TOP 10 “AMSTERDAM TASTES”
Can someone explain to me why it took me 9 European cities (excluding London, where I live) and a 45 minute flight later to finally make that Amsterdam holiday happen? Amsterdam has definitely stolen my heart. From the beautiful canals flowing through the many ancient bridges to the overwhelming cyclists whose impatience kept giving me a fright to the infectious energy that can quickly make a good girl go bad, this city is the perfect mini getaway.
I must, however, warn the conservative; you will smell “weed” as often as you smell cheese, the red light district isn’t for the faint hearted and a glass of Heineken at the park is how to relax. Where’s the part where she starts talking about the food? “Keep your hair on” Remember what I have always told you about the role of the environment and the part it plays in food tasting.
I went to Amsterdam with the intention of writing a similar post to “What to eat and Drink in Porto” but this city surprised me. I found out that like London, Amsterdam is so diverse and adventurous in food. You will find everything from Chinese to Italian to Mexican. Yes everything! So I’m not worried about the average traveller and their taste buds when visiting the dam, what I am worried about is being so spoilt for choice that you are unable to treat your taste buds to the food that sets Amsterdam apart from other European cities and possibly the world. The intention of this post is to give you an edge over your fellow travellers; tell you what you need to know to challenge your taste buds when you venture into a foodie themed trip to Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Taste 1 “Pannenkoek”
Can we just settle this NOW! You cannot go to Amsterdam and not have a typical Dutch style pancake. No you cannot! The Good news is there are so many places where you can have this traditional meal. I chose to have mine at the famous “The Pancake Bakery”. I’m pretty sure you are all aware of how much I love to eat at places that tell a story. This restaurant is only a few buildings from the Anne Frank house. It is located in a 17th century warehouse and has so much personality.
The quality of the pancake dough was perfect with right level of elasticity. It was the right texture for both the savoury and sweet pancake and I can genuinely say this is the best pancake I have ever had.
Amsterdam Taste 2 “Kaas”
Cheese production is an important industry in Amsterdam. The Dutch cheese apparently has more than 600 year long tradition and most of the cheese is named after the area where they are produced. I had my cheese tasting session at the popular Cheese Museum. This cheese haven is located in the beautiful Joordan where you can get lost in its picture perfect streets after catching the “cheese high”. I tasted spice flavoured cheese, sweet enriched cheese and had fun with some typical Dutch Cheese. It was such a brilliant experience because I challenged my taste buds and discovered I love sweet cheese better than all other flavours.
Amsterdam Taste 3 “Frites”
The views in Amsterdam are so pleasing to the eye that we would rather walk with our food in our hands so we don’t miss any of the awesomeness in this beautiful city. Everyone walks around with a piping hot paper cone filled with fries, smothered with ketchup, mayonnaise and onions. Ask for the “patatje oorlog” if you are a peanut lover to include peanut sauce. I had my first chunky chips at the “Red Light District” with a simple ketchup topping.
Amsterdam taste 4 “BitterBallen”
I remember biting into my first BitterBallen at the award wining roof top bar, Sky lounge and thinking to myself I love this place. The views from the 11th floor gave this deep fried doubled textured meatball a taste I still struggle to describe. They are basically mini Krokets; crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The balance in seasoning gave that “eyes shut” experience and at this point I could stay here forever. BitterBallen is available in many other pubs and restaurants.
Amsterdam Taste 5 “Stroopwaffel”
I had seen the Stroopwaffel packaged and sold in many shops to tourists and I knew it was a Dutch delight. I did not, however, know how delicious this thin layers of waffle stuck together with a sweet syrup really tasted till my last day at the Dam. I enjoyed the sweet treat at the Floating Flower Market freshly made in a sweet scented dough by the most controversial shop assistant ever. It is definitely must taste.
Amsterdam Taste 6 “Crepes”
Unlike so many other lists you will find on food in Amsterdam, this will probably be the only list to include crepes. I am a sweet tooth person and I thought the best place to eat crepes was in a beautiful town called Saint Malo in Northen France till I arrived in Amsterdam. This crepes was rich in texture with a good balance of sugar. I enjoyed it with white chocolate spread and vanilla ice cream while walking on the busy streets of Leidseplein. There are so many pastry shops that offer this sweet treat so please, Go Crazy!
Amsterdam Taste 7 “Poffertjes”
These are baby pancakes covered in butter and powdered sugar. I know, Amsterdam will not help you lose the pounds.
Amsterdam Taste 8 “Beer”
Amsterdam’s beer game is strong! With the emergence of the craft breweries where the production of a small selection of beers take place, Amsterdam is once again spoilt for choice. Enjoy a glass of beer while relaxing at the VondelPark or along the many canals allowing the moments to all soak in.
Amsterdam Taste 9 “Raw Herring”
Can I be honest with you all? This is the one thing I forgot to do while in Amsterdam and probably the reason why I will be going back to this city. It stays on the list because it is a must. You can apparently have it as a sandwich and you must be adventurous enough to enjoy it. If you have had it before, leave your feedback in the comments section.
Amsterdam Taste 10 “Cocktails”
Because cocktails make the world go round. Because cocktails are for fun people. Because cocktails allow you to express yourself. Because cocktails are perfect for lounging on a summer night with your girls and Rihanna’s “work” playing in the background.
Remember! Amsterdam is for foodies, but your can’t leave without tasting any of these. Have fun with your tastebuds and know that you can train your taste buds to love what your eyes love.