Are you ready to conquer winter depression? Don’t worry, food can fix everything!
For me, Stamppot is the Dutch national food as every single Dutch friend of mine has this “ritual” dish every now and then. Stamppot is seen as the comfort food of the Netherlands. It is simply mashed potato mixed with your favorite type of vegetable (kale, broccoli, carrot, etc.), topped with smoky sausage (vegan sausage of course if you’re a non-meat eater). You can also add a finishing touch by topping the dish with some ketchup, or any kind of sauce you like. For me, this dish is healthy as it is rich in fiber and starch. One plus point is that is it also easy and time-consuming to make.
2. Pea soup (Erwtensoep)
Who doesn’t like a hot bowl of soup on a winter day? I had my very first try of pea soup at the canteen of my university. A basic pea soup meal composes of peas, pork (can be replaced with tofu for vegetarians/ vegans), some kinds of winter vegetable like onions, carrots, leek, potato, celery, etc. Although the smell of pork meat does not seem to be attractive to me, I personally like the texture of this soup. It is thick, sometimes to the point that you will think it is more like a stew than a soup. However, due to this thick consistency of the soup, it is served as a main meal, not starter, and can help to fill your stomach long enough until your next meal.
Personally, this is a CAN’T-DO-WITHOUT winter snacks. It is symbolic snack for not only winter but also Christmas occasions for me. This simple flour-made “balls” taste a bit like donuts to me, and yes some people even call it the Dutch donuts. However, the way how it has been revolutionized with raisins, and chocolate brings it to another level. At first I did not like it because it is too oily and boring to me (I called it the greasier version of donut :D. However, as years go by, I find Oliebollen fun snacks to have after class or when hanging out with friends, especially a cold winter afternoon. It is not also affordable, especially if you buy on New Year’s Eve, you may get good deals of 20 Oliebollen for shocking 10euro!!!
Big fan of chocolate cannot miss the chance of having a cup of hot Chocomelk (the famous Dutch brand). Chocomelk can often be found in menu of restaurants and many terras in The Netherlands. A cup of hot Chocomelk topped with whipped cream (slagroom) will be a taste of heaven. If you want to be a little bit “sassy”, then a little addition of Beiley is also a good choice.
5. Apple pie (appeltaart)
Simple but flavorful, this national Dutch dessert will blow your mind. The perfect combination of the sourness of apple and the temptation from cinnamon can bring you the coziest winter vibe. Have no oven? Don’t worry, cheap servings of apple pie from Albert Heijn at an unquestionably reasonable price can still make you feel over the moon.