There are lots of ways to spend time in Amsterdam. One group of people will go the grotty way, spending all their time in the coffee shops smoking pot or the red light district and taking in sex shows while the other will walk the beautiful canals, hire a bike, ride around and picnic in the beautiful parks. There’s a third thing, however, which is to try the interesting Dutch foods. Though not a food culture remotely close to those of Italy or France the Dutch do have a few interesting, dare I say unusual, foods they enjoy. Experience the city through your stomach and try some of these Dutch specialties.
The Dutch take pride in their varied cheeses or kaas as they call it. Some of the most common types that they enjoy include Gouda and Edam cheeses. Cheeses are seperated by age into jong (young) which is mild and soft and oud (old) which has a much sharper, more distinctive taste. Be sure to try a kass broodje which is cheese on a breadroll as this is a distinctive and ever so common Dutch snack.
Stroopwafels are a treat for the person with a sweet tooth. Essentially they are made with two buttery waffle layers held together with sweet, sugary syrup. Stroopwafels can be found at all grocery stores and souvenir shops. If you want a really good authentic one though go to open air Albert Cuypmarkt and have a warm one made right in front of you.
Pannekoeken and Poffertjes
Pannekoeken are Dutch pancakes that are similar in texture to French crepes. These pancakes are made from a buttery batter that is neither sweet nor savoury. Traditionally they are served Dutch syrup, which has a slightly sour taste to it. The lack of a definitive sweet or savoury taste allows many combinations to be made with Pannekoeken, they can be made with bacon and cheese inside of them or raspberries and whip cream. To try some of the limitless variety of Pannekoeken visit the Pancake Bakery. Poffertjes are mini pancakes served with butter and powdered sugar. They are especially popular around Christmas time.
Vlaamse Frites are fries that come from Belgium as opposed to France. Though in truth there is a lot of difference between the taste of the actual fry, the difference comes in the choices of dipping sauces that the Dutch favour. Though you can find ketchup up too, the favoured choice is mayonnaise or frite sauce. Frite sauce is a sweeter, creamier mayonnaise than North Americans are use to. Curry and satay (peanut) sauce are also used as dips.