A Gastronomic Adventure in Amsterdam
Whether you want a refreshing drink, a quick snack or a grand meal, Amsterdam has it all. And there are numerous places to choose from. A Dutch meal typically consists of vegetable, meat and potato. Dutch cuisine is basically very simple and consists of more vegetables than meat. The potato became very popular among the Dutch during the 18th century; at that time, it was normal to have potato for every meal of the day, in one form or another. While eating in Amsterdam, you will find that its cuisine is full of different nuances that will absolutely tantalize your senses.
Among the most common food items are sausages, cheese, potato, meatballs and pancakes. You will find different deals and offers on meals. Some of the very traditional foods offered during winter include cabbage with sausage and bacon, a potato and carrots stew with sausage, stewed cabbage and potato with sausage, and a pea soup that consists of different types of meat, which is known as snert.
Dutch cuisine makes great use of the different seasonal vegetables that it grows by making it a part of every meal. During the summer, a popular choice is the local asparagus which is tender and white. It grows in May. By the mid of August, mussels mature in the Oosterschelde’s beautiful pure waters. The combination of tender asparagus and mussels is a yummy treat. If you want a fancier treat, you can indulge in a fresh salad made of seasonal vegetables, paired with eel or smoked salmon. Other than that, you can also get a carpaccio which consists of raw meat that is sliced thinly and served as an appetizer.
You can make things easy for yourself by learning some of the local words, such as kip (chicken) and biefstuck (beefsteak). However, a much more easy way would be to order an English menu of the Dutch cuisine. That way, you can check out all the items and the details before placing the order for your meal.
There is one thing you should remember while placing your order: an entrée does not mean a main course, it is a starter. Entrées are known as hoofdgerechten. Check out the ‘RefuelAround Town’ box for sandwiches and snack options.
Holland’s rich and fertile land is perfect for dairy cows, which provide the country with the milk to make cheese that they are so passionate about. Gouda is the country’s most popular and favourite cheese; does not matter whether it’s young, aged, or ancient. Gouda has a soft consistency and creamy flavour when it’s young. It acquires dryness in texture and intensity in taste as it ages.
Named after a town in North Holland, Edam is a pale yellow cheese that is sold in the shape of a sphere. With time, Edam only gets hard; it does not get spoiled. Edam that is made for export is marked with a red cover. For local sale, it is wrapped in a yellow coat, or a black coat in case it is mature. Edam has a mild, nutty flavour and pairs up well with apricots, cherries, melons and peaches.
The Netherlands also produces some other cheeses, which – although not as popular as Gouda – are equally delicious. They include Frisian Clove, which has a firm texture and a flavour spiced up with cloves; geitenkaas, which is a semi-hard goat cheese used for sandwiches; maasdammer, which is filled with holes and has a sweet taste, resembling swiss cheese; and boerenkaas, which is scrumptiously creamy and made with unpasteurized milk. Dutch cheeses are studded with spices and herbs such as mustard seeds, cloves, and cumin.
Some of the Dutch foods you must definitely try include poffertjes, which are small and fluffy pancaked topped with sugar, and sometimes with syrup or fruits; bitterballen, which are deep-fried meatballs with a crust rolled in bread-crumbs; stroopwafels, which consist of thin, crispy waffles with a syrup filling; and patat (Dutch word for French fries) that are topped with mayonnaise and onions.
To end your meal with a sweet treat, try out the home-made custards, and profiterole that is a thin pancake soaked in liquor and filled with ice-cream. The most popular and favourite dessert of the Dutch is the appeltaart that is available in many different variations to suit everyone’s choice.