I guess typical Dutch snacks can not be called healthy. But it is really worth it to try some of them:
Drop: liquorice, a candy flavoured with the extract of the roots of the liquorice plant. We just love that stuff.
Kroket: a croquette filled with meat. The best one is found at Patisserie Holtkamp, but traditionally we get them out of the machine at FEBO (named after the FErdinand BOlstraat, where the first FEBO was located and still is). Eat it with mustard!
Bitterballen: sphere-shaped croquettes filled with meat. We love to eat them dipped in mustard, while drinking beer in a bar. The art is not to put a whole bitterbal at once in your mouth as they are served freaking hot. Have a small bite, wait, blow and enjoy the rest 🙂
Stroopwafel: a waffle made of two thin layers of baked dough with caramel-filling inside. You can buy them in a supermarket but it is so much nicer to go to the Albert Cuyp market and buy them freshly made.
Hagelslag: chocolate sprinkles we use as a sandwich topping.
Beschuit met muisjes: it is a Dutch tradition for parents to serve beschuit met muisjes (rusk with a topping of coloured aniseeds) when a baby is born. The aniseeds are blue and white when the baby is a boy, and pink and white when the baby is a girl.
Haring: eating herring is very popular in The Netherlands. Most people think we eat it raw, but it is a legal requirement to freeze the fish for at least 24 hours before consumption (to kill parasites). According to the owner of the herring stall at the Albert Cuyp market it is an old Jewish tradition to cut the fish into bite-sized pieces, that’s why the fish is sold this way in Amsterdam. It is garnished with onions, pickles and a cocktail stick with a small Dutch flag.
The best herring is called ‘Hollandse Nieuwe‘. It is the first herring of the season and it contains at least 16% fat. It is caught between mid May and the end of June. Traditionally, the first barrel of Hollandse Nieuwe is sold at an auction and the money goes to charity (sometimes its price goes up to € 90.000)
The best experience is to eat your herring at a herring stall, but you can go to fish shops as well. You can find herring stalls throughout the whole city of Amsterdam, but here are a few recommendations.
Oliebol: deep fried dough with raisins. These sphere-shaped sweet treats are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve, but during winter they are sold in mobile stalls as well. They are served with powdered sugar.
Poffertjes: batter treats that are very popular on summer festivals, but also during winter. They look like small pancakes and the best way to eat them is with powdered sugar and butter.
Kruidnoten: we eat these small sweets traditionally during our Sinterklaas festivity. They are made with the same ingredients as speculaas. Lots of Dutch people think they are called pepernoten, since these are also eaten during Sinterklaas.
Pepernoten: small sweats made of rye flower, sugar and anise, Pepernoten and kruidnoten are usually thrown in handfuls through rooms during Sinterklaas and kids will run around to collect them.
There are more than 18 million bikes in The Netherlands, this means that we have more bikes than inhabitants. In Amsterdam we have more than 900.000 bikes. It is a real adventure to rent a bike and cycle through the city, although parking your bike might be a challenge. Most tourists are really impressed by the bicycle parking garage near the Central Station.
If you are planning to rent a bike and cycle through the city, check out this video:
Greeting each other
If you want to introduce yourself to someone, give a firm handshake and look the other person in the eyes while telling your name.
When we Duchies meet, we give each other three kisses on the cheek. Women kiss women, men kiss women, but when men meet each other they give a handshake or a handshake and a short and firm hug (when they are friends). Sometimes when women know each other well they just give each other one kiss on the cheek and a hug as well. Actually, it is confusing to ourselves as well what to do in which situation and sometimes you can see people get confused.