Before my twin sister and I hit Paris last month, we visited a friend in Amsterdam. Maurice was an excellent tour guide, making sure we sampled all the traditional Dutch favorites such as bitterballen, deep-fried meat-based snacks (the size of hush puppies) that are found in almost every pub. They go great with the local beer. At the famed Albert Cuyp street market, we ate freshly made stroopwafels (pictured above). The thin cookies are made on waffle irons and then sandwiched with a thin caramel sauce. A warm one is unbelievable good but even the ones we bought and took with us to Paris tasted great, too (I was happy to discover Trader Joe's has a version—try microwaving them for a few seconds to get that fresh taste).
At the market we also ate herring, which was the freshest-tasting fish I have ever eaten, with onions and pickles on top (there is local debate to top or not to top—depends on the freshness of the fish). Maurice also was gracious enough to cook for us. He made us stamppot, mashed potatoes mixed with mustard, endive, bacon, and the pan juices from pork cutlets, which are served on top along with sausages. It was a great hearty winter meal that I plan to cook at home for friends. If you've been to Amsterdam, what were the highlights?