Travel Tips: What To Eat In Amsterdam
Pannenkoeken: Dutch pancakes are replicated (to little success) around the world for a reason. Thinner than American pancakes and thicker than crêpes, these plate-sized pancakes are treated like pizzas with many toppings (bacon, apples, raisins, cheeses, etc.). The plain ones, though more rare, are eaten with powdered sugar or a simple syrup.
Poffertjes: These miniature, fluffier pancakes are made with buckwheat flour and yeast and topped with butter and powdered sugar. They’re served on a white paper plate the size of your hand with a miniature fork and are most easily found in the fall and winter from any street vendor. They can also be eaten with syrup, whipped cream, or fruit topping (strawberries) if you’re looking for something a little more decadent.
Kaas: Dutch cheese cannot be missed while you’re in the city. Gouda and Edam are the most well-known (and so much better fresh) but there are many other varieties of hard cheeses that the Dutch produce. The easiest way to taste several of them without buying a block of each is to sample some at one of the farmers’ street markets on Saturdays.
Appeltaart: This is the apple pie that outshines all other apple pies. This is what apple pie is meant to taste like. It’s deeper than American pie and relies on the huge chunks of apple, lemon juice, cinnamon, sugar, and rum (or brandy) for flavor. It isn’t syrupy or runny, but rather dry (in the best way), and seems more akin to eating a crust-covered apple than a typical pie.
Kroket: These fried cylinders are stuffed with ragout (read: gooey stuff) made from beef, veal, chicken satay, shrimp, or even a vegetarian mess. They’re meant as a snack, but quickly turn into a meal when placed on the bread/buns and smothered in mustard. (more…)
Travel Tips: What To Eat In Prague
I’ve talked about food in Prague in past posts, from the trdelnik to the potato pancakes, but its absurdly heavy and equally delicious qualities deserved a more thorough look.
Koleno: Crisp skin, fat, and tender meat come together on this roast pork knee that is generally served as a single, enormous chunk of meat with a knife and dipping sauces. It has been marinated in dark beer and herbs and often comes with some form of pickled vegetables and Czech bread.
Svíčková na Smetaně: Bread dumplings and beef sirloin congregate under a gravy of herbs and root veggies (carrots, parsely root, etc.) and a dollop of cranberry sauce. A slice of lemon and cream garnish the plate. The dish has every flavor, from meaty to creamy and sweet to tart, that somehow manages to work together.
Travel Tips: What To Eat In Vienna
Wiener Schnitzel: I thought I would get the most obvious out of the way. The wiener schnitzel (not pictured) is sold in traditional Viennese restaurants. Get the veal, not the pork, though it is slightly more expensive. The meat is sliced thin, breaded, and fried. It is served with one of three salads (though modern versions may have fries): cucumber, potato, or vinaigrette-dressed lettuce.
Frankfurter: The second obvious dish (can it really be called a dish?) can be found at any one of hundreds of street vendors and is meant to be eaten on the go. They’re basically a long, thin American hot-dog, but with a much lighter taste. They’re served in bite-sized slices with either bread or a roll.
Manner Schnitten: Hazelnut cream is smothered between layers of chocolate wafer for this delectable confection. They’re a light dessert (unless you eat too many) that have an airy texture. You’ll find them mostly in markets in bright pink packaging as they are now mainly mass-produced. (more…)