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!
Hanging cool in the hotel barMarloes Tervoort, Friday, June 13, 2014
When out shopping I like to walk into a hotel just to feel like a tourist in my own city. Absorbing the timeless feeling of a traveller in a strange place lifts me out of the daily grind. It seems I’m not the only one, given the increasing popularity of the hotel bar. Happily, it’s no longer the sole preserve of the hotel guest.
LED the music play!Marloes Tervoort, Friday, May 9, 2014
I love going out. A nice meal, having a drink at the bar, seeing exhibitions, enjoying a play in the theatre. I enjoys concerts too, but like a real Dutch woman, I prefer the venues with a cosy atmosphere. That’s why I like the capital’s pop temple Paradiso, or the intimate Bitterzoet, where you can almost reach out and touch the artist.
A cathedral for the artsUlrike Grafberger, Monday, April 15, 2013
This major event is imminent: On the 13th of April 2013, the Rijksmuseum will be opening its doors again. Queen Beatrix - as her last official engagement - will have the task of re-opening it. In the run-up to this, the media - and not just the Dutch media - are full of entire articles about the Rijksmuseum, the Albert Heijn supermarket chain is selling packs of milk and yoghurt with images of masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum and the return of Rembrandt's The Night Watch has even been broadcast on German television. Why all this media hype? Is the Rijksmuseum not just one museum among many? An unequivocal no.
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.
Theatre renaissanceMarloes Tervoort, Friday, November 15, 2013
Theatres. I once was a theatre critic and as a result spent a lot of time in the Amsterdam theatres. Although I liked the architecture, they also were a bit stale with bleak foyers, stuffy cloakrooms, bad coffee, that sort of thing.
Culturally justified voyeurismMarloes Tervoort, Sunday, October 20, 2013
Amsterdammers are proud of ‘their’ IDFA which was founded in 1988 in an attempt to ‘give national and international stimulus to the documentary culture’. Pre-sale tickets have to be purchased well in advance but luckily I have a friend that sends me an overview of the must-sees each year so all I have to do is sign-up. My friend then arranges the tickets for these little gems in the programming schedule.
Enjoyment outside the boxMarloes Tervoort, Wednesday, October 16, 2013
With a twenty year tradition, the Crossing Border festival has gained a huge international reputation. Rufus Wainwright and Patti Smith performed on stage in 2007. Robert Kaplan performed at the new festival component Border Sessions, where writers and philosophers share their views of the world, in 2012. For me, the best thing about Crossing Border is the mix of established artists and new talents.
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.
The Battle of the FireworksHeather Tucker, Tuesday, September 10, 2013
To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late and to be late is to be dead.
That string of words, a motto from the high school colorguard team that I used to be part of, was ringing in my ears as my head twisted back and forth along the tram tracks.
A night at the museumMarloes Tervoort, Tuesday, September 3, 2013
I still remember that first Night at the Museum in Amsterdam very well. My colleagues and I bought tickets well in advance and we were looking forward to dancing the night away at the museum. To us, it was clear: this event was not to be missed. I can still see myself boogieing to DJ Per in the Tropenmuseum and before that, we’d been to the Stedelijk, the Rijksmuseum and the Jewish Historical Museum so that we wouldn’t miss a thing. After all, this many fun things on one evening requires smart planning; and a proper bike.
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?
De Parade is back in town!Marloes Tervoort, Thursday, June 6, 2013
Travelling theatre festival De Parade is world-famous in the Netherlands. From June to August they play in The Hague, Utrecht, Rotterdam and Amsterdam successively. And even if Dutch summers aren’t exactly known for their tropical character, De Parade turns any summer into a sweltering party. I personally think this is due to the nostalgic feel, with its small circus tents that serve as theatres, the make-shift shacks that serve as temporary restaurants and the whirligig right at the centre. De Parade has a joyful atmosphere that works like a magnet on the audience that mainly consists of hip people in their thirties.
Omniversum: That’s One Gigantic FilmHeather Tucker, Thursday, June 6, 2013
Despite visiting the nearby photography museum each month, I have never seen a single person go into the IMAX theatre in The Hague known as Omniversum. So it was really no surprise that when I walked into reception I was all alone apart from a small children’s birthday party off to the left. I had just missed the showing of The Living Sea so I was going to be watching Born to be Wild, a story about an elephant and an orangutan rescue centre, instead. With Omniversum’s emphasis on sharing knowledge about human life, nature and the planet this seemed to be a good fit.
More than just a jazz partyMarloes Tervoort, Tuesday, June 4, 2013
For years, The Hague used to be the home base of the biggest, internationally renowned jazz festival in Holland. When North Sea Jazz moved to Rotterdam in 2006 it took some getting used to for the faithful fans of the festival. While the two cities are not far apart geographically, the atmosphere is totally different. And the festival was so closely intertwined with The Hague that a new tradition had to be fostered in Rotterdam.
West is the bestMarloes Tervoort, Monday, May 27, 2013
I admit, it’s a fair distance from where I live, past the Scheepvaartmuseum and Central Station and down Haarlemmerstraat, but it’s worth the ride every time. Sometimes I go there for a picnic on the Westerpark fields and on other occasions I’ll have some scones and coffee at the ‘Bakkerswinkel’ before heading off in the dark to see a movie at the snug ‘Ketelhuis’ cinema.
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.
Partying for freedomMarloes Tervoort, Wednesday, April 24, 2013
On Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) Holland celebrates the end of WWII on 5 May 1945. Even though some people wonder if we should still be commemorating this event, I believe that you simply can never spend too much time considering the freedom in which we live. It came at a price.
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.
For the grey and the coolMarloes Tervoort, Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Standing on Museum Square, admiring the neoclassical Concertgebouw, it’s hard to imagine that as recently as 1881, when the build was approved, this was all marshland beyond the city’s boundaries. However, with the newly opened Stedelijk Museum diagonally across the road and the renovated Rijksmuseum almost immediately opposite, this is now the cultural place to be.
Long live the Queen!Marloes Tervoort, Tuesday, April 23, 2013
A red, white and blue flag on my cheek. A little orange dress. Streets filled with people. Get a beer on any corner. Buy second-hand toys and objects from people’s cellars and attics at the bustling vrijmarkt (informal flea market). Smell the meat roasting on the barbecue and listen to the loud music that fills the streets. Oh, how I loooooove Koninginnedag!
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.
Attending the International Film Festival RotterdamHeather Tucker, Tuesday, March 5, 2013This year the 42nd edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) was held from January 23rd until February 3rd 2013. I started attending the festival in 2010, back when I saw a poster by the side of the road and had no idea what it was all about. Every year I am surprised by how much I enjoy myself and every year I try to see a few more films than the year before (easy when you started out only seeing one!). This year was no exception.
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.
Living for live musicCandy Dulfer , Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Some artists prefer to lock themselves in a studio when they record a CD. They shy away from the stage and appear to be somewhat afraid of making mistakes. I personally think there’s no substitute for playing live as it simply doesn’t get more real than that. Even the smallest mistakes are noticed but that’s fine. I sometimes even hope that things go wrong because that’s when the fun starts; I simply love spontaneity and improvising. Musicians can sense when they truly connect with their audience and I therefore don’t like playing at venues where the lights are dimmed; I want to see their faces and gauge their reactions.
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”.
Good for a laugh!Marloes Tervoort, Wednesday, February 13, 2013
A night out in a basement does something to me. Starved of daylight, I’m in my element straight away, in a manner of speaking. This was the case in the cellar bar of the building where I studied. Going in at 5 pm for one drink meant rolling out again drunk six hours later. I behave better at the Toomler comedy club but I find it just as cosy.
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.
Viva España en HolandaRacheda Kooijman, Monday, January 7, 2013
Could it be that secretly a passionate Spaniard lurks in every Dutchman? Are the calm and collected Dutch in reality all fire and passion within? If so, it would explain why Spain is a favourite holiday destination and why the flamenco is so popular in the Netherlands. Every major city boasts popular flamenco schools and tickets sell out rapidly when Spanish artists hit the Dutch stages. The first Biennale in 2006 was therefore but a matter of time, and ever since, the best Spanish flamenco artists have been gathering here every two years to demonstrate the latest developments. And as a result of cross-pollination with other music cultures and genres, the organisers refer to it as “Flamenco in many different keys.”
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.