A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Winter seems to be setting in in Leiden, with perpetual rain battling you as you cycle to class and cold winds rattling your windows. This is just the kind of weather that the Dutch culinary was made to solve! Dutch food is delightful, full of sweetness and warmth, it’s sure to brighten up any dull day! So here’s my top 5 Dutch treats to start you off but I more than welcome any new suggestions about what I should fill up my shopping trolley next time!
1. Pancakes! So pancakes aren’t exactly new for me, but Dutch pancakes certainly add a new level of deliciousness to one of my favorite treats. They are huge, they seem to have unlimited lists of toppings and you can always put more syrup on top! In Leiden, there’s no shortage of pancake places where for 5-10 euro you can blag yourself a meal! I would really recommend the ‘Oude Leyden’ at the Beestenmarkt where in a lovely setting you can eat your way through great pancakes bigger than your head!
2. Stroop Waffles. Well if you haven’t tried stroop waffles yet then I don’t know what it is that you’ve been doing for your time in The Netherlands! These sugary, cinnamonny biscuits of goodness are best served fresh so head on down to the market on either a Saturday or Wednesday and you’re surely in for a treat! Packs can also be brought from any supermarket although be careful because they’re sure to disappear very quickly!
3. Speculaas Pasta: The very name of this spread was enough to entice me – it sounds like it is something out of Charlie’s chocolate factory and I have to admit tastes as good as that as well! It’s a bit like chocolate spread but instead is biscuit spread, you can find it near peanut butter in any supermarket. It tastes great spread on toast although I have to admit sometimes I just eat it with a spoon!
4. Vla: I first experienced this when at a Dutch meal my hosts were eager to share a traditional treat for the desert. Being honest, I wasn’t initially very impressed – for the British out there, this is pretty much custard but in greater quantities. My love for vla grew however once I went shopping myself and experienced the range – fruit, chocolate and even ones with treats already inside. It goes great with waffles, cake pancakes or as I have learnt, serve it with some syrup and voila you have a vla-flip!
5. KruidNoten: Perhaps it’s becoming obvious just how much of a sweet-tooth I have since all of these Dutch treats are pure sugar, but given the fact that Christmas is on the way, it’s important to mention these delicious, holiday treats! Just don’t make the same mistake as me and buy a huge bag – your stomach might not appreciate it too much after once you can’t stop yourself finishing them!