Dutch Quirk #5: Eat cheese every day for lunch 

HomeUltimate List of Dutch QuirksDutch Quirk #5: Eat cheese every day for lunch 

Gouda, Edam, Leidse Kaas, Beemster… the list goes on. The Dutch know their cheeses pretty well — and it’s no wonder that they eat it all the time! 😋🧀

The Dutch have many traditional dinner dishes, but when it comes to lunchtime, the meal of choice is almost always a cheese sandwich! 🥪

What is it?

The Dutch incorporate cheesy ingredients on their sandwiches — otherwise known as boterhammenwith toppings like smeerkaas (cheese spread) or plakjes kaas (cheese slices). 

READ MORE | Dutch cheese varieties: the comprehensive (and cheesy) guide

If they’re really feeling crazy, they might even add some slices of ham in there. But, cheese is always the usual topping! 

The type of cheese used in these sandwiches depends largely on its age. For example, when making a tosti, a Dutch person would pick a young cheese over an aged one to get that melting effect. ✨

Why do they do it?

Since the 17th century, bread and cheese have always been staple ingredients in Dutch lunches

According to the OEC, in 2020, the Netherlands was the second country in the world to export the most cheese, with a revenue of €3.748 billion! I guess that’s how the Netherlands gets a lot of its cheddar. 😉

Why is it quirky? 

The Netherlands have a long shared history with their cheeses. From using it to fight against the French (seriously) to producing so many types of Dutch cheeses, it’s safe to say that the Dutch are really, really into cheese! 🧀 

READ MORE | Let’s talk cheesy: cheese tourism in the Netherlands

The Dutch also prefer a cold and light lunch compared to other European countries. Warm lunches aren’t very common in the Netherlands, so a slice of cheese and a piece of bread usually get the job done! 

Even though Dutch lunches tend to be very short and simple, eating all this cheese every day is probably why the Dutch are so tall

Should you join in? 

Absolutely, we believe that Dutch cheese is really “grate”! 🫕

Since there are so many types of cheeses to choose from in the Netherlands, you may enjoy some cheese types over others — so try them all!

If you’re lactose intolerant or if cheese simply isn’t your thing, the Dutch have plenty of other delicious foods that you have to taste! 🧆

Have you ever tasted Dutch cheese? Got any favourites? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Lea Shamaa 🇺🇸🇱🇧
Lea Shamaa 🇺🇸🇱🇧
Lea has a passion for writing and sharing new ideas with the world. She enjoys film photography, Wes Anderson movies, fictional books and jazz music. She came to the Netherlands in 2019 for her media studies and has fallen in love with the country and its culture ever since. She loves to ride her bicycle in the city but also feels the need to overtake everyone on the bike lane (she's working on it).


  1. That is mouth watering!!
    Living in abudhabi, I also but Dutch chevrette and gooda, maybe because I am in love with the Netherlands 💕French cheese to be honest with a spread of Italian pesto! Un régal 😊!
    Next visit to Amsterdam I will make sure to enjoy Tosties!
    Thank you for these inside infos 😄


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