Dutch Quirk #68: Carry an emergency krentenbol everywhere they go

HomeUltimate List of Dutch QuirksDutch Quirk #68: Carry an emergency krentenbol everywhere they go

As an international, you may be shocked at the sight of your significant other producing a bag of bread rolls out of seemingly nowhere when you ask them about lunch. 🥐

No — you’re (probably) not dating Mary Poppins.

Bread-lovers by nature, the Dutch don’t mess about when it comes to their stash of emergency broodjes (bread rolls)!

What is it?

It’s that stash of krentenbollen (current buns), witte puntjes (white bread rolls), or kaasbroodjes (cheese bread rolls) that every Dutch person seems to carry around with them.

No krentenbol? No worries — a cheese sandwich will do! Image: Freepik

At the first pangs of hunger, our masters of thrift simply reach into their bags and grab a bun to munch on.

Don’t be shocked if they’ve also brought their own toppings along — Dutch preparedness is nothing if not thorough!

Why do they do it?

Chalk it up to good ol’ Dutch stinginess.

Dutchies generally don’t want to spend any more than they absolutely have to (hey, we approve 😉).

Shelling out €6 for a shrimp salad because you’re out of the house and hungry? Pfft, not in the Netherlands. You’d better have a homemade boterham (sandwich) packed!

But, when you think about it, it makes sense that the masters of water management are also masters of managing their wallet. 

If they’ve got an emergency food stash for when hunger strikes, that’s one less thing they’ll owe people a Tikkie for. 💸

Why is it quirky?

For those of us internationals who come from cultures where meals are fancy, sit-down affairs, the Dutch food-on-the-go way of life definitely takes some getting used to.

And bread for lunch?! Those of us who love a warm meal (and maybe a cold beer or two to wash it down 👀🍻) are likely to feel rather put out.

Like texting whilst riding a bike, it’s one of those quintessential Dutch things that have loads of foreigners going… “huh?”

Should you join in? 

If you consider yourself thrifty (with an extra dash of preparedness sprinkled on the top), then this is something you need to adopt. Your wallet will be sure to thank you!

But if you’d rather pop into a café for a slice of apple pie when you’re peckish, then you may want to give this one a miss. 🥧

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

Featured Image: Smial/Wikimedia Commons

Liana Pereira 🇱🇰
Liana Pereira 🇱🇰
Liana juggles her role as an Editor with wrapping up a degree in cognitive linguistics and assisting with DutchReview's affiliate portfolio. Since arriving in the Netherlands for her studies in 2018, she's thrilled to have the 'write' opportunity to help other internationals feel more at home here — whether that's by penning an article on the best SIMs to buy in NL, the latest banking features, or important things to know about Dutch health insurance.


  1. I have definitely seen this exact Dutch quirk!!!!!! Went for a walk with a Dutch friend in Utrecht, and I mentioned that I was getting hungry, and she pulled a buttered krentenbol out of her bag! I LOVED it. But now I know it was not just her!

  2. I’m always more comfortable if I have emergency rations. I always suspected I must do that because I dislike restaurants or maybe I had some hungry days as a child. Here I see it’s thought to be a Dutch quirk. Well OK then. I’m a normal quirky Dutch guy. Whoever thought?

    • My hubby has lived in the US for a very long time and even though people say he is not very Dutch… The krentenbollen, or packing a sandwich whenever we are out is a must for him. Wouldn’t really say it’s a quirk. Think it’s quite practical and clever. Given my blood sugar drops at times, it’s nice to know there is something stashed away for an emergency.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More Dutch quirks