Deutsch: Niederlande / Español: Países Bajos / Português: Países Baixos / Français: Pays-Bas / Italiano: Paesi Bassi

Netherlands is known for its rich and diverse food culture that reflects both traditional Dutch cuisine and influences from its colonial past and neighbouring countries. The culinary landscape is characterized by hearty, simple dishes, dairy products, and a strong emphasis on seasonal and local ingredients.


Dutch cuisine is traditionally simple and straightforward, focusing on hearty and nourishing dishes. Root vegetables, meats, and dairy products form the backbone of many traditional meals. The Netherlands is famous for its cheese, with varieties like Gouda, Edam, and Leyden being internationally renowned. Dutch food also includes a variety of breads, pastries, and sweet treats, often enjoyed with coffee or tea.

A typical Dutch meal might include stamppot, a dish of mashed potatoes mixed with vegetables and served with sausage, or erwtensoep, a thick pea soup often eaten in winter. Fish, especially herring, plays a significant role in the Dutch diet, with raw herring served with onions and pickles being a popular delicacy.

The Netherlands' colonial history has introduced a variety of spices and international dishes to the local cuisine. Indonesian influences are particularly strong, resulting in popular dishes like rijsttafel, a spread of small Indonesian dishes served with rice.

Application Areas

Traditional Dishes:

  • Stamppot: A comfort food made from mashed potatoes mixed with vegetables such as kale, endive, or sauerkraut, typically served with smoked sausage (rookworst).
  • Poffertjes: Small, fluffy pancakes often served with powdered sugar and butter.
  • Haring "Hollandse Nieuwe": Raw herring eaten with chopped onions and pickles, usually enjoyed as a street food or snack.


  • Gouda: One of the most famous Dutch cheeses, known for its mild flavour and creamy texture.
  • Edam: A semi-hard cheese that is often enjoyed with bread or as part of a cheese platter.
  • Maasdam: A Swiss-style cheese with a sweet, nutty flavour and characteristic holes.

Indonesian Influence:

  • Rijsttafel: An elaborate meal consisting of a variety of small Indonesian dishes served with rice.
  • Satay: Skewered and grilled meat served with a rich peanut sauce.
  • Bami Goreng: Stir-fried noodles with vegetables and meat or shrimp.

Pastries and Sweets:

  • Stroopwafels: Thin waffle cookies filled with caramel syrup, often enjoyed with coffee or tea.
  • Speculaas: Spiced shortcrust biscuits traditionally eaten around Saint Nicholas Day.
  • Oliebollen: Dutch doughnuts, typically eaten on New Year's Eve.

Well-Known Examples

  1. Stroopwafels: A quintessential Dutch treat made from two thin waffles with a caramel-like syrup filling.
  2. Haring "Hollandse Nieuwe": A traditional Dutch delicacy of raw herring served with onions and pickles.
  3. Rijsttafel: A Dutch-Indonesian feast showcasing a variety of small, flavourful dishes.

Treatment and Risks


  • High Sugar and Fat Content: Some traditional Dutch sweets and pastries can be high in sugar and fat, contributing to health issues if consumed in excess.
  • Sustainability: Overfishing and farming practices can have environmental impacts that need to be managed responsibly.


  • Nutrient-Rich Diet: Traditional Dutch dishes often include hearty, nutritious ingredients such as root vegetables, legumes, and fish.
  • Dairy Products: Dutch cheeses and other dairy products are high in calcium and essential nutrients.
  • Cultural Heritage: Preserving traditional Dutch recipes and cooking methods helps maintain cultural heritage and identity.

Similar Terms

  • Belgian Cuisine: Shares similarities with Dutch cuisine, especially in the use of potatoes, meats, and pastries.
  • German Cuisine: Neighboring Germany has influenced Dutch food, particularly in regions close to the border.
  • Scandinavian Cuisine: Similarities in the use of fish, dairy, and root vegetables.

Articles with 'Netherlands' in the title

  • Food Trivia: Food on walls in Netherlands: Food Trivia: Food on walls in Netherlands : An interesting way to get takeaway food in Holland is from the wall. There are snack bars that have rows of little windows where you slot in a coin and choose what snack you would like to takeaw . . .



The cuisine of the Netherlands is a delightful blend of hearty traditional dishes, world-famous cheeses, and international influences, particularly from Indonesia. With its emphasis on simple, nourishing foods and a rich tradition of sweets and pastries, Dutch food offers a unique and satisfying culinary experience. From the beloved stroopwafel to the savory stamppot, the Netherlands' culinary landscape is both diverse and deeply rooted in its cultural heritage.


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