You know sometimes I have some difficulty expressing myself in French on this blog. It’s kind of weird actually. It’s like writing in French wasn’t appropriate, like words were coming to my mind in other languages instead of French. I remember it happened for the Barcelona’s best arepas article: solo quería escribir en espanol (here we go again^^). Well today, as I am in Amsterdam, emerged in an anglophone environment (I’m not doing so great with Dutch yet^^), English is the language I want to write in. So instead of forcing myself into something ‘unnatural’, I thought “Let’s try and do it, for one’s”. Ok I know my English isn’t perfect and there are probably going to be some mistakes in this post, but whatever, it’s my blog, I do whatever I want! 😀
So as I said, here I am, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. I came here for the weekend without specific idea in mind of what to see, what to visit or what to do, except I knew I wanted to 1. Walk around the city, 2. Try and eat new food.
And I can say I completed this program perfectly 😀
First, Amsterdam is a great city to wander in the streets: it’s really a cycling/pedestrian city: there are almost no cars, but be careful with the bikes, they are everywhere & can be riding like crazy. Anyway, for this part, I managed. I love walking around cities. I think that’s the best way to really feel the atmosphere, at your own pace.
For the eating part, usually I manage too. Before going to a new place, I always search for traditional dishes and good spots to eat. That was when a friend of mine suggested me to go on a walking tour. At first, I thought that would be a great idea indeed for the first part of the program: as I had little time in the city, that would be a good way to begin and discover the key places with a local, adding a bit of culture and history. So I took a look online at the offer of free walking tours in Amsterdam to found out that there was one dedicated to food! I couldn’t miss the opportunity!
So here I am on Sunday morning, joining my group at the Dam Square, with no idea of how it is going to be like but with no doubt it is going to be good, culinary speaking 😉
And now I’m going to take you on the tour with me (virtually at least)! And you will even find the places on the map below. (I know, how generous of me 😉 )
So let’s go:
First stop, Metropolitain Deli. This place is the temple of chocolate. Created by Kees Raat, dutch chocolate pioneer (who wrote “Chocoladebijbel” The Chocolate Bible), you can find so many varieties of chocolate there! And especially these little chocolate sparkles dutch people put on their buttered toasts. You should try it for breakfast 😉
But chocolate is not the only marvel in this shop. Ice cream. Delicious & original flavours, all made from natural ingredients. But my favorite food in this place was the “Poffertjes”. Imagine tiny fluffy puffed pancakes, covered in icing sugar. It’s like eating clouds…
Then to stay in the chocolate theme, we went to Tony’s Chocolonely Super Store. And this name isn’t misappropriate: this store is an attraction itself! Take a look at this video, you’ll see what I mean.
Created by Teun “Tony” van de Keuken in the goal of providing a fair trade slave free chocolate, it is now the number 1 in the Netherlands. And I can understand why. Beyond this social engagement, this chocolate is really good & with associations of flavours you can hardly find anywhere else: dark pecan coconut, dark chili fudge pink pepper, white turmeric chai coconut… I couldn’t choose which bars to bring back home!
After all this chocolate, it was time to head to a different kind of sweets. Stroopwafels. You probably know these flat little waffles, they are the pride of the Netherlands. Completely different from Belgium waffles, these stroopwafels consist in two thin crunchy slices stuck together with a layer of sweet syrup.
And the bests of the bests are at Van wonderen Stroopwafels. You should try especially the freshly made ones (and add some more toppings^^). It doesn’t stand the comparison.
As you might have noticed from the previous spots, Dutchs are really into sweet. But they also have some specialties on the salty side, beginning with cheese.
Henri Willig is a well-known name in the Netherlands.
This farm business is producing traditional high-quality cheese since 1974. Cows there are having the best treatment ever, with massages and everything. And you can go see by yourself, as it is really close to Amsterdam in the country yard. (I will have to go and check it myself).
The Henri Willig farm store in Amsterdam includes a mini museum, with a cheese tasting session of course. You can try a lot of different flavours: spices, aromatic herbs, even one with green pesto. And I have to say, from a French point of view, those Dutch cheeses are quite good 😉
Our last stop was the perfect place to grab a drink and feel the typical dutch pub atmosphere. The Poolbar is really casual and friendly with of course a soccer game going on on television (sport like food really has the power to bring people together). And what’s better to accompany a game and a drink than some snacks? Here you’ll have the chance to taste some kroketten, or Dutch croquettes, deep fried crispy meatballs served with mustard for dipping. So enjoy the food, enjoy the game, and above all, enjoy the company.
So here ends our dutch food tour. It was a real pleasure to go on this tour in Amsterdam and share all these discoveries with you here, and in English please! May the next trip be as rich and tasteful…
NB: I would like to thank again our great tour guide, Marcus, and Free Food Walking Tour for such an amazing experience! I’ll definitely come back and do some more, in Amsterdam or around the world.
In blue, the food specialities’ stores listed in this article
In orange, some great places to eat, just in case 😉