The Dutch aren’t known for their cuisine. In fact, some might say that the Dutch completely lack any culinary prowess. Well, I’m here to tell you that it just ain’t so. The Dutch have amazing deep-fried snacks. They’re the perfect addition to an evening of beer and merriment, with the merriment only slightly waning when you accidentally bite the outer crust of your piping hot snack off and scold the roof of your mouth (but that’s what the beer’s for, right?). Here it is then: the ultimate list of Dutch snacks that everyone needs to know about.
Nothing screams happiness more than the humble bitterbal. Weirdly not bitter, but definitely balls, the bitterbal is the pinnacle of the Dutch snack. These things were made to be eaten alongside a beer, and they’re utterly moreish.
With their crunchy breadcrumbed outer shell, and their (monstrously hot) innards of thick beef ragout, bitterballen usually come in portions of 6 or 8 with a little bit of yellow mustard on the side.
No matter which bar you walk into in Amsterdam, or anywhere else in this country for that matter, you will be able to order a portion of these. And you gotta. It’s the law.
Dutch deliciousness: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Literally – a massive bitterbal I guess, a kroket is another staple fried snack that is often served alongside bread, butter, and the obligatory yellow mustard also served alongside bitterballen.
Often served as either a lunch or a snack, the aim of the game is to split the kroket in half, and kind of mash it into your bread and butter to make the most disgusting looking sandwich you’ve ever laid your eyes on. Bloody delicious though with a beer or a cider on the side, if you’re looking for a hearty, filling, and totally unhealthy lunch, go for it.
Dutch deliciousness: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Look, I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t think anyone quite knows what the actual meat content of a frikandel actually is, but for the sake of not putting anyone off their food, a frikandel is supposedly a ‘minced meat hotdog’.
Hotdog it may be, but don’t expect a bun. These things are often dipped into curry ketchup (divine). If you’re a hardcore Dutchie wannabe, you’ll order a ‘Frikandel Speciaal’: a frikandel topped with mayo, curry ketchup and raw onions. There’s still no bun, but you will get one of those flimsy chippy forks to pull it apart with. You’ll try (and fail) not to get any of either sauce on you, but you’ll be very happy at the end of it all.
Dutch deliciousness: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Belgian/French fries with mayo
Now for me, there’s nothing greater on this earth than a cone of chips/fries/whatever you want to call them. I would lay down and die for a portion of chips that’s slathered in salt and vinegar. Honestly.
When it comes to chips in the Netherlands, there’s no vinegar. I know, a complete faux pas. Instead, the Dutch prefer to squirt thick mayo all over their fries. Their very own cone of chips, or ‘een puntje friet, alstu’ will be doused in salt and then dumped in mayo, and that’s the way they love it. There’s only one God greater than chips and mayo to the Dutch and that’s:
Patatje oorlog, or war fries if you will, is such a hot mess that I’m not quite sure anyone really knows what the hell is going on. Ask for patatje oorlog [pa-tat-ye or-loge] if you want your fries to come with mayo, peanut sauce, ketchup, and raw onion. All of them. Together. Yes, the Dutch apparently have something about raw onion?????? Can’t blame them, it is delicious.
I’ve not tried patatje oorlog myself, because I’m not a fan of mayo. That’s sacrilege in the Netherlands by the way. However, I’d totally give it a go if someone scooped the mayo off first, or maybe didn’t put quite so much on top in the first place.
Dutch deliciousness: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (minus one star because of the mayo overload)
Ah, something that isn’t deep fried to death!
Originally hailing from Indonesia (the Dutch had colonies in Indonesia, which explains their love of sate sauce, Nasi Goreng, and I guess Broodje Bapaos), a Broodje Bapao is an anaemic looking soft bread bun filled with spicy meats. Literally, they’re like doughnuts: there’s no way of seeing how the filling got in there!
On offer at every supermarket, and best served with a sweet chili sauce, you can pick up single Broodje Bapaos in microwave friendly plastic bags. And that’s all you do with them – lob them in the microwave for 90 seconds, open the bag, burn your hand, and tuck in. Great as party snacks, a Broodje Bapao [brode-che ba-pow] won’t fill you up by itself, but as always, is amazing when you’ve got a beer in your other hand.
Dutch deliciousness: ⭐⭐⭐
Have you ever tried any of these Dutch delights or do you fancy getting your hands on any of them in this list? The next time you land in Amsterdam, I highly recommend you get yourself to the closest snackbar or pub and get yourself acquainted with these delicious meaty treats.
Tot de volgende keer! Liefs xxx
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I love those cheese sticks, what are they called? Also had a tasty veggie / noodle deep fried square from one of those little boxes at the service station once, that was also great.
Fries & mayo – YES
Dutch curry ketchup – YES (we got Thijs’ mum to send us a load after he moved haha).
Ooh, do you mean a kaassouffle?? They’re hot as heck, I’ve burnt myself on one of those in the past. Never tried the deep fried square though haha. I’m not one for mayo, but curry ketchup is something else!!
I forgot to mention that thanks to your lovely guide to fried snacks I finally took the plunge and tried a kroket! I hadn’t had one before and not knowing what was inside always put me off 😂 Granted, it was only at Febo but I felt so Dutch doing it and it was delicious. 10/10 would eat again.
Ahh I’m so glad you got round to giving a kroket a go – they’re so tasty, if not a little warm when you first bite into it eh!!! Would you believe I’ve never been to a snack bar since I’ve lived here?!