The Country Food Similarity Index is a statistically-based attempt to quantify how similar the food in one country is relative to another. By comparing the weight of raw food ingredients used in each country, a score is assigned that reflects the degree of similarity between the respective countries. The methodology is exactly the same for each country studied.
The Most Similar Cuisines to Dutch Food
All five of the countries with the most similar food to the Netherlands border the Atlantic Ocean. With the exception of the United Kingdom, they are members of the European Union. In addition, these nations have relatively similar temperate climates. They tend to eat a lot of bread, potatoes, and meats.
- Belgium is located to the south of the Netherlands. Both countries have many Dutch-speaking people as well. As a result, their cuisines are quite similar. Stews such as stoofvlees, erwtensoep, and waterzooi, are popular in both nations. In addition, fries often accompany many of the meals in these countries.
- Germany is another country that borders the Netherlands. The majority of people in both nations natively speak Germanic languages. Both countries tend to eat a lot of pork. Bratwurst, rookworst, and mettwurst are commonly enjoyed in both nations. Moreover, the Netherlands and Germany share a love for potatoes.
- United Kingdom is just across the North Sea from the Netherlands. The Dutch have adopted many British dishes. Herring, a popular fish in the Netherlands, is often served in a similar way as in the UK – pickled or smoked. The Dutch also enjoy fish and chips. Both nations appreciate traditional meat pies, such as steak and kidney pie.
- Denmark is another country that borders the North Sea. Both countries appreciate seafood and utilize it extensively in their cuisine. Smoked herring, eel, and mackerel are commonly eaten in both nations. Additionally, Danish open-faced sandwiches, known as smørrebrød, resemble Dutch broodjes.
- France has influenced Dutch cuisine through history. These countries both enjoy cheese and pastries. Furthermore, Gouda, Edam, and Maasdam cheeses have French counterparts. Both nations also enjoy hearty meat dishes, such as beef bourguignon in France and the Dutch dish hachee, a slow-cooked beef and onion stew.
The Least Similar Cuisines to Dutch Food
Four of the five countries with the least similar food to the Netherlands are African. The climate in these countries is also significantly warmer. This affects what type of crops are grown in these countries. Moreover, these countries are much less developed than the Netherlands. Neither potatoes nor pork are commonly eaten in these countries.
- Chad is a former French colony in Africa. Sorghum and millet are the two most commonly consumed grains in the country. These crops are well adapted to the Sahel’s harsh climate. Beef is the most popular meat, but lamb meat is also often eaten there. One popular dish is saka-saka, a mix of spinach and cassava leaves.
- South Sudan is another country that borders Sudan. Cassava is the staple food, however the country eats its share of sorghum as well. Porridge is one of the most popular dishes in the country. Meat is much less commonly consumed in the South Sudan.
- Democratic Republic of Congo is a large tropical country in the middle of Africa. Cassava is the dominant staple food in the country. The most commonly eaten meat in Congo is fish, whereas pork and chicken are more popular in the Netherlands.
- Solomon Islands is a Melanesian archipelago located in the Pacific Ocean, so it is the only country outside of Africa on this list. Unlike in the Netherlands, sweet potatoes, yams, rice, taro, and coconuts are all common ingredients in the food there.
- Comoros is another archipelago on this list, but it is located in the Indian Ocean, close to the African mainland. The vast majority of its population is Muslim, so little pork is eaten in the country. Instead, coconuts, rice, and cassava are more commonly eaten there.
Netherlands’ Most Common Food Ingredients
Protein: Pork, Egg
Fruit: Apple, Banana
Vegetable: Lettuce, Onion
Starch: Wheat, Potato
Primarily based on 2020 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.