A guide to typical Dutch snacks
Attention snacksperts, adventurers, and sweet tooths: it's time to discover your new favorite snack. Donuts, cannolis, baklava, every country has its specialties. Are you unfamiliar with the Dutch snack scene? You'll learn all about typical Dutch snacks, from sweet to savory, and where to get them with our guide. Thank us later!
Poffertjes and pancakes
Ah, the good old pancake. Made of flour, egg, milk, and a dash of love. As you know, the first pancake always fails, but you end up with a whole stack after some practice. Only to see them disappear in ten minutes under powdered sugar and syrup mountains. Even more fun are poffertjes, just mini pancakes, but fluffier. Put a little butter and powdered sugar on them, and you are good to go. Traditional pancakes can be had at Pannenkoekenhuis de Proeftuin. Sadly, there is no special spot for poffertjes. We suggest looking out for a special stand during food festivals or other events.
A wide range of snack bar snacks
Fries. Divine on its own, even tastier when consumed with a snack on the side. And we Dutch should know: almost every week we have a fries day. Whether we fry them at home (yes, really) or spoil ourselves with a visit to master fryers, a visit to the snack bar is like a religion. And we don't mess around with sacred stuff, so we faithfully order a snack or two. Classics are the frikandel, regular of 'speciaal' (with a topping consisting of curry, mayo, and onions), and the croquette (kroket): a meaty ragout in a crispy crust. Other must-tries: kipcorn (minced chicken with a crispy coating), berenklauw (deep-fried meatballs with onion and, for the daredevil, peanut sauce), and the tongue-burning cheece soufflé (kaassoufflé).
Another thing you should know about snacks at snack bars: most of them are meat. Fortunately, veggie snacks are becoming more and more popular. So, lucky for you, at many places, you can order a veggie croquette, veggie chicken-corn, or veggie frikandel. Visit these places for delicious fries.
Bitterballen: the ideal snack with a beer
Bitterballen fall in the deep-fried snacks category, but we give the beloved bitterbal its own time to shine for a very good reason. Because the bitterball, oh that damn fine bitterball, is everywhere. At your favorite pub, on a sunny terrace, in the sports canteen. Everywhere. This wannabe croquette is round, not very healthy, but o so delicious. And it comes in all sorts of flavors. Meaty, vegan, stuffed with shrimp, or enriched with beer. We already told you where to find them. At almost all cafes, outdoor spots, and tasting rooms. Are you looking for a bitterbal with a twist? At Calypso, you will find Grandma Bob's vegetable balls. They have no less than five (!) different types at Mathilde, including the risotto and cheese bitterbal. And, last but not least, at Gastrobar Luzt, you will find the special pulled-pork bitterballs. Enjoy!
Tompouce: the three-layer wonder
An icon, Dutch glory, we are talking about the tompouce. We have been eating this pastry since at least 1875. Crispy, soft, sweet, and tasty. Perhaps asking how to eat it is more important, as it can be quite the challenge, but the answer to where to get the tompouce is very simple: HEMA. This three-layer wonder consists of a generous amount of sweet vanilla cream, stuffed between two layers of crispy puff pastry, with pink glaze on top (or orange on King's Day). Have it at home as a treat with coffee or a celebration.
Tasty tradition: Brabant sausage rolls
Call it a snack, or order four and call it lunch. The Brabant sausage roll satisfies anyone's hearty appetite. Straightforward, this snack is exactly as the name suggests: a well-seasoned sausage wrapped in a brown bread roll. But, we must be honest: it is a typical snack for the region. What can we say? The rest of the Netherlands is sometimes just lagging behind. We don't mind, because bakeries like Houben Worstenbrood have mastered this tasty snack. Opt for a traditional, vegetarian version, or try an actual Michelin-star sausage roll. Delicious!
Another classic is the stroopwafel. A thin waffle that you can buy ready-made at just about any supermarket: although we think that the supermarket waffle doesn't count. We believe that you should try the fresh version of the stroopwafel with warm syrupy caramel inside. You can do so at one of the markets, like on 18 Septemberplein. There you'll find 'De echte goudse', pure gold.
What's the deal with drop?
Honey licorice, salt licorice, sweet licorice, mint licorice, English licorice. Licorice comes in all shapes, flavors, and sizes. Plenty of options, just the way the Dutch love it. Look at the candy shelf in your supermarket, and you know what we mean. Back to licorice. It's candy, a little treat. Not necessarily suitable for a candy binge (though we won't judge if you do), but rather to enjoy in moderation. It's an acquired taste. Which is probably why some foreigners find it incredibly disgusting. But still: enjoy!
Crispy fish and soused herring
Snacks of a completely different caliber are those from the fish stall. Yes, the fish stall. Between shopping trips, we like to order a portion of kibbeling: deep-fried white fish in a crispy jacket. And you must try one of the sauces: garlic, remoulade or ravigotte. Perhaps even more typical is the Hollandse Nieuwe, better known as herring. This oily fish is generously sprinkled with raw onions and eaten with your hands. Just let it dangle above your head and let it slide down your throat. These popular snacks are also available at most fishmongers.
Greasy fun with oliebollen
With this fun ball full of fat, it's always party time. During the holiday season, anyway. The oliebol is the limited edition among the Dutch snacks. You can only get them at 'oliebollenkramen' during the colder months. Maybe that's only right, since you just can't stop stuffing them down your throat. Force of habit, shall we say. Oliebollen taste amazing without any extras, but even more delicious when covered in powdered sugar, or stuffed with raisins or other creative fillings, like caramel sea salt and pineapple. If you haven't noticed, we always talk about these deep-fried dough balls in the plural. Because you just can't (and shouldn't) stop at one. Try them at these five places for oliebollen in the coming winter, something to look forward too!
The one and only Eindhoven bol
Now that we've updated you on the wonderful world of Dutch snacks, we'd like to go local with a true Eindhoven delicacy: the Eindhoven bol. A sweet sphere with vanilla cream, whipped cream, and caramel sauce. Want to show some more city pride while snacking? Then try the Eindhoven vibes (the logo of Eindhoven) in chocolate form. You can find them at Art Pastry on the Grote Berg.