Personal & Social Needs


The Dutch have always been internationally orientated and nowadays you can expect to find meals varying from Italy to the Orient, and from China to Africa on Dutch dinner tables, especially amongst younger people. The consumption of dairy products is extremely high, which according to some scientists, accounts for the high average height of Dutch men and women.

The Dutch generally eat three meals a day. Dinner (around 18:00) is the main meal for most people, but some rural families and older people retain the tradition of eating the main meal at midday. For them, the evening meal is light and often consists of bread, cold cuts, cheese, and salad. 


Typical Dutch food

The Dutch have their own distinctive eating habits. These are products that are popular among the Dutch:

  • Beschuit met muisjes are crackers with pink/blue and white balls on them called muisjes (mice). The Dutch eat this when a baby is born; the blue ones are for a boy and the pink ones for a girl.
  • Stamppot is another typical Dutch dish eaten as soon as it gets colder. Stamppot is made of mashed potatoes and vegetables, like hutspot (carrots and onions), boerenkool (chopped green cabbage) or zuurkool (sauerkraut). The Dutch eat this stamppot with rookworst (smoked sausage) and gravy.
  • Erwtensoep (pea soup) is also eaten when it is cold. It is a tradition that you eat pea soup after ice-skating. If you see pea soup for the first time you may not like the look of it, but it tastes fine. There are sausages, meat and all kinds of vegetables in it.
  • Asperges (asparagus) are a typical spring delicacy. The Dutch like to eat them with ham, eggs and a melted butter sauce or sauce hollandaise.
  • Bread with hagelslag, for foreigners a very strange thing to see. Hagelslag is a very Dutch product, abroad only used as cake decoration, but here poeple eat the chocolate sprinkles on the sandwiches. Beside chocolate, there are sprinkles in all kinds of flavours and colours. It is really something that you and your children should try!
  • Kroket is something most of the foreigners know. It is a crispy crust with a filling of meat. The Dutch eat it with broodje (bread) or at dinner with French fries. The smaller round version of the kroket is bitterbal, which is usually eaten as a party snack.
  • Stroopwafels are the well-known Dutch biscuits: two small waffles with a syrup between them that tastes like caramel. It is very popular with Asian people. On some markets, they are baked fresh.
  • Haring, the Dutch eat this fish raw! On markets and in shopping malls you will find stands selling haring with freshly chopped onions. The Dutch hold the haring by its tail and let it slide into their mouth!  

International food

In the larger cities, you will find a variety of supermarkets that sell food from other countries. There are also websites where you can order products from abroad.






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