The holiday season in the Netherlands is a time of joy, warmth, and, of course, delicious traditional Dutch Holiday Foods and sweets that make this time of year even more special. Here is Streat Bites' list for great things you can indulge in during the holidays, giving you a taste of Dutch traditions.
December is a double celebration in the Netherlands, not only for Christmas but also for the cherished Sinterklaas on St. Nicholas' Eve (5 December). Here are some must-try treats:
Oliebollen, the Dutch doughnut, symbolizes the start of the holiday season and warms our hearts. These doughnuts, topped with powdered sugar, come in two variations - with raisins or without. They are a true addiction, especially on New Year's Eve, where people line up to savor them for the late-night celebration.
Gluhwein, a warm mulled wine, originally German, is a staple throughout Europe during Christmas time. Spiced with anise, nutmeg, and cinnamon, it is served with a slice of orange or star anise and poured into festive mugs adorned with holiday symbols.
A popular gift for kids during Sinterklaas, chocolate letters are chosen according to the first letter of each child's name. Available in most supermarkets and large department stores during the holiday season.
Holiday Cookies: Explore three unique cookies with distinct flavors:
Small, hard, and filled with traditional spices like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and more, kruidnoten are the perfect holiday snack. They are so popular that every year during the holiday season, various pop-up shops sell kruidnoten in many variations and coatings throughout the country. Our favorites are chocolate-covered kruidnoten. You can also find them in bakeries and supermarkets.
Small and soft cookies (larger than kruidnoten) with a gentle flavor of anise, cinnamon, clove, and honey. Yummy!
A holiday cookie that resembles the taste of gingerbread cookies and is usually decorated with almonds. The spice mix is very similar to kruidnoten. It comes in various shapes and sizes, including windmills or clogs. Another version is the stuffed/filled speculaas, resembling more of a cake with two layers of speculoos cookie and a huge layer of almond paste in between.
A festive bread originating in Germany, Kerststol is filled with almond paste, raisins, and currents, generously sprinkled with powdered sugar after baking. It's typically eaten during Christmas. Adding some salted butter to a slice of Kerststol is highly recommended for an extra delicious experience. You can find Kerststol in neighborhood bakeries and supermarkets.
This concludes our journey through the holiday traditions in the Netherlands. For more culinary adventures and insider tips, join Streat Bites on our food tours and explore Amsterdam as a true local. Until then, savor the flavors of the season and indulge in the joyous spirit of the holidays.
We're super excited for these festive times and sweets! What's your favorite holiday food to eat?