Warning this following post will seriously make you hungry!
So we spent three nights and two days in in Castricum, which is about 20 minutes from Amsterdam in Holland. Below is 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, normal size, freshly made or pre-packaged. They were really 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 normally served with a smoked sausage (Rookworst). The origin of stamppot is unknown, although legend attributes the invention of Hutspot to 1574. Now I really wasn’t expecting to like, I mean aww kale but it was really tasted nice, maybe it was all the butter in it too but I certainly would eat it again.
Hagelslag (Chocolate Sprinkles)
Normally 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 symbolized fertility. As early as the 17th century, the parents of a new born 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 production of Muisjes and they have been making them since 1860. If you’re not a fan of star anise that stay away for this but I am and it was really tasty.
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 important ingredient, makeing the cake a light brown. It is often spiced with cloves, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Several parts of the Netherlands have their own 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 really sumptuous, I’m not sure it needs the butter though as it’s so rich already.
Griesmeelpudding met bessensaus (Grits Pudding)
Griesmeel is a 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 a thick molasses. Appelstroop is made from reducing apple juice with other sugars until it thickens to a think gooey texture and is spread on rusk or rye bread. This paste was incredibly sweet but really nice on a plane rusk for breakfast.