As I mentioned in my last post, you can get some seriously high-end, creative, and refined cuisine in Holland. You can also get something else which the Dutch are known for doing well – beer and fried things. This is no frills dining and damn good to boot.
Frites: the Dutch are very very good at making fries. Generally thick cut, pale, crunchy with a soft interior, dipped in all varieties of flavoured mayonnaise. Best served with cold Dutch or Belgium beer. I have tried them in various capacities – carried to go in a paper cone, doused in curry mayo. As a late afternoon snack, with beers and salted peanuts. And of course, in the early morning after a long night out, a great way to finish an evening of dancing.
Bitterballen: Bitterballen is something so quintessentially Dutch – unidentified grey-brown filling in a crispy coating, deep fried until crisp and dipped in mustard. Salty, greasy, and delicious. A common post-work snack with beers or nosh to have anytime. Nobody knows what´s inside and that is part of the allure. Vegetarian bitterballen are also available, though normal bitterballen do not normally have an identifiable meat component.
Fried Cheese: Cheese wrapped in pastry and deep fried is a common accompaniment for bitterballen, along with salted peanuts.
Plain Cheese: As a world-renowned cheese producer, Holland has a plethora of options, particularly various types of Gouda.
Dutch Beer: along with the many options available from neighboring Belgium, Holland probably has the best selection of beer I´ve ever seen. All varieties of Trappist beers, IPAs, stouts, ales, and various experimental offers from the numerous craft beer joints popping up. The best way to quench the saltiness of all the fried things you are eating. Brouwerij de Prael and Brouwerij ‘T IJ are great options in Amsterdam. Kaapse Brewers is an awesome brewery located in Rotterdam.
Where are the best places to sample the fried goodies in all their glory? Check out Julia’s ratings of the best fries in Amsterdam. For bitterballen, I loved Holtkamp Bakery, which also made it onto Hayley’s list of the best places for Bitterballen. Cheers!