Dutch Quirk #12: Be obsessed with peanut butter

HomeUltimate List of Dutch QuirksDutch Quirk #12: Be obsessed with peanut butter

Picture this, you’re at work and the clock strikes 12.30: lunchtime! You go and get your leftover pasta out of your bag — mmm 🤤. Meanwhile, your Dutch colleague shows up holding half a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter.

That’s right, anyone who’s spent a certain amount of time around Dutchies will notice that many (we’re not saying all) Dutchies are pretty obsessed with peanut butter — or peanut cheese (pindakaas) as it’s known in the Netherlands — to the point of just carrying a jar of this nutty goodness around with them in their bag.

What is it?

The Dutch obsession with peanut butter is culturally and historically ingrained — yeah, Calvé peanut butter actually has a bit of a cult following in the Netherlands. We’re not kidding.  

Dutchies, it seems, are much more die-hard fans of peanut butter than other Europeans. This may be because modern Dutch cuisine is so intertwined with that of its former colonies, Indonesia and Suriname.

Another reason for this obsession may be literal indoctrination — yep, every Dutchie will remember those Calvé commercials on TV.

Dutchies are infamous for going on their annual camping holidays to France and — you guessed it — loading up their cars with their own Dutch pindakaas (peanut butter) before they set off. If it were us, we’d be smearing a different nutty spread (Nutella 🤤) on our baguettes — just saying. 🥖

Why do they do it?

With their reputation for being a bit stingy and ever so efficient, it’s safe to say that peanut butter is a Dutch superfood — it’s quick, it’s nutritious, and it’s cheap. What more could a Dutchie want?

A little bird also told us that peanut butter might also be the secret as to why Dutchies are so tall. We can’t verify this, though. 😉

Why is it quirky? 

Don’t get us wrong, peanut butter sandwiches are great — the best, actually — but we’ve never seen people in other countries routinely just whipping a whole jar of peanut butter out of their bags at work. 😂  

In our experience, people usually make their PB sandwiches at home — ensuring that their bags are at least half a kilogram lighter.

Should you join in? 

Sure! Peanut butter is delicious and you can use it in tons of different things — smoothies, cookies, curries…. If you are going to participate in the tradition of the pindakaas boterham (sandwich) at work, it might be a good idea to make it at home. Your bag will be lighter, and your back will thank you. 🎒

What do you think of this Dutch quirk? Have you experienced it? Tell us in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in October 2021, and was fully updated in November 2022 for your reading pleasure.

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Jen Lorimer 🇿🇼
Jen Lorimer 🇿🇼
An avid tea drinker, Jen was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She moved to Utrecht in 2017 to pursue her history degree. She loves people-watching, canoeing the Utrecht canals, and observing how the Dutch come alive in summer. Having been traumatised by a Dutch circle party, Jen wants to help equip other internationals with tips and tricks to survive and thrive in this wonderful flat country.


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