【Global People of Yanmar: The Netherlands Series, Volume 3】
The food culture of the Netherlands is not as different from Japanese food culture as you might think!


Reading Time : 4mins

“Global People of Yanmar: The Netherlands Series, Volume 3” covers the life of a Yanmar employee assigned to a post abroad. This time, we will take a look at the food culture in the Netherlands. Many people struggle with eating habits abroad, so what about Mr. Hironaka? Among the many soul foods introduced are a number of items which the Japanese are very well acquainted with.

KentaroKentaro Hironaka
Affiliated to Yanmar Europe B.V. (Yanmar Europe) and Yanmar Marine International. B.V. (Yanmar Marine International)

Appointed as of May 2017. At Yanmar Europe, he is in charge of supplying service parts for all products handled by Yanmar and at Yanmar Marine International, he is engaged in marketing activities related to components of ship engines.

In the Netherlands with its thriving fishing industry, even lunch is eaten at the fish store.

Mr. Smitz (*) is one of Mr. Hironaka’s colleagues and has worked around the world. He relishes his fish lunch by eating the herring covered with onion garnish in the typical Dutch style by grabbing the fish by its tail.
(*) Edo Smitz Affiliated to Yanmar Europe B.V. (Yanmar Europe)

The Netherlands faces the sea and is a country with a thriving fishing industry. Fresh seafood is not only caught in the North Sea, but also the IJsselmeer and the markets are overflow with a wide variety of fish.

<Trivia about Dutch food culture>

The famous “haring”, herring pickled in salt, is especially popular in the Netherlands. Even though it can be eaten all year long, it is said that people are more passionate about the start of the herring hunting season than about the Beaujolais Nouveau. The method of pickling the herring is said to date back to the Netherlands of the middle ages. Since it feels like eating sashimi, it bears some resemblance to Japanese food culture.

The traditional way to eat haring!

Haring, the famous specialty of the Netherlands (herring pickled in salt) Kibbeling (fried white cod)

The Netherlands is a country of cat lovers there might be many cats because of its fishing industry. It would be interesting to know whether fish are a feast for cats, too.

The Cat Cabinet in the center of Amsterdam not only houses drawings and figurines of cats, but also several resident cats which move around freely.

At this fish store, frequented by Yanmar employees, you can also enjoy lunch.

Volendammer Vishandel Kroon

Mon – Fri: 8:30 am – 7 pm
Sat: 8:30 am – 6 pm
Sun: Noon – 5 pm

Address: Gelderlandplein 36, 1082 LB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
TEL: +31-20-642-7651

The Cat Cabinet, a must for cat lovers.


Mon – Fri: 10 am – 5 pm
Weekends: Noon – 5 pm

Address: Herengracht 497, 1017 BT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
TEL: +31-20-6626-9040

The country with the tallest average height in the world thanks to herring and cheese?

The town boasts many fast food-like haring stalls and cheese shops, typical of a major dairy country like the Netherlands.

<Trivia about Dutch food culture>

The haring is such a famous specialty of the Netherlands that according to a saying, “Amsterdam was built on herring bones”. However, another food item is consumed in about the same large amounts: Dutch cheese. The yearly consumption is said to amount to 15 kg per person. This might be the reason why the Dutch are so tall.

Krokets, Dutch-style croquettes, can even be bought from vending machines!

These kroket vending machines should not be missed when in Amsterdam! They are just like the “Korokke” we know in Japan. FEBO is a famous fast food chain in the Netherlands and even though there are real counters in the back of the store, you end up buying all kinds of things from the vending machines located around the entrance. Apart from different kinds of krokets, even hamburgers can be bought here. This might be another aspect of the principle of rationalization seen in the Netherlands.

You can easily drop by and buy some krokets inside Amsterdam Central Station, Schiphol Airport or main spots in the city center. It is a typical food of the Netherlands, where potatoes are a staple but it can also be enjoyed by Japanese. Krokets are popular in Japan, and actually, Japanese expatriates all call them “Korokke”. The taste of the Dutch krokets feels more accented than that of the Japanese korokke. I recommend them every time I have clients from Japan come to visit.

I bought krokets from the vending machine!

In the Netherlands, buying krokets from vending machine is just part of everyday life and all Hollanders from young to old are familiar with the experience of buying them from a vending machine.

Pancakes are what comes to mind when thinking about famous sweets in the Netherlands. Commonly known as “Pannekoeken”, their texture resembles crepes and they are not as thick and fluffy as Japanese pancakes.
Warming yourself up with mulled wine, which is indispensable during the cold European winters, is also recommended.

Food plays a central role in leading a fulfilling life abroad,

Featuring salt-pickled herring which feels a bit like eating sashimi or croquettes like the Japanese “Korokke”, Dutch food culture is easy for Japanese people to become accustomed to. Food plays a central role in leading a fulfilling life abroad, which is why it seems that in the Netherlands, it is easy to cultivate communication through delicious food.

【Global People of Yanmar: The Netherlands Series, Volume 4】 will be “In the Netherlands, Yanmar is famous for 〇〇〇!”

Various products used on the land, at sea and in the city will make their appearance! Dank je wel! Doei!