On one of the first amazing hot days in Amsterdam that Spring gave us, me and a few of my friends attended Amsterdam Kookt. Hosted in the Olympic Stadium, this free event welcomed hundreds of food loving folks from near and far. And yes you read right, this event is as free as can be, but if you want to sample some of the many cuisines on offer you must buy into the special token system. These are easy to get if you just have some patience for the queue. It looks long and mighty but actually it moves along quite quickly and and you can use cash or card. 4 coins is the equivalent to €10, so it’s way easier to buy stuff when you see that it’s only 1 or 2 tokens. Either way – it’s money well spent because they had so much delicious-ness to offer.
The Food Stalls
The Amsterdam Kookt is by far the biggest and best food festival I’ve been to. There were so many different cuisines, it was actually overwhelming. Of course I didn’t sample it all, but I will be able to tell you about the yummy things I did have. We started off with some spring rolls, which were two kinds – raw handmade and also just normal fried ones. Both were yummy but the handmade fresh ones were particularly good (obvs).
The highlight of my day was the Coconut Balls that I had for myself. A first time for me, and I’m not too sure how. I’m wondering where they have been hiding up until now. And nowadays when I hear the word ‘coconut’ I think – hey! This is good for me, I can have loads of it! I put it in my hair, on my skin, in the pan when making food and at one stage even tried to brush my teeth with it… So it must be good for me? Yeah well when it’s fried I’m not so sure… but you wouldn’t care if you tasted it. I had the strange sounding but undeniably delicious ginger-and-something one. I finished that little ball of heaven in about two bites and I’m not sorry.
While I was still appreciating the coconut goodness, my lovely friend Inez went for some poffertjes – which are my all time favourite thing about Holland. If you are not familiar with these, they are like mini pancakes (but puffy and nicer) which are smothered in butter and powder sugar. Take a look at how they are made, it’s pretty cool to watch (and that little boy would probably agree with me).
At some point I found myself at the sushi bar. The quinoa salad looked good but I couldn’t resist the salmon sushi which was topped with – wait for it – sweet potato crunch. Yes, you better believe it was good. Now, not that I wasn’t full before, but it was very filling and I was definitely full afterwards. So any sane person would have stopped there, but I’m not sane so you can guess the rest.
The sun was blazing upon us and of course I was wearing a thick long sleeved dress. I did read the forecast, but I have serious trust issues when it comes to the weather. Dublin & Amsterdam aren’t reliable sources of stable weather conditions. Anyway – it was very hot so we headed straight for the Frozen Yogurt stall. I think the whole of the Kookt Festival had the same idea, because I swear we were in the queue for a long time. Though, not long enough for me to change mind multiple times, about which one of the 3 options I would go for – I get so nervous about making the wrong choice. However, I landed on Strawberry Crunch which included Strawberries (aardbei – one out of the pathetic amount of Dutch words I’ve learnt), bits of stroopwafle and caramel sauce. Of course I just ended up eating the strawberries but it was still refreshing.
To end our feast we had to have the famous churros- covered in none other than powdered sugar. We were so full at this stage that we had to give some away. All in all its safe to say that we were well fed. I overestimated how much I would want to spend and came away with my little chip card having a balance of €10 still. But I wasn’t too sad because…
Amsterdam Kookt is not a once off event!
Thank god says I. I can very happily visit another Amsterdam Kookt Festival very soon. And I surely will be. Free entrance, delicious food with so much to choose from, funky music and happy people everywhere – how could you go wrong?
And keep an eye out for other dates and locations for Amsterdam Kookt Festival – it’s probably coming to a town near you! Here is the location of the next one on June 4th and here is the Official Website.