductions. The first time I ate one, I innocently thought that the creamy inside was made of potato. You can imagine my surprise, then, when I came across a lump of meat.
“Ewww! There was a piece of meat in my kroket!”
“Of course there was. It is made from meat. What did you expect there to be inside?”
In Search of a Bossche Bol in Den BoschHeather Tucker, Wednesday, August 7, 2013
The assignment was simple. Visit the Dutch city of Den Bosch (also known as ‘s-Hertogenbosch) and eat a Bossche Bol, a local speciality. But one does not just visit a great city like Den Bosch, eat some food and leave. It is the perfect city for exploring.
FEBO: A Snack From the WallHeather Tucker, Friday, August 2, 2013
A trip to the Netherlands is not complete without eating a few specific food items. Stroopwafels, bitterballen and friet with mayo are all Dutch culinary experiences worth trying. But there is one food phenomenon that is a must, not so much for the food itself, but rather for the experience.
Together we eatDenise Kortlever, Monday, July 29, 2013
We are connected with the entire world through internet and social media. But at the same time, people seem to be increasingly pursuing personal, ‘real’ contact. We want to truly get to know our neighbours, have meals with inspiring new people, and taste the best of other cultures. Sharing food with others may be the ultimate way to connect.
Enjoying the Sunshine at Hotel New York in RotterdamHeather Tucker, Wednesday, July 3, 2013
“Where shall we go for lunch?”
It is amazing how those six words when strung together can create one of the hardest questions to answer. Especially if you happen to be in Rotterdam, where the eating opportunities are vast and varied.
“Anywhere where we can enjoy the sunshine.”
Since sunshine can be a rare creature in the Netherlands and it was currently shining in large quantities, this did not seem like an unreasonable request.
“What about Hotel New York? They have a nice lunch menu and you can sit outside.”
“Sounds perfect to me.”
Fancy some Dutch cheese?Ulrike Grafberger, Monday, June 10, 2013
It’s very easy for us in Holland. If we have a craving for a piece of cheese, we simply walk into one of the many kaaswinkels (cheese shops), where rounds of Gouda tower up to the ceiling and there’s a lovely smell of cheese. Here we stock up on oude kaas (old cheese), buy a small round of boerenkaas (farmhouse cheese) and nibble the cheese cubes on display to check what they taste like. But what do you do if you get an insatiable craving for Dutch cheese when you’re in Berlin, London or Kopenhagen?
The secret of the Texel lambDenise Kortlever, Monday, May 6, 2013
Texel lamb gets raving reviews and is praised all over the world. Even Dutch Queen Beatrix is said to be a fan and rumour has it that it is served when she hosts state banquets for foreign Heads of State. The secret behind Texel lamb is its unique taste: a light salty flavour, derived from the salty air and saline soil, it’s extremely tender and juicy.
Enjoy the flavourful partyDenise Kortlever, Wednesday, April 24, 2013
In spring and summer, food lovers may have a hard time deciding which festival to visit since there is a huge number of culinary events. The oldest and biggest Dutch culinary festival is Preuvenemint in Maastricht (22-25 August) and the international Taste festival in Amsterdam (6-9 June), where restaurants present their signature dishes. It has an excellent track record. Rollende Keukens (Rolling Kitchens, 9-12 May) is relatively new with a large variety of extraordinary mobile stands and food trucks, drawing the young and hip crowd. And these are just three examples.
A walk on the beach in ScheveningenUlrike Grafberger, Tuesday, April 16, 2013
When there’s a real storm and as a southern German, I’d like to curl up with a good book on the sofa, a Dutchman would prefer to go to the beach for “lekker uitwaaien” (a breath of fresh air). What doesn’t work for me at all is “lekker” (breath of) and “uitwaaien” (fresh air). Because “uitwaaien” (fresh air) means going to the beach in at least a cold force 6 wind with sand flying everywhere. So “Uitwaaien” also means nothing other than having the wind swirling round your head.
Trendy sausageDenise Kortlever, Monday, March 18, 2013
Sausages used to be a somewhat inferior food product, only suitable as a fast and greasy snack. But things have definitely changed. In line with the trend of consumers becoming more ethically aware of meat, everyone seems to be making their own sausages nowadays, from culinary enthusiasts who get creative at home to chefs from a wide variety of restaurants.
Exploring traditional Dutch dishesDenise Kortlever, Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Ask a Frenchman about typical French food and you will probably hear all about croissants and bouillabaisse. Spaniards will praise their nation’s tapas and Italians are set on their “pasta di mamma”. But what about Dutch food: is there such thing as traditional Dutch cuisine? The answer is Yes, and the popularity of these dishes seems to be growing.
Marqt and MarketsDenise Kortlever, Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Marqt is a new kind of marketplace; a chain of authentic food stores as an alternative to the traditional supermarket. The stores in Amsterdam, Haarlem and The Hague (Rotterdam will open soon) make fresh, organic food accessible in an inspiring and good-looking environment. Founders Quirijn Bolle and Meike Beeren, who both worked for international food retailers, noticed that there wasn’t much room for fresh, real food and decided it was time for a change. “Customers seem to be increasingly more interested in the wellbeing and background of the products they buy and often can’t find real food in the traditional supermarkets. Marqt brings together customers with farmers and producers who provide them exactly these authentic products”.
Food=DesignDenise Kortlever, Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Why is tea in a teabag? Why is so much food wasted in restaurants? Katja Gruijters always starts her project by questioning the obvious. Whilst eating is a basic need for people, it is also part of our culture and thus linked to rituals and human interaction. Gruijters wants to positively contribute to our eating culture and as such designs innovative food products, like flower candies, edible plates and lace chocolate tiles. Nowadays, her main focus is on the sustainability of our food. Strange European food legislation (there are strict rules governing the size and shape of fruit and vegetables, i.e. bananas have to be perfectly curvy) convinced Gruijters that now is the time to redefine the way we perceive food and embrace real, honest products. She therefore works on projects that – quite literally – give food for thought, such as a no-waste restaurant and dinners completely made from leftovers.
Apple of my PieDenise Kortlever, Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Ask any Dutchman about their favourite pie and the answer is likely to be ‘appeltaart’. Most people have a favourite recipe, and often these are passed on for several generations, each adding their own touch. The one thing they all have in common, however, is the warm scent of cinnamon and freshly whipped cream to go with it.