Bike to eat!

I love trying foods from the places I visit. And after biking during the day I figured I burned a few calories. Now, if I had cut back on the beer and wine I probably would have lost weight….but, it was vacation.

I had a list before I started: bitterballen, stroopwafel, kibbeling, fries, herring, oliebollen, stamppot, licorice, snert, kroket, poffertjes, and rockwurst.

I missed the oliebollen, but maybe best to avoid deep-fried dough. The Dutch pea soup, snert, seems to be more of a winter dish. And though I saw stamppot, a traditional Dutch dish made from a combination of potatoes mashed with one or several other vegetables, on the menu I had to opt for the seasonal asparagus soup.

The asparagus in Holland is white and very-prized. When it is in season, it is on everyone’s menu.  I sampled soup in three places. They were all good and very different.

A very good blog that shows how this vegetable is grown underground can be found at:

Cheryl, one of my dinner companions in Antwerp, tried the asparagus with eggs and greens. So glad we shared tastes! I had pork cheeks in dark beer with chicory. Yummo.

Smoked salmon, herring with onions and olive-wrapped with anchovies, and kibbeling (battered chunks of deep-fried fish, commonly served with a mayonnaise-based garlic or tartar sauce) were some of my fish samplings.

This poor guy missed his calling.


The bitterballen were scrumptious. We sampled them at the American Cafe in Amsterdam. The cafe is a wonderful example of art deco design.

So many of the European markets are feasts for the eyes and the stomachs. It was in the Albert Cuyp Market that I tasted my first stroopwafel. Hot off the griddle, one warm stroopwafel is covered with syrup and then topped with another. Very sweet, but yummy.

We had delicious coffee on the barge and often stopped for a coffee break while biking. How nice that coffee was always served with a small treat.

One stop was for the “best ever hot chocolate.” It was served with chocolate chips that you whisked into hot milk.

Of course, no trip to Holland would be complete without cheese.

And of course beer, sometimes from Delft taps.

The food on the Merlijn was excellent! Such a variety:  fish, lasagna, beef stew! On the last night we were in Ghent we were served a delicious soup that I think is called waterzooi. The soup originated in Ghent. It was originally made with fish, but when the waters around Ghent became polluted, the dish was made with chicken. Delicious! Thanks Jantien!

And last, but not least…a delicious Belgium waffle. The sugar was baked into the crust. OMG. So good!img_4823

7 thoughts on “Bike to eat!

  1. Just reread my post and realized my tablet changed one of the words I typed. Northernmost is supposed to be bitter balls (My tablet won’t let me spell the term correctly, so this was the closest I could get.)


    1. Cheryl, they are kind of like deep fried meatballs. From the recipes I read you make a roux with broth, flour, herbs and meat. Then cool it down, roll into balls and the bread crumbs and deep fry them. They really were delicious.


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