Warning this following post will seriously make you hungry!
So we spent three nights and two days in Castricum, which is about 20 minutes from Amsterdam in Holland. Below are some of the most delicious food and new things we tasted;
Stroopwafels (Syrup Waffles)
The Stroopwafel consists of two thin waffle sheets sandwiched together with caramel syrup. It a chewy, crisp biscuit first made in Gouda in the 18th century. You will find these at nearly every supermarket or bakery, and they come in mini, standard size, freshly made or pre-packaged. They were moreish, and I could see me eating the whole tin in no time at all.
Boerenkool Stamppot (Kale & Mashed Potatoes)
Boerenkool Stamppot is a creamy, buttered smooth mashed potato with kale and generally served with smoked sausage (Rookworst). The origin of stamppot is unknown, although legend attributes the invention of Hutspot to 1574. Now I wasn’t expecting to like, I mean aww kale but it was tasted nice, maybe it was all the butter in it too, but I certainly would eat it again.
Hagelslag (Chocolate Sprinkles)
Generally eaten on a rusk that is a twice-baked bread, also known as “beschuit”. You spread it with some butter, so the sprinkles stick. Hagelslag means hail in Dutch, but in this case, the particles falling from the sky are made of chocolate! These chocolate sprinkles are a staple in most Dutch households. Adults and kids alike enjoy them for breakfast and lunch on bread, rusks, pancakes and more and really what not two love, its chocolate and sugar, yum.
De Ruijters Gestampte Muisjes (Powdered Sugar)
In the Netherlands, it is a custom at the birth of a baby to eat Muisjes on top of rusk, the anise in the Muisjes was thought to stimulate lactation (nice lol), and they symbolised fertility. As early as the 17th century, the parents of a newborn baby gave away beschuit with a layer of butter and Muisjes to the baby’s visitors, and his tradition continues today. Every supermarket in the Netherlands sells boxes of muisjes. “De Ruijter” is currently the only brand in the production of Muisjes and they have been making them since 1860. If you’re not a fan of star anise that stays away for this but I am, and it was delicious.
Drop is the Dutch word for liquorice and the Dutch sure love liquorice. They actually have the highest consumption of liquorice in the world, nearly 2000g per year per person. Drop comes in many shapes and sizes from small Groente Erwten (green peas) to the popular, large Muntdrop chewy coins. I tried it but nope still not a fan of it sorry. lol
The Dutch version of French Fries has many different words: ‘Friet’, ‘Frites’, ‘Patat’ or ‘Vlaamse frieten’. They are chunkier than the normal French Fries and invented in the north of Belgium. The Dutch like them with a lot of toppings such as mayonnaise, tomato ketchup, curry or peanut sauce. A famous combination of toppings is mayonnaise and raw chopped white onions. What’s not to love chips and sauce, tick, mmm yum.
Ontbijtkoek (Dutch spiced cake)
Rye is its most crucial ingredient, making the cake a light brown. It is often spiced with cloves, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Several parts of the Netherlands have their local recipe, of which the most famous is “Oudewijvenkoek” (old wives’ cake) which is mostly eaten in the northern regions and is flavoured with aniseed. Ontbijtkoek is traditionally served at breakfast with a thick layer of butter on top, as a replacement for bread. However, due to its sweet taste, it is also served as a snack. It was such a strong, deep flavour and sumptuous, I’m not sure it needs the butter though as it’s so rich already.
Griesmeelpudding met bessensaus (Grits Pudding)
Griesmeel is granular milled wheat, spelt, corn or rice; this is simmered with milk, sugar and left to set as it cools. A traditional dessert but one that isn’t that common in most Dutch households. Ours was served with a reduced red berry sauce, it’s an old texture, like blamonge with a grain in it.
Appelstroop (Apple concentrated Spread)
Appelstroop, or apple syrup, is one of those condiments or ingredients that make Dutch food Dutch. Spreadable like thick molasses. Appelstroop is made from reducing apple juice with other sugars until it thickens to a thick gooey texture and is spread on rusk or rye bread. This paste was incredibly sweet but nice on a plane rusk for breakfast.