Photos by Nomi Abeliovich
Move your mouse to either end of the slide show to view photos of the food available in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam's local food scene seems to have little to do with the city's status as a top tourist destination. Yet local and seasonal specialties are interwoven with below-then-mediocre eateries aimed at the tourist high tide that constantly washes over the city. Here are some places worth trying:
Biologische Noordermarkt: The rich selection of organic breads, dairy products, meat, fruit, and vegetables in Amsterdam's organic market is the best place to experience the seasons and the quality of local produce. Stock up on for a picnic in the park, or in the likely scenario of rain, the living room. Open on Saturdays.
Freshly made local food is scattered round the streets of Amsterdam. Much of the street food is either fried or covered in butter--or both.
Located inside a windmill, Brouwerij' t IJ offers a tasting menu of the organic, unfiltered, un-pasteurized and top-fermented beers produced on the premises for 4.50 Euro. There is also free a tour of the brewery every Friday (check the Web site for more information).
On the site of a medieval beer-brewing monastery for virtuous and fallen women today stands De Bekeerde Suster, the conversion sister brewery. Located in the heart of the red-light district, the brewery offers a large selection of beers from around the world alongside beers brewed on the premises using traditional medieval recipes.
The beer traditionally brewed by Trappist monks to support their abbey is known as Trappist beer. Today, Trappist beer is produced in small quantities within the walls of only 7 remaining Trappist brewery/abbeys, and despite the lack of advertising it remains highly sought after. A good place to sample the beers and a plate of Trappist cheese is in one of the best local beer bars, Gollem.
Freshly made local food is scattered round the streets of Amsterdam. Much of the street food is either fried or covered in butter--or both. (Herring is an exception.) It's a wonderfully naughty treat. Keep a look out for vendors in central junctions, busy intersections and at markets.
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Herring is sold in trailers around the city. The fish is gutted and cleaned straight from the net with only the pancreas left intact, as it provides the enzymes needed for curing. It is then salted for several days, resulting in a silky smooth and lightly salted fish. Sliced into bite-sized pieces, the herring is sprinkled with raw onion and paired with a pickled gherkin. The Dutch flag gives the finishing touch, and doubles as a fork. A true local culinary highlight.
Patat, re-fried French fries, served with peanut sauce and the classic mayonnaise squirted on top, are an equally famous Dutch specialty.
Poffertjes are Dutch miniature pancake pillows. Traditionally they are covered with powdered sugar and served with butter.
Local tearooms are a great place to start the day, stop for a snack, a light lunch, or afternoon tea.