Regional food of the Netherlands

Ranging from seafood to hearty beef dishes and an array of cheese.

by: Jacoba Budden | 06 May 2010

In this region seafood, especially shrimps are often found on the menu.
Beef dishes like meatballs or metworst are liberally seasoned with cloves. As most of the province is rural, it is known as 'meat and potatoes' country.

Dishes such as Groniger mosterd;
Stip (gravy);
'Mollebonen'  (salted fried beans);
Snert (pea soup);
Groninger koek (Groningen cake);
Oalwievenkouk (old lady's cake);
Poffert (type of Gugelhupf);
Spekdikken (rye pancakes with speck and metworst); and nijjoarsrollechies,(sweet rolls made on New Years) are local favourites.

Rye bread is known as 'brood' but ordinary wheat bread is called stoede.

Jenever, the national drink is also the province’s chief beverage; it was developed around 1600 by a professor from Leyden, Franzikus de Bove.
He developed a digestive schnapps from barley, rye, corn and juniper berries which he called Genièvre (French for ‘juniper') which is now called Jenever.

This coastal province is blessed with lush grasslands for their famous Friesland cows. They provide milk for the huge dairy industry that produces the Friesche Vlag products found throughout Holland.

Nagelkaas (cheese seasoned with cloves or caraway seed), friese kruidkoek (Frisian ginger cake), oranjekoek (orange cake), fryske dúmkes (Frisian thumbs) and sûkerbôle (sugar bread) are typical dishes from this region.

Drenthe, Gelderland and Overijssel:
Lamb,beef and pork are popular.

Stamppot, rookworst (smoked sausage) or Drentse kosterworst are comfort foods here.

Zwieback is twice baked bread that millions of European mothers give their teething babies.

Krentenbrood (currant rolls) and Oberländer (rye bread) are popular as well.

North Holland:
The most famous Dutch product has to be the soused herring that’s caught in the north of this region. The fish is served with little cubes or slices of onions.

Mussels are harvested along the coast but the most famous product of all comes from Gouda, the old city named after the Van der Goude family that named the cheese.

The cheese is made from cow’s milk and the curds are ‘washed’ to get rid of some of the lactic acid in order to make a sweetish cheese.

It is coated in black paraffin wax and can be aged for up to 7 years before eating.

The other cheeses made here are Edam, Leidse oplegger (spiced cheese with cumin or cloves), Leerdammer and Beemster.
Mayonnaise and mustard is made in the Zaanstreek and West Friesland is home to the Jodenkoek (Jewish cookies made with vanilla and cinnamon)

Seafood is the speciality of this region.

Eels, mussels, oysters and shrimps grace the local tables and freshly caught fish is on the menu at most restaurants.

The Dutch farm mussels and they harvest about 100,000 tons annually.

The Dutch's love for sweet things can be tasted in the Zeêuwse rondjes (Zeeland butter cookies) and
the Zeêuwse bolus (cinnamon spiced sweet-bread covered in loads of caramelised cinnamon sugar), heritage of the Jewish Portuguese bakers are a main local attraction.

North Brabandt:
The best known Brabantian dish is a beef stew known as Hachee.

The Bossche bol (round cake ball filled with cream and coated in chocolate) is popular and can be found at coffee shops in most cities.

The Brabantian version of a hot dog is known as a worstenbroodje but is made with a beef sausage.

Game, especially in hunting season graces many tables, for example Tête de veaux (a steak and mushroom dish in a rich tomato sauce).

The province is the largest asparagus producer in the Netherlands.

Traditionally asparagus is eaten with ham and hardboiled eggs and boiled potatoes.

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