Taking Dutch food abroad

The Dutch tourist abroad

I love my Dutch food

You might have seen more than a few Dutch supplies in a Dutch-traveling-abroad’s luggage. In fact, the bad-mouth sources say that, depending on the period expected to stay outside their country, as much as 50-75% of a Dutch tourist’s suitcase consists of typical Dutch food.

For breakfast, lunch, dinner, in between the meals, after the dinner (toetje) and/or (for with) the coffee or tea, the Dutch food is Dutch people’s best friend in a foreign country!

Of course the fact itself is not unique only for the Dutch people. Many other nations of the world love their food and bring few items with them abroad. But trust me, the Dutch have their own approach to this. They are not impressed by how worldwide are appreciated the products or the cuisine of the country they are visiting. Nooo, they have an entire list with national products to include in their suitcases: the so called The-list-of-the-food-a-Dutch-cannot-live-without! Every Dutch know what I mean ;-).

Dutch sugar bread and cake for breakfast

Suikerbrood (sugar bread) and ontbijtkoek (cake) for breakfast. Hmmm… lekker! (tasty, delicious)

Therefore, do not expect to separate a Dutch from his hagelslag (chocolate sprinkels), suikerbrood (sugar bread) or ontbijtkoek (cake) (all these compulsory for breakfast), the favorite coffee, the Rooibos tea, stroopwafels (caramel or syrup waffels) or other coffee/tea cookies, the cheese, the drop…

And these are only few examples, the list can continue. You better take the city guide or your comfortable walking shoes out of the luggage if this one becomes overweight. But not the food! Do not touch the food! In other words, the Dutch tourist is prepared to feel abroad, like home!

Why, would you ask, when they can experience the local delicacies; after all, this is also one of the reasons for which they go to holiday, right? Well, we all know that saving-money or do-not-spend-any-money behavior of the Dutchies! Why risking your hard-earned cash on some foreign food you don’t know in advance if you like when you can simply bring your own favorite food from home and stay within the budget?!

But the most stunning thing of all however, is the despair feeling Dutch people start to get when they have to stay for a longer time abroad. The clock is ticking until the moment they will be left without their beloved supplies and this is a very painful scenario for them. So don’t be surprised by the Dutch’s uncanny ability to get the vital Dutch food “out of thin air”.

Typical Dutch food

Finally, I managed to get my Dutch food!

Theoretically, there are four possible solutions here.

1: Finding another Dutch who has more than enough and can give some to them (in reality this is never the case).

2. Finding a Dutch who can bring it from Holland (Not too many words are necessary in order to get the help of a co-national in this kind of cases. Every Dutch, starting with 5 years old, is genuinely sympathetic towards a situation like this.).

3. Ordering it online (due to the high demand, there are many online shops specialized in delivering abroad original Dutch food).

4. Start making it themselves (even if it would be the first time doing this and they have to deal with the daunting learning process).

No matter how they have chosen to manage the situation, I strongly recommend DO NOT stay in their way.

Are you wondering how on Earth can you understand this strong addiction and/or get used with it? Unfortunately I don’t have a fit-to-all-cases solution. Just be open-minded and… keep loving your Dutch!

Now I have a question for you: Do you know Dutch people who are behaving the same? What are they taking in their luggage, what is that Dutch food that they cannot live without? We are curious to know…;-)

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  • Jaap

    Reply Reply 21/08/2014

    Ha ha ha! So true! This remainds me about some old neighbours of mine who were going in Spain and Italy with the caravan. They were taking with them potatoes (because they don’t have over there), peanut butter (because they don’t have over there), and so on. You cannot imagine all the other food they were taking with them. Everything that you normally have in a kitchen at home! The caravan was so loaded that every time they were stopped by the police and had to pay fine…. but it did not matter bcz the next year they were doing the same! hahaha

  • Annieke

    Reply Reply 21/08/2014

    I know a Dutch guy who is the owner of a Chinese restaurant in the Netherlands and he is taking with him not less than two suitcases full with Dutch provisions every time he is visiting China. He is going there for 1 month but have provisions with him like… for 3 months! 2 big pieces of rollade, 4 big Gouda cheese rolls, 6 boxes with hagelslag, etc. And of course, at the custom some of them were confiscated!

  • Elena

    Reply Reply 21/08/2014

    Hello there, I am from Bulgaria but live with my Dutch bf in Thailand. He is also behaving the same way when he is coming back here from Holland. But now he almost finished his Dutch food and the most he miss soemthing he calls biterballen. I want to make him a surprise and cook them for him. Honesty, I found many recipes of it on Youtube but I don’t know which one is the best, because I don’t know the original taste. Recommendations, suggestions… anyone?! thks…

  • Jan

    Reply Reply 21/08/2014

    I am a Dutch myself, living in Asia. Here we, the expats, don’t find too many similar ingredients bat we do our best to feel like home . so we make ourselves: appelmousse, oliebollen, specullas, pannekoeken, …lekker! 🙂

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