Cheese and the Dutch culture

If there is one true cheese country in the world, it has to be Holland. Renowned worldwide for its many famous, classic Dutch cheeses,
Holland is the world’s largest cheese exporter. Edam, Maasdam and
Gouda are named after old Dutch towns, where they have been sold for centuries. To this day cheese markets are still held weekly in certain
Dutch cities. Alongside clogs, windmills and tulips, cheese is part of Holland’s national identity.




The Dutch are known as ‘cheese-heads', who have such pride in their cheese that they take more pleasure from selling it than eating it themselves. As Holland is one of the world’s largest cheese exporter of the world, this could be considered however as an honorary nickname.


In Dutch, ‘cheese-head' is also another word for the mould in which the cheese is made. It is rumoured that in the Middle Ages farmers in North Holland used these wooden moulds as helmets and this is how the enemy could identify an army of ‘cheese-heads' approaching.



Cheese production


Today Dutch companies produce hundreds of millions of kilos of cheese,

with the large majority exported to countries all over the world.

FrieslandCampina exports more cheese than any other Dutch cheese producer. Annually around 480,000 tons of cheese is produced, which is exported to over 90 countries. The cheese consumption per capita in Holland is around 19 kg.