Notes from the Netherlands is my feature where I discuss my time studying at Leiden University. I want to blog about this amazing experience as much as I can!
So I realised that whilst I’ve talking about what I’ve been up to here in the Netherlands, I haven’t reflected much on differences and other new things I’ve discovered. This is something I’m aiming to cover over the next few months, because there’s only a few months left already…
And what’s more fun about a new country than the interesting food?!
I haven’t tried everything I wanted to just yet. Most of it has been sweet stuff… but here’s some things you should definitely try if you ever visit this wonderful country. It’s all totaal lekker!
Ahh, that Dutch classic. Stroopwafels are waffle biscuits with caramel in the middle and are delicious with a cup of tea – especially when you balance them over the mug so that they soften and the caramel melts. Be warned though – dropping an entire stroopwafel in your cup of tea is a very traumatic experience, not at all gezellig. You can also get warm ones from the market which are AMAZING.
Erwtensoep is a pea soup that normally also contains smoked sausage, potato and carrot. It is absolutely delicious and I’ll really miss it when I leave the Netherlands! It’s warming and fills you right up, although I have yet to try a homemade version.
Evil yet delicious, mergpijpen are little sponge cakes filled with a layer of jam, then covered with marzipan and chocolate on either end. I only discovered them recently and it’s BAD. THEY ARE TOO GOOD PLEASE TAKE THEM AWAY BUT ALSO DON’T.
4. Babi pangang
Okay, so Babi pangang is an Indonesian dish, but Indonesian cuisine is really popular in the Netherlands, and I’ve never seen this at home. It’s a delicious pork and vegetable dish, served with rice. Next step: actually get round to visiting one of the many Indonesian restaurants in Leiden, and trying it there…
5. Speculoos paste
Another food that I hate as well as love because once you start you can’t stop, Speculoos paste is a sandwich spread made from speculaas biscuits. Yep. Made from biscuits. So you can imagine how bad it is for you – but it tastes SO GOOD.
Komijnekaas is a Dutch cheese, historically from Leiden, that contains cumin. It sounds like a really odd mix but actually the two work wonderfully together: the creaminess of the cheese with a kick of spice from the cumin.
7. Turkse pizza
Again, not strictly a Dutch food, but you can’t get Turkse pizza back in the UK as far as I’m aware. It’s my favourite kind of kebab and perfect after a night out.