Dutch Food and Traditional Dishes

Date published 5 June 2024
Date modified 5 June 2024

Haring ‘Hollandse Nieuwe’

Haring, or herring, is a quintessential Dutch snack that is deeply rooted in the country’s culture. This fish is typically salted and served with chopped onions and pickles. The most traditional way to eat herring is to hold it by the tail, tilt your head back, and take a bite. Known as ‘Hollandse Nieuwe,’ this fresh herring is particularly celebrated in the months of May and June when the new season’s catch is available.

Poffertjes and Pannenkoeken

Poffertjes are small, fluffy pancakes made with yeast and buckwheat flour. They are usually served with a generous dusting of powdered sugar and a knob of butter, making them a delightful sweet treat. Pannenkoeken, on the other hand, are larger and thinner than American pancakes and can be enjoyed with a variety of toppings, both sweet and savory. Ingredients typically include flour, milk, eggs, and a pinch of salt, and they are cooked on a hot griddle until golden brown.

Gouda Cheese

Cheese is a staple of Dutch cuisine, and Gouda is one of the most famous varieties. Named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands, this cheese has a rich, creamy texture and a mild flavor that becomes more robust with age. Gouda cheese can be enjoyed on its own, in sandwiches, or as part of a cheese platter

Kroketten and Bitterballen

Kroketten and bitterballen are popular Dutch snacks, especially enjoyed in bars and cafes. Both are made from a mixture of beef ragout and herbs, which is then rolled in breadcrumbs and deep-fried until crispy. Kroketten are cylindrical, while bitterballen are round and bite-sized. They are typically served with mustard for dipping.


Rookworst is a traditional Dutch smoked sausage, often enjoyed with stamppot or on its own. This sausage is made from ground meat, usually pork, and flavored with spices before being smoked. It has a distinct, hearty flavor that complements many Dutch dishes.



Also known as snert, erwtensoep is a thick pea soup that is a winter staple in the Netherlands. Made from split peas, pork, and a variety of vegetables, this hearty soup is simmered until it reaches a thick consistency. It is traditionally served with rye bread and slices of rookworst.


Oliebollen are traditional Dutch doughnuts enjoyed particularly around New Year's. These deep-fried balls of dough are often filled with raisins or currants and dusted with powdered sugar, making them a festive favorite.


Stroopwafels are thin, caramel-filled waffles that are a beloved Dutch treat. They are best enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea, allowing the caramel to melt slightly for a deliciously gooey experience.


Drop, or Dutch licorice, is a popular candy in the Netherlands. It comes in various shapes and flavors, ranging from sweet to salty. Dutch people have a unique love for this distinctive treat, making it a must-try for visitors.

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