Top Five Dutch Dishes

If you are planning a visit to Amsterdam, the probability is that you are one of two kinds of folks.  First kind of Amsterdam person? Called by the siren song of smoky cafés.  Second kind? A well-traveled fan of European capitals. 

Chances are both types of visitors will eventually get the munchies, and you have got to try some of the delicious local food on offer. Not necessarily famous for their haute cuisine, the Dutch do still pack a punch in the kitchen department with hearty stews and baked goods. Here's a top five:

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1. Poffertjes :: Small fluffy pancakes made with buckwheat flour, poffertjes are made using a special pan with indentations in the bottom to help form perfectly round little pancakes. Served hot with powdered sugar and butter, you'll often find them at fairs and being sold from street vendors. Not to be missed if you're a lover of sweet.

2. Snert :: You have to try it for the name alone; this is a filling dish of pea soup with sausages. A perfect winter warmer.

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3. Stroopwafels :: These chewy syrup waffle cookies are simply delicious. Made from two layers of batter with a sticky syrup filling, you can find them at street vendor stands and in markets and supermarkets across Amsterdam.

4.  Hollandse nieuwe haring :: A hugely popular traditional dish in Amsterdam, this raw herring dish is accompanied by chopped onions and is eaten by holding it by the tail, tilting your head back and letting it fall into your mouth.

5. Cheese :: Holland is famous for its cheese. Whether it’s Gouda, Old Amsterdam, Maasland or Leerdammer, these Dutch cheeses are a must-try and great for folks who tend towards less stinky fromage.

A cuisine unlike those of the sunny Mediterranean.  Check it out in summer and enjoy the sparkling city (which actually has some excellent value hotels hotels.aspx) . All great reasons to give Amsterdam a visit. As if you needed more.