I will be moving from The Netherlands to Eastern Europe soon, and although I am excited to experience new dishes and flavors, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t miss some typical Dutch food items.
In today’s blog post, I would like to tell you about my favorite Dutch foods!
Dutch Fast Food: Kapsalon
First and foremost, I will miss the kapsalon. This word literally means “hair dresser” or “barber shop”. Originating from Rotterdam, the kapsalon is a well known traditional Dutch fast food item that is particularly popular in the Randstad.
I remember my aunt from Den Haag recommending it to my mom on so many occasions, until we finally went into town and got one ourselves.
I have to say, it’s delicious and ultimately became my most favorite Dutch fast food item!
If you love döner kebab and French fries, you’re going to love kapsalon! BUT… Make sure you order your kapsalon from a döner place and not from a regular Dutch snackbar, as the one from the snackbar will taste completely different.
A kapsalon is comprised of donör kebab, fries, cheese, raw onion, raw ice berg lettuce, some tomatoes and garlic sauce, whereas a kapsalon from a Dutch snackbar is made up of French fries, shawarma (in my humble opinion the same shawarma that is available pre-spiced in the supermarket), some onions, garlic sauce and (if you’re lucky) a slice of cheese. The snackbar kapsalon does not often come with vegetables. Although it tastes okay, it definitely isn’t the same. So if you’re looking for an authentic experience, get yourself a kapsalon from an actual dönor place.
Similar to the kapsalon is the dönor box. In a dönor box, you will also find dönor kebab on a layer of fries, mixed with raw vegetables and sauces.
Tip: a Hassalon and a Has Box are the same fast food dishes, sold by the company called Has.
A Dutch snackbar is a type of casual eatery found in the Netherlands, known for serving a variety of quick and tasty (deep fried) snacks. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. At a Dutch snackbar, you can enjoy items like French fries (served with your choice of sauce, such as mayonnaise, ketchup, ‘oorlog’ or ‘pindasaus’), snacks like croquettes (kroketten) and frikandels (frikandellen), hamburgers, and more. It’s a convenient and reasonably affordable place to pick up a quick bite.
I absolutely love French fries and when going to a Dutch snackbar, fries are always my main dish and I take one or two deep fried items on the side.
Now, I know I’ll be able to get my hands on some delicious fries no matter where I would travel in the world, but I will miss the side items that you can get from a Dutch snackbar! Bitterballen, hete donder, gehaktstaaf, sitostick, braadworst… It’s always a tough choice!
Fast food vending machines in Dutch snackbars
Tip: Some snackbars in The Netherlands have fast food vending machines. Years ago in the Netherlands, those were actually a common sight in snackbars, making fast food even faster. These fast food vending machines, often placed inside or near snackbars, allow customers to get their favorite Dutch snacks without waiting in line. These vending machines are filled with items such as kroketten, frikandellen, hamburgers and kaassoufflés and kept warm. After a customer makes their choice, they either insert cash money or use their bank pas to pay for the item, and the ‘door’ to the item will unlock, allowing you to take the item out.
Nowadays, fast food vending machines have become an uncommon sight. You can mostly find them in the city and at train stations. They’re a bit of Dutch food history that I still remember fondly.
Sausage rolls (saucijzenbroodjes)
I grew up on sausage rolls! Saucijzenbroodjes are a beloved Dutch pastry, consisting of seasoned ground pork or beef encased in flaky, golden-brown puff pastry. These savory snacks are typically baked to perfection, resulting in a delicious combination of crispy, buttery layers on the outside and a flavorful, spiced meat filling on the inside.
I have fond memories of my parents spoiling me with delicious sausage rolls that I will be carrying with me for the rest of my life.
I have tried sausage rolls from many places – bakeries, supermarkets and pre-packaged – and I have to say that the sausage rolls from bakeries are the best. But, I do not turn down a supermarket sausage roll. ;) My least favorites are the ones that come out of plastic packaging that you have to warm up yourself, those really can’t compete to supermarket sausage rolls, let alone those from a bakery. Plus, the sausage to puff pastry (“bladerdeeg”) ratio is very bad.
Dutch dessert: Vla (Custard)
Although I do not eat vla very often, it is a typical Dutch dessert that I will surely miss when I am in The Philippines.
Vla is a sweet and creamy dessert that’s a bit like pudding. It’s popular in the Netherlands and comes in flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Vla is eaten with a spoon, often with whipped cream or fruit (sauce). Vla is a simple and comforting dessert that you can enjoy on its own, with fruit, or even on pancakes. It’s a beloved treat in Dutch cuisine because of its yummy taste and smooth texture.
As I said, there are many different flavors available. My favorite flavor of vla is vanilla, but chocolate isn’t bad either. Anything but raspberry – that flavor reminds me of a pink medicine I had to drink once when I was a kid. I think it was when I had an ear infection. It was horrible! The smell and flavor of raspberry vla reminds me of that.
And yes, we eat vla. We don’t drink it. :)
And there you have it!
These are the Dutch foods that I will miss the most when I move to The Philippines, but again, I am certain I will not be lacking any tasty treats on the other side of the world!
If you plan on visiting The Netherlands, or perhaps you are currently in The Netherlands for work, studies or other reasons and you’re looking for some typical Dutch food items to try out, I recommend going down my list of favorite Dutch foods!