Traditional Dutch December Cuisine

In this article we have made a selection of the traditional cuisine of Netherlands for December . Try it: you might find it delicious and add it to your diet!

1. Stew

Stew is a traditional dish that is usually eaten in winter. It is prepared from various parts, usually cooked from boiled potatoes and vegetables. You can add meat such as smoke sausage or bacon or sausage. Some favorite is a dimple gravy in the stew.

There are different types of this dish, according to the added vegetables. For example the ‘stew kale ‘ and ‘stew sauerkraut’ usually served with smoke sausage. ‘Stew’ is a stew of potatoes, roots and onions.

2. Bitter Balls

Bitter balls are a very popular snack in the Netherlands. It is usually sold in the snackbar, just like other small hot snacks like frikandellen and croquettes.

A bitter ball is a deep-fried small round meat stew. It is also popular as part of the ‘bitter garnish ‘ in the pub and nightlife and is combined usually with beer.

Bitter balls were eaten at a bitter, a strongly alcoholicherbal drink, hence the name comes ‘bitterball’.

3. Pea Soup

Pea soup is a soup made of split peas. and is usually eaten in winter. The quantities of the various ingredients may vary. Nowadays, potatoes are also added in addition to carrots, celeriac, leeks and onions. The soup also often contains pork or smoke sausage.

The pea soup is traditionally eaten in the Netherlands with rye bread, invested for example with katen bacon, cheese or butter.

National heritage day upcoming in Holland?

The Dutch love their heritage. But, unlike our Belgian neighbors, we do not have an official heritage day. In Belgium, this day is held in April. The public can visit many interesting exhibitions and buildings. Although we do not have a Dutch national heritage day yet, we consider each day as heritage day!

Dutch heritage is world famous

Did you know we have over 61 thousand national listed monuments?  We also have 10 World heritage sites, as the Amsterdam canal ring area, The van Nelle factory, the Wadden Sea and the mill network at Kinderdijk. We have museums in all sizes all over the country that are exhibiting our heritage jewels. They exhibit various topics, themes and items. Big, small, ancient, contemporary: you name it, and we have it!

In addition, we have very interesting churches, factories, shipyards and many ancient buildings that are true heritage icons.

Combine travel, fun and heritage

So, you get the picture, right? Everywhere, anywhere you are in Holland, you can experience our heritage.


Do you have limited time for your visit and do you want to do Holland in one day? Madurodam in the Hague shows you Holland in miniatures. All famous buildings, such as the Ridderzaal, are there.

And… Do as the Dutch: look for free admittance (Dutch like ‘gratis’) or try to get discount when you want to visit heritage sites…

Dutch heritage: say Cheese!

Dutch cheese

The Dutch are happy people. Everyday they say: cheese! 🙂 That is our answer to the question: what would you like to eat for breakfast or lunch? Holland is famous for its cheese. And we make much, much, much cheese. Over 800 million kilogram cheese is exported to countries all over the world. Dutch cheese is very popular, because of the constant high quality. No wonder that many copycats try to imitate our famous cheese from Gouda or Edam. But nothing beats the original, right? So do not try making our cheese at your home, and buy only the real stuff.

History of cheese

Did you know that in Holland people ate cheese already in 800 BC? And also Julius Caesar mentioned in his books that cheese was consumed in the lowlands. During the Dutch Golden Age farmers in Holland and Friesland started to export their cheeses. Dutch cheese makers were very good in conservation of their cheeses. For this reason, we were able to sell our cheese all over the world. Even after a long journey over sea the cheese was still good and very tasteful. Imagine this, in a world without refrigerators or cooling the Dutch were able to transport perishable dairy in a perfect condition!

Holland = Cheeseland

For centuries, Holland is famous for its cheese. It truly is part of our heritage. And we take cheese very seriously. Even in the 17th century, institutions as ‘gildes’ monitored the good quality of cheese. We already had quality certificates and guidelines how to produce cheese.
Exporting cheese is also big business. We are one of the biggest cheese exporters world wide. From Beijing to Buenos Aires, you will find our cheese in specialty shops and supermarkets.

Cheese to have and cheese to go

The Dutch love to eat their cheese. We eat cheese for breakfast or lunch. But it is great having a beer with it too! And you know what: many tourists come to Holland and they want to see how we make cheese. Cities as Gouda and Alkmaar are the places to be for cheese-lovers.
In Alkmaar you can find the cheese museum. There, you can find out all about the history of the Dutch tradition and heritage of cheese-making. Of course, after the museum visit – take some cheese to go!

Cheese and heritage in our language

One of the nicknames for the Dutch refers to cheese: we are called cheese-heads (kaaskoppen). Originally, Edammer cheese was made in round, wooden malls. And many well-fed faces of the Dutch are also roundish: there you have the similarity and the reason behind this nickname. By the way: our Belgium neighbors invented this nickname as a joke!

When Dutch say: “you have not eaten your cheese of this”, they mean: you do not have a clue!
So be prepared and eat all your cheese at breakfast. And remember: say cheese every day! 🙂