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What do Dutch people eat on the holidays?

5 words that will help you at the dinner table

With the holidays around the corner, everybody is running around trying to make arrangements for the big family dinner. Even though Christmas has not as big a tradition in the Netherlands as in some other countries, it is beginning to get a hold of our small country more and more. But what do us Dutchies serve for Christmas?

When you walk around the city it’s hard to figure out what true Dutch cuisine is. There is something available from all over the world but nothing that screams ‘Dutch food’ besides the occasional pancake house. But not to worry, we are here to help. Maybe you are not looking for a full Dutch menu to serve over the holidays but with the below words you can at least impress your friends and family with your knowledge on Dutch cuisine.

Boerenkool met worst

A Dutch classic: a hotchpot of mashed potatoes and kale topped with gravy and sausage. There’s variations on this dish for example with endive, sauerkraut or onions and carrots. The sausage is preferable something we call ‘rookworst’ or smoked sausage. If you want to be a true Dutchman you first build a hill out of your mashed potatoes and kale. Next, you use the filled gravy spoon to dunk a hole on top of the hill before you pour the gravy in.


'Oliebollen’ are a traditional Dutch New Year's Eve snack. These fried dough balls can be eaten plane or with raisins but always topped with powdered sugar. Be careful when you eat not to breathe out while taking a bite, unless you want to look like frosty the snowman.


A Dutch party is not complete without a cheese platter. Dutchies love their cheese and we have a ton of variations. Best served with a little spicy mustard and gherkins or pickled onions.


Snert, or Dutch split pea soup, is a true wintery dish. Imagine it snowing and sitting inside with the entire family eating a hearty and warm bowl of soup. Snert is a pea soup with potato and usually contains both rookworst and some pork. If you want to be truly Dutch you eat rye bread with ‘katenspek’, a Dutch type of bacon, on the side.


No list of Dutch foods is complete without the ‘bitterbal’. This fried snack is made with traditionally made with veal ragout. Nowadays, there are many variations available from shrimp to vegetables and goats cheese. It’s a great little snack once again best served with mustard.

Eet smakelijk!

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