Cheese consumption in the Netherlands is continuing to grow. In 2010, the Dutch population consumed an average of 18.6 kilogrammes of cheese per head. This is 500 grammes more than in the previous year and nearly three kilogrammes more than in 2000, according to figures published recently by the Dutch Dairy Association (NZO). A survey of public opinion carried out by the NZO found that nine out of ten people in the Netherlands enjoy eating cheese, which isn’t surprising as it’s a versatile and healthy product. However, the survey, which is carried out regularly by the NZO, also found that the way the Dutch are eating cheese is changing.
To begin with, people are still eating it in the traditional way: the most popular way to eat cheese is still with bread. Four out of five people make themselves a cheese sandwich at least a couple of times a week.
Cheese as a tasty snack in between meals has also now become an established practice. One in every three consumers now regularly eats a piece of cheese as a snack. One out of five Dutch consumers regularly uses cheese in cooking.
And which cheese is the country’s most popular? Answer: Dutch Gouda. Mature Dutch Gouda (aged for 2 months) is top of the list, closely followed by 4 weeks young Gouda and extra mature Gouda which matured for 7-8 months. The cheeses that have gained most in popularity in recent years are low fat cheeses (the so called 30+), fromage frais and goat’s cheese.