Dutch cuisine tends toward the light and wholesome side. Breakfast and lunch tends to consist of bread with a wide variety of cold cuts, cheeses and sweet toppings, such as hagelslag (chocolate spread), vlokken (black treacle or stroop) and muisjes (peanut butter)
A Frisian version of white bread (suikerbrood) is a soft white bread with large lumps of sugar added to the dough
The Dutch are also renowned for their cheeses and dairy products. The majority of Dutch cheese is hard or semi-hard and the Dutch will blend in herbs or spices during the first stages of the production process.
Famous examples of this are cheeses with cloves (usually the Frisian nagelkaas), cumin (most famously Leyden cheese), or nettles. Famous Dutch cheeses include Gouda, Edam and Leyden
During 18th century the potato gained popularity and had become, by 1800, the staple food. But while the rich could eat what they wished the majority of the population ate bread, potatoes, pancakes, occasionally fish (herring) and other seafood, fruit and vegetables, but seldom meat. This austere diet continued into the 19th century.
The poor drank little else but water (often of poor quality), sometimes watery coffee (or chicory) or tea. In some areas hot chocolate was consumed, and is still popular today, but the most popular drinks besides water were beer and
The Dutch cuisine of the present day still tends toward the modest and plain (old habits die hard) but recent developments in food and eating have begun to recommend a move toward a lighter, healthier diet.