Guys, is it even December if we don’t talk about food!?
It’s dark and cold outside, so you might as well use the excuse of Sinterklaas, Kerst (Christmas) and Oud en Nieuw (New Year) to sit indoors and get as fat as Santa. So without further ado, I present to you Bitterballenbruid’s 13 best festive food and drinks from the Netherlands…
Or eggnog… a traditional Dutch alcoholic beverage made from eggs, sugar and brandy. The Dutch love it because it’s basically boozy custard. And who can blame them?
When anyone thinks of New Year in the Netherlands they think of oliebollen – but apple fritters / beignets (or apple turnovers as we’d call them in English) are v.popular too! My Dad used to be a baker and I loooooved apple turnovers when I was a kid.
3. Banketstaaf or banketletters
Pastry shaped into a log or a letter containing an almond flavour paste (known in the Netherlands as spijs or amandelspijs.) Absolutely delicious and about as traditional as you can get!!
The Dutch version of glühwein (or mulled wine). Need I say more?
Hahahahahahaha… not Christmassy at all. But fuck it – it’s my list! 😉
My favourite of all the mashed Dutch food.
Stamppot (meaning “mash pot”) consists of (lumpy) mashed potato with vegetables of your choice thrown in. My fave is with kale aka boerenkool. Stamppot is often served with rookworst (smoked sausage) and/or bacon lardons.
7. Erwtensoep (or Snert)
Pea soup. Typically made from dried peas, such as the split pea. A bit like English pea soup… but better!
Technically not a food or a drink, but a popular way of cooking / dining especially during the festive period! Read more about gourmetten.
Oval-shaped Christmas bread with dried fruits and more amandelspijs. The Dutch version of the German ‘Weihnachtsstollen’.
Marzipan, but in Dutch it’s pronounced something like mars-ze-pain (which makes me cackle every time)! Ewwww… I am not a fan, but a whole lot of Dutch people would disagree with me!
(Literally: oil spheres) I got in a lot of trouble on a previous post for saying that they’re “basically doughnuts”! Dutch people are clearly very passionate about oliebollen and will defend them to within an inch of their life. So ok, I will amend my statement: they are similar to doughnuts…
The dough is made from flour, eggs, yeast, salt, milk, baking powder and usually sultanas or raisins. They’re then sprinkled with icing sugar. Oliebollen are traditionally eaten at New Year but there are oliebollen stands around for the whole festive period (so basically the whole of December).
12. Pepernoten and Kruidnoten
Pepernoten literally ‘pepper nuts’ are small, round-shaped cookie like things made from flour, sugar, anise, cinnamon, and cloves. My friend bought me some glutenvrije pepernoten this year so that I can still join in the fun! (Thanks, M! xx)
Not to be confused with kruidnoten literally meaning ‘spice nuts’ which are harder, have a different colour and shape and contain the same ingredients as speculaas… which leads me onto last but not least…
Spiced shortcrust biscuit, served around Sinterklaas time. Dutch people go wild for it. You can also get spreadable versions, with a peanut butter kind of consistency. Niet mijn ding (not my thing) but each to their own and all that.
And the most important question: which is your favourite?