Answers from Our Experts (1)
Nothing evokes a sense of place quite like taste and smell. Share your travel experiences with friends and family with these food gifts from Amsterdam.*
Cheese. Hard Dutch cheeses like Gouda can be found in grocery stores the world over. But step into the delightfully stinky surroundings of leading fromageries Abraham Kef or Tromp, and it will quickly become clear that Gouda is not the only kaas on the block. For something original, look for cheeses flavored with herbs and spices—aromatic nagelkaas containing cloves is delicious—and don’t hesitate to ask to try before you buy. Vacuum-packed, your selection will keep for several months.
Chocolate. It may seem like a standard gift option, but Dutch chocolate is quite literally a treat. A number of chocolatiers, including the “Vans”—Van Soest, Van Velze and Vanderdonk—produce and sell boutique bonbons, but our favorite remains Puccini Bomboni, whose unconventional flavor options include lemongrass, tamarind, rhubarb and thyme.
Stroopwafels. Keeping things sweet are stroopwafels, two buttery waffle cookies filled with indulgently gooey stroop (syrup). Eat them straight from the packet—we challenge you to stop after one—or balance on a steaming cup of tea or coffee for a few minutes to soften the syrup filling. Stroopwafels are available all over town, but we like the ones from Albert Heijn grocery store which are sold in pretty blue and white tins.
Licorice. Like British Marmite or American peanut butter and jelly, licorice (known locally as drop) is one of those foodie institutions that you either love or hate. For licorice lovers, HEMA, an institution in itself, sells sweet and salty varieties of the potent confections. Candy Freaks, a quirky independent store on Nieuwe Hoogstraat, also carries a good selection, which you can pick and mix yourself from the colorful bins.
*It’s worth noting that some countries restrict the import of certain food and drink products—notably meat and dairy—so check before you buy. It would be such a shame if your carefully selected hunk of Dutch cheese were confiscated by customs.