The time Dutchies used cheese to defend themselves against the French

Attack.... if you "dairy"! ๐Ÿง€

The term “cheesehead” or kaaskoppen didn’t exactly come about as a compliment to the world-renowned Dutch goods โ€” turns out, there’s an un-brie-lievable history. ๐Ÿ“”

Dutch cheese is a tried and tested lunch staple, and it’s simply one of the best in the world.

READ MORE | Say cheese! The Dutch are officially the world’s number 1 cheese-loving nation

Another simple fact? The origin of the word kaaskoppen itself โ€” let’s slice it up. ๐Ÿง€๐Ÿ”ช

The first half, kaaskop, refers to a wooden mould used to shape the cheese, traditionally used to press typically round Dutch cheese like Edam.

Next, kop refers to the human head. We’re getting closer, Watson! ๐Ÿ”

READ MORE โ”‚ Dutch cheese varieties: the comprehensive (and cheesy) guide

With 800 million kilos of cheese produced annually in the Netherlands, you’d be forgiven for thinking “cheeseheads” is some sort of testament to the Dutchies’ love for their Gouda, Edam, Maasdam, and cheese markets.

So what’s the story?

The term can be traced back to an innovative method of defence recruited by the Dutchies in the 19th century. ๐Ÿคบ

During Napoleon’s occupation of the Netherlands, Dutch cheese producers grew tired and fed up with French soldiers stealing their beloved Gouda cheese.

As a form of protection when confronting French soldiers, Dutch farmers DIY-ed helmets carved out of cheese barrels. Ta-da, the “cheeseheads” term was born!

Since then, the French and Belgians, who also picked up the word during the Revolution, used “cheeseheads” as an insult for the Dutch โ€” which is ironic since both of these countries are also cheese lovers. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ

You can read up on the surprising number of traditional insults used against the Netherlands in Frogs and Cheese Heads, which looks at their not-so-positive international reputation over time.

READ MORE | 8 books about the Netherlands you need to read

It turns out the Dutch weren’t always just known lightheartedly as direct and stingy!

Did you know this story about the origin of the term cheesehead? What do you think about it? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Unsplash
Farah Al Mazouni ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡พ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Farah Al Mazouni ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡พ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Farah believes she's been on many adventures during her millennial life, each for a different (sometimes invisible) purpose. The latest adventure whisked her away to Amsterdam for love, and what a magical surprise she found in this city. Armed with imaginary confetti in her pocket, and ready to celebrate all wins, big and small, Farah says "ahla w sahla" or โ€œwelcomeโ€ to her latest adventure in this wonderland.

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