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Fast food has long been popular in the Netherlands and is as diverse and varied as its cosmopolitan population, who hail from all corners of the world. And no trip to the country is complete without sampling at least one or two of the typical Dutch takeaway snacks below!
Patat (French fries)
Dutch people are passionate about their chips. The finest are said to be the fresh, hand cut varieties that are sold from the tempting ‘Vlaamse Friet’ stands found in towns and cities up and down the country. Vlaamse friets traditionally come with a generous serving of mayonnaise, ketchup, saté sauce, curry sauce or, if you order the ever-popular ‘patatje oorlog’, a combination of these, topped with a small mountain of raw onion.
These deep-fried minced meat sausages are typically served from coin-operated hatches in Dutch fast food joints such as the much-loved FEBO. FEBO, which derived its name from the Ferdinand Bolstraat (a busy Amsterdam street that was home to the first outlet), also sells plenty of other Dutch takeaway favourites including ‘kroketten’ (deep-fried balls, filled with meat ragout), bal gehakt (meat balls) and kaas soufflé for their vegetarian customers.
Dutch fast food has been heavily influenced by its Surinam immigrants. The exotic ‘Surinaams broodje’ is a perfect example and a welcome change from the traditional Dutch lunch of bread and cheese. This delicious snack consists of a ‘pistolet’ (bread roll) crammed with spicy curry and garnished with piquant pickles.
Bami / nasi ballen
Indonesian settlers have also had a huge impact on Dutch cuisine and are responsible for the celebrated bami / nasi ballen that can be purchased from FEBO-style kiosks and snack bars alike. Essentially this tasty takeaway dish consists of Indonesian fried noodles or rice, fashioned into balls, which are subsequently (yep, you’ve guessed it!), deep-fried.
The recent influx of Turkish and Moroccan migrants has resulted in a proliferation of kebab shops known as ‘Shoarmatenten’ in the Netherlands. Shoarma (meat) kebabs, which are usually served in pitta bread stuffed with salad and sauces, are a particularly sought after snack for those on their way home from a night out on the town.
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?