Traditionally, Dutch cuisine is fairly modest. Dutch breakfast generally consists of tea and sliced bread, which is eaten with cheese, thinly sliced cold meat, or jam. Lunch is much the same, with the possible addition of soup, salad or fruit; and for the evening meal potatoes and other vegetables, together with meat or fish. Vegetables especially are plentiful, of high quality, and quite cheap if you buy those in season. Typical Dutch dishes are erwtensoep (pea soup served in winter), Hollandse Nieuwe (fresh salted herring) and stamppot (steamed dish of potatoes, vegetables and meat/sausage).
Dutch tastes have become increasingly international: rice and pasta dishes are now almost standard fare in most Dutch homes. You will find imported tropical food, vegetables and fruits in many shops. Tropical ingredients can be found in oriental grocery stores called toko. Some butchers take religious rituals into consideration (Islamic, Hindu or Jewish) and some sell food products from Turkey, Morocco and Surinam. Convenience foods are increasingly available. Some of this can be rather unhealthy, but it does save time and it also costs less than eating out. Typical Dutch convenience foods are friet or patat (fries), eaten with a meat snack (kroket or frikandel). Supermarkets sell instant meals of all sorts and sizes.
RESTAURANTS AND TAKEAWAYS
In addition to the popular Chinese-Indonesian and Cantonese restaurants and takeaways, there are many relatively inexpensive grill-rooms, pizzerias and pizza express services, serving Italian pizza, Turkish shoarma (Mediterranean meat sandwich) and various Greek dishes. You might pay anything from € 8 to € 12 for a simple takeaway meal. A simple Dutch main dish in an ‘eating pub’ (eetcafé) or bistro will cost approximately € 20, excluding drinks. Chinese takeaways are less expensive.