Warm up to winter with dutch dishes

Winter has hit Amsterdam early this year, with record low temperatures and snowfall filling the streets.

As bikers brave the falling flakes and travellers bundle up to explore the sights, everyone is looking for ways to warm up and relax after a long day.

Luckily, the best of Dutch cuisine is winter comfort food, made with hearty ingredients sure to fill your belly and boost your spirits.

Staple ingredients for most dishes are potatoes, smoked sausages and winter vegetables. Local statistics show that these foods sell six times more in the colder months than in the summertime - certainly a reason to believe they do their jobs in keeping you warm!

One of the most loved cold weather dish on Amsterdam menus is erwtensoep, otherwise known as pea soup. What may sound - and look! - like a tasteless soup, this is actually a thick, veggie filled dish chock full of the most important vitamins and minerals your body  needs during this time of year.

The soup is made with green peas, along with celery, potato and slices of pork or sausage. It may not sound like much, but the thick soup, usually served with some crusty bread, is more than enough to fill you up and keep you warm.

Another winter staple is stamppot. Served as a vegetable mash with potatoes, carrots and onions, you eat it as a side dish with beef and lots of gravy.

Stamppot actually originates from the Dutch city of Leiden and is eaten in celebration there every year on the third of October on Leidens onzet, the day honouring the country's defeat of Spain in 1574.

But, during the colder months there is one particular dish that you will see on almost every Amsterdam restaurant menu - Boerenkool met worst.

Boerenkool is the most famous Dutch wintertime meal. Similar to stamppot, the dish features a vegetable mash of potatoes and kale topped with a fat, juicy smoked sausage. It doesn't sound like much, but boerenkool is the quintessential winter food, hearty enough to keep you full and warm for an after dinner stroll.

Keep your eyes peeled for these winter specialties while you're in  Amsterdam and take the chance to indulge in the food the Netherlands does best - comfort food that keeps you warm!

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