The thing that shocks me most about Dutch people’s peculiar eating habits is Hagelslag. I giggled to myself when seeing a room of adult Dutch business men sipping their milk cartons, I was amazed at the pride Dutch people exhibited while sucking on drop, and I marveled at the nation’s copious dairy consumption — but hagelslag stopped me dead in my tracks: did I just see that correctly?!? Are grown-ups really eating chocolate sprinkles on their toast at lunch?!

hagelslagFor those of you who have yet to spend more that a few days in the lowlands, I will explain: hagelslag is Dutch people’s answer to sprinkles. But don’t be fooled — these are a different kind of sprinkle then you are used to. In North America sprinkles are primarily reserved for ice-cream and cakes and normally for the likes of children, but here in the Netherlands, it is apparently perfectly normal behaviour for an adult to merrily sprinkle some fruit or chocolate flavoured sprinkles on their bread at mealtime.

Now, hagelslag comes in many varieties; you can have chocolate hagelslag, fruit flavoured hagelslag or most perplexing of all – anise seed (licorice seed) hagelslag. The latter is reserved for celebrating the birth of a baby and is fondly referred to as Muisjes (yep, “mice”, don’t get it). Take a Dutch beschuit (a twice baked piece of round toast), slap on some butter and adorn with either pink (for a girl) or blue (for a boy) anise hagelslag and serve to guests visiting the new babe –an important, if not odd, Dutch birthing tradition. 

beschuit

My former Dutch boss once tried, mumbling and steeped in male-embarrassment, to explain how the tradition came about as anise seed can shrink a woman’s womb. I didn’t dare ask why feed it to the guests then… According to our good friend Mr. Wikipedia, “the anise in the muisjes is thought to be good for stimulating lactation and was purported to scare away evil spirits.” It’s good to hear the tradition is rooted in some sort of logic…and my boss was on the right “women stuff” track ;)

Stuff Dutch People Like FACT
Orange Muisjes were sold en-masse for one week in December 2003, to honour the birth of crown princess Amalia.

To put all this sprinkle-eating madness into perspective, I will share with you a little-known fact: Dutch people are said to consume over 14 million kilos of hagelslag each year. Yes — 14 million kilos — do you know what that means? That’s roughly the combined weight of 1,000 adult elephants! (Aren’t facts are always funner when measured by elephants??)

Personally, I can do without these colourful sprinkle-ly meals, but if these sugar-filled morning treats bring a smile to a Dutch person’s face, then I’m all for it. Heck, what else is going to make you smile on a rainy Dutch winter day?!

hagel_info

173 Responses

  1. Kristel Buijinck

    Being Dutch I grew up with the tradition of eating ‘beschuit met muisjes’ whenever a baby was born and never really thought about why there were called muisjes. But one day I had a better look at one of the individual muisjes and noticed the stem of the anise seed is sort of sticking out of the blue or pink coating, which makes it look like a muisje. Some searching on the internet confirmed this was indeed the reason for calling these sprinkles muisjes. In my family we also eat ‘beschuit met muisjes’ on Christmas day; I think it’s a lovely tradition, but haven’t met anyone else yet who does the same.

    Reply
    • Sabine

      Yes, my family does the same, because at christmas day we celebrate the birth of Jesus. :-)

      Reply
    • AgnesC

      We did the same on Christmas eve, during a mid night breakfast, celebrating the birth of a baby boy in Jerusalem a long long time ago !! :-)

      Reply
    • M

      We do the same! Blue ones cause Jesus was a boy hahah

      Reply
  2. Derek Sou

    My Oma used to bring me beschuit met muisjes in bed whenever I visited her. Fond memories.

    Croquettes and ricestaffel would be worth mentioning as well.

    Reply
    • Peter

      It’s rijsttafel. The word “staffel” may bring back memories of the German “Staffel” like in Sicherheits Staffel, meaning the SS, Hitler’s personal guard.

      Reply
  3. Susanne Brands

    This is what I miss most! But just so you know, we eat the ‘muisjes’ the entire year. And our sprinkels are real chocolat, my co-workers love it!

    Reply
  4. Helga

    Ik vind dit gedichtje altijd zo leuk, maar kan het jammer genoeg niet met mijn Engelse kinderen (die geen Nederlands spreken) delen:
    “Kleine muisjes hebben kleine wensjes, beschuit met gestampte mensjes!”

    Helga

    Reply
      • Luci

        Ook niet van gehoord. Leuk zeg.

    • Eric

      Helga, waarom worden jouw kinderen niet tweetalig opgevoed? What’s wrong with a bilingual education? It makes me sad to read that Dutch language is lost on Helga’s children!

      Reply
  5. svenvantveer

    Chocolate was considered the food of gods by the Incas and Maya’s, so what’s wrong with continuing that tradition?

    And don’t even start comparing Chockolade Hagelslag to “sprinkles” you use on icecream. They don’t even taste like chockolate.

    Reply
  6. Karen

    Growing up as a first generation American, I was forever teased about my “chocolate sandwiches” in grade school. It didn’t help I was a tad on the chunky side either. However, they were delicious on white bread! Also on toast, which made the Hagelslag all melty. Yummm!!!

    Reply
    • katie

      Thank-you!!! the sprinkles that go on icecream are nasty. no comparison!

      Reply
    • Erin

      I too am a first gen American and whenever my mom packs one in my lunch she’ll usually pack an extra so I can give some to those around who are like what… why are you eating a chocolate sandwich, i just simply hand them a piece and they understand.

      Reply
  7. Dutchly Living: Breakfast and “Brood” | Frankly Living

    […] We discovered at least one topping that is especially peculiar: sprinkles. The Dutch have these sprinkles, usually in “milk” or “bitter” chocolate, which are served on buttered bread. They look like American sprinkles but they taste like chocolate, unlike the American sprinkles which taste like wax and are mostly for color. At the grocery stores, we even saw sprinkles offered in additional flavors and colors clearly marketed in packaging for children (though I don’t see why adults wouldn’t like a little chocolate sprinkle on their toast). Click here for a better description and commentary of hagelslag. […]

    Reply
  8. shera

    As a expat living here – I wish we ate sprinkles on our toast/butter bread.

    So good!

    Reply
    • Bill

      What’s holding you back?
      I’m eating peanutbutter + sprinkles on my bread for some 45 years now and I still dig it.

      Reply
      • Kenny

        Peanut butter and Hagelslag
        Cheese and Jam
        Muisjes

        Still dig them all (:

  9. amerie

    omg since i moved to england i havent eaten hagelslag at all :( i remember the good old days were in the morning we ate em everyday they are delicious

    Reply
  10. Michele Geller

    I once caught my English mother pouring the dark chocolate hagelslag into her mouth straight from the box!! “Gotja!” I shouted, and they went all over the place! HAHA! Another thing I loved is the sugar cubes with anijs that you mix in warm milk…yummie on a cold winter’s night after iceskating on the canals!

    Reply
    • Irene

      I always got that from my mom on nights I couldn’t sleep. Now I do the same with my son, and he loves it!

      Reply
    • Anneke

      I do the same with hagelslag, oh hemel. Anijs is wonderful, especially in winter.

      Reply
  11. Marieke

    Hagelslag is something we always ask visitors from Holland to bring, as well as Calve Pindakaas. there is nothing like Calve.

    Reply
    • Rutger

      Calvé pindakaas with hagelslag… nothing (as in NOTHING!) beats that!

      Reply
      • Jan Mulder

        yes there is something: calvé pndakaas, aardbeienjam en hagelslag (peanutbutter, strawbeeryjam and Hagelslag)…

      • Frank N

        Pindakaas met stroop…Hmmm…heerlijk! (A peanutbutter and (dutch)syrup sandwich…Hmmm…Delicious!)

      • hugohoogendoorn@yahoo.com

        witbrood, boter en bebogeen, of kaas op roggebrood

    • Luci

      En rozenbottel jam! (Rosehip jam) Thank goodness for online shopping in between visits.

      Reply
  12. Sophia

    Hagelslag is awesome!! A slice of Dutch white bread with real Dutch butter and hagelslag, mmmmmmmm. I miss it dearly here in the US (as well as a lot of other Dutch stuff)

    Reply
    • Noorriejj

      I totally agree on that… A slice of DUTCH white bread! This has been my favourite for so long! When I moved to Sweden I brought a pack with me, unfortunately, without the Dutch white bread it is absolutely not the same…

      Reply
  13. Sophia

    Same here with American bread (and real butter). No comparison!

    Reply
  14. Thijs

    I hereby wish to declare the correct English translation for hagelslag:

    Hailbattle.

    (thanks to my gf for inventing the word ;-) )

    Reply
    • Tom

      To literal I think. Hagelslag actually means the sound of hail falling onto something (street, car caravan whatever) Also if your car gets dented from a hailstorm, those little dings are refered to by car mechanics and insurance companies alike as hagelslag.

      Come to think of it, when looking at a boterham met hagelslag it kinda sorta resembles a hailstorm ( well, if you’ve drank enough beer that is ).

      Also, I have fond memories of ‘rumballen’ which was a treat my mother used to buy every saturday. I don’t know what the filling of these chocolaty balls was exactly but they are all covered in hagelslag. ( http://www.smulweb.nl/recepten/864960/Rumballen ) and truly delicious.

      Overhere in spain we have a supermarket that specialises in typical dutch products. Venz hagelslag ( is there any other, I mean… really… ), De Ruyter muisjes, Calve Pindakaas etc. etc. so Im not missing out on anything. Anything but Hertog Jan beer that is!

      Reply
  15. reefer

    They are called muisjes because they look like mice droppings. tasty mice droppings..

    Reply
    • Poekie

      They are called muisjes because usually a little ‘tail’ of the aniseed sticks out, making the sprinkles look like abstract mice.

      Reply
      • Marieke

        Exactly! Because of the little tails!

    • Irentje

      That’s what we used to call them, or more specifically Muisjes poop?!?

      Reply
  16. Lessons from Spain « From the Sidelines

    […] to the point where they can thrive on nightly catnaps and 900 calories a day (mostly from bread and hagelslag), but their stamina and energy are stunning.  They brought enthusiasm and brio to everything they […]

    Reply
  17. lis

    when you are given beschuit met muisjes, just hold your breath as you take a bite (unless the beschuit is buttered – normally with cheap margarine – you will either suck the muisjes into your throat and choke or spray the muisjes all over everyone else)

    Reply
    • acolade

      Haha, try that with ‘gestampte muisjes’ (mashed mice?). It’s just mashed anice into powder form…

      Reply
  18. kuu

    i’m lucky a family owned store sells these.
    I wish i could get more places to sell them. perhaps make it trendy? but quality will fall down.

    Reply
  19. Inge Genee

    correction: muisjes do NOT fall in the hagelslag category.

    Reply
    • iemand

      wanted to say that, and there is in fact aniseflavored hagelslag, wich looks the same as the fruitflavored hageslag but white, and tasting like anise.

      Reply
  20. Barbara Backer-Gray

    And then there are gestampte muisjes. I’m Dutch (and now live in Texas) and when my American boyfriend (now my husband) first took a bite of an open-faced sandwich with gestampte muisjes, he almost choked. The powder is so light and we hadn’t warned him not to breathe in while holding the sandwich to his mouth…

    Reply
  21. Barbara Backer-Gray

    I also wanted to say that although I don’t eat hagelsag here in Texas, I still mention it on a regular basis, to explain how Hersheys isn’t chocolate. Because it tastes exactly the same as the cheaper version of hagelslag, which is called ‘chololade fantasie’, and can’t legally be called ‘chocolade’ in Holland. So I always go on to my children about that callingl Hersheys ‘chocolate’ should be a crime.

    Reply
    • Sophia de Ruiter

      Barbara, you are so right. Hershey’s tastes indeed like imitation chocolate, chocolade fantasie, and should not be called chocolade. I love your story about the ‘gestampte muisjes’, very recognizable (although I haven’t had gestampte muisjes for a long time). I had a good laugh about it!

      Reply
      • Miriam

        de ruiter chocoladevlokken!

  22. Danielle

    I am Dutch and live abroad since many years, your site is absolutely unique and hilarious! I really enjoy reading it and recommended it to all my friends!
    What about the expression “Going Dutch”? Some of the Dutchies don’t even like to go Dutch: which means paying 50/50, they only want to pay what they actually had and not a part of your Dry Martini, as they only had a Cassis, which is less expensive!!! Hilarious! Never ever seen anything like that here in Spain!
    And the “kofffietafel” after the funeral: everybody having a gezellige tijd after having burried their dear family member or friend whilst enjoying a broodje kaas and a kopje koffie!
    The Dutch also love to take their own food with them on a holiday, how else can they survive being away from home, without their hagelsag, frietsaus, Van Nelle koffie etc.
    By the way: who are you?

    Reply
    • iemand

      when I was in italy I sure as hell missed my dutch bread… brown bread btw, I don’t like white bread. don’t like the texture. in italy I only had the small breads wich were always burned on the bottom, and bread from the supermarket wich was even worse as dutch supermarketbread(as opposed to bread from a bakery), and had some weird flavoring added.
      very first thing I ate back in the netherlands was a slice of dutch brown bread, no idea what I put on it, probably anise-hagelslag or honey, or maybe caramel-syrup

      Reply
  23. Barbara Backer-Gray

    Ha, and when there’s a funeral here in America, I always find it strange that they don’t have refreshments. Because people come from far away and in Holland, when anyone comes from further away for anything, there are refreshments. And let’s face it, funerals can be great reunions and with refreshments people have the occasion to hang out and talk more about the deceased and say more meaningful things than just “condolences” while shuffling past the survivors.

    Reply
    • Luci

      Can’t say throughout America, in our area, many people host the family and close friends at home after a funeral not at the funeral parlor or church.

      Reply
    • ablabius

      The Dutch tradition of having cake or gevulde koeken at funerals stems from an early christian tradition of sin eating, in which specially prepared koeken were passed over the body/coffin and eaten by the mourners, in order to take the deceased`s sins upon themselves and to ensure an easy transition into the afterlife, which itself goes back to the pre-christian tradition of grave-meals: meals served on the freshly covered grave.
      Today these roots are mostly forgotten, but koffie met koek are still served as part of the funeral service, while sandwiches and soup, for relatives who come from afar, are served after the service – and usually not at the undertaker`s.

      Reply
  24. yume

    I believe the muisjes are called that because sometimes they have a little tail as a result of the way they are produced

    Reply
  25. thedicemaster

    you forgot about “vlokken”(flakes), my favourite.
    as the name suggests, they are flakes of chocolate.
    unfortunately i can’t eat them much because of allergies.

    Reply
  26. Matt Greenberg

    Americans find hagelslag very strange. “Chocolate on bread? Are you nuts?” If you have a sweet tooth, however, it’s easy to get used to, and to grow to like. Like stroopwafels, which many Americans love passionately after one one bite.

    On the other hand the Dutch find, for the most part, some very typical and popular American combinations absolutely revolting. Try suggesting a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to a Dutch person, and see what happens. The cries of protest come immediately.

    Reply
    • Luci

      Brought back a bag of Reeses Peanut Butter cups (originally milk chocolate around a peanut butter center). Some Dutch like it and some have a similar reaction to the suggestion of peanut butter and jelly eaten together.

      Reply
      • Mayka Hurkmans

        I’m dutch and had long a go try the comination.
        And fell in love with it.
        sometimes i exchange the jelly with banana slices.

    • chiara

      well regarding peanutbutter or pindakaas=peanutcheese as we call it… you can accually eat it with anything you like… chocolat (hagelslag), banana’s, apple’s, cuccumber, applesyrup, sambal… so why not jelly? i never tried it but you never know, if you say it is delicious it might be…

      Reply
  27. sarauckelman

    Take a look at the muisjes closely — there is often a little hair from the anise seed sticking out of the candy coating, looking like a tail, and hence the entire thing like a little mouse.

    I’m an American ex-pat who’s been in the Netherlands 6+ years now, and I still find the combination of beschuit-met-muisjes pretty gross (and got to have plenty of it two months ago when my daughter was born!).

    Reply
    • ablabius

      The Dutch can be mortally offended when you refuse the beschuit met muisjes. Refusing the treat is like an ill-wish on the new-born.

      Reply
    • Jo

      coming from a flemish dutch perspective i would say it’s an abbreviation of the full name “muizenstrontjes” (mouse droppings) as we flemish tend to call them. the original chocolate sprinkles do resemble mouse droppings dont they?

      Reply
  28. Lynn

    I have eaten hagelslag on white bread ever since was a kid, and still do. So it’s absolutely normal to me. But then why did I almost fall in shock when as a kid I read in a book about someone eating a Kwatta-reep on bread?
    LOL! :-D

    Reply
      • lydia de groot glennon

        ha ha, a cookie sandwich? yes!! mmmmm

      • lya

        Yes, witbrood with speculaas with lots of butter! Previous comments are right about hagelslag not being the same as sprinkles. Sprinkles have mainly sugar and very little chocolate where as hagelslag is mainly chocolate. As for people finding it strange to have hagelslag on bread, what about nutella?
        Hhhmm, might make a sammy with hagelslag……

  29. Reuben

    OH, they are so good! When our dutch relatives come over here, they always bring some…we put them on top of peanut butter. YUMYUM!!!!!!!

    Reply
  30. Great Success « Amsterdam 1 o'Fun

    […] already had a lot of it. Drove by a dyke, windmill and flat pastures. Had cheese sandwiches and hagelslag. It’s time for a nap before heading into Amsterdam to see Viktor and Rutger at the sold out […]

    Reply
  31. hennie

    Hagelslag en pindakaas :D Our Dutch guests always bring it….. Here in Danmark hagelslag is used on cakes. I had totally forgotten “muisjes”, but do remember them again, with the little hairy thing sticking out…, leuk!

    Reply
  32. Nori

    I remember some of my old Dutch co-workers who always enjoy their hagelslag on bread lunch so much that they never want to spoil any leftover hagelslag on their plates. Yep, you got me right, they would pick those tiny little sweet stuff one by one with their finger and put them on their tounge to eat it, til the very last piece. I find it very disturbing yet amusing. :)

    Reply
    • Lynn

      I DO THAT, TOO!
      ;-)
      BTW, when I need a boost from a lousy day, I make my triple-killer choc sandwich: butter 2 slices of bread, then spread chocolate spread thick on it (CHOCOLATE, not hazelnutspread!) and atop of that a generous helping of chocolate sprinkles. That is milkfat, cocoafat, sugar, more fat from cacao and still more much sugar. My dentist would kill me if she knew.

      Reply
    • Desirée

      No, not one by one! I just lick the whole plate for leftover hagelslag…

      Reply
      • Lynn

        So do I!
        (when no-one is looking, i.e.!)

    • iemand

      ofcourse, you’re not going to throw them away are you?
      if there’s a hole in my bread and syrup drips on my bread-plate(more board than plate), I lick that off too.

      Reply
  33. Jay

    After reading the article about milk, I saw the Hagelslag article. Before reading it, I went to the kitchen got myself ‘beschuit met boter en hageslag’, and a big glass of milk. I agree with you and I love it!

    Years ago I lived in California for a while and I felt like eating hagelslag. I went to the supermarket and picked up a small bottle with sprinkels and went home. Super exited to eat white bread with hagelslag. What a disapointment when it turned out te be a very bad quality of hagelslag.

    Reply
  34. Mayka Hurkmans

    Do you also know about the “VLOKKEN” made of chocolate.
    Its the rival of HAGELSLAG.
    I eat it every morging by breakfeats.
    Wakes me up.
    Seeing i dont like the taste of coffee.
    And making thee takes to long.

    Reply
  35. Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

    […] my grandparents is incredibly thrilling. I’ll meet many relatives, stock up on chocolate sprinkles (hagelslag), and take a quick detour to Belgium for chocolate, waffles, frites, and beer. I welcome any and all […]

    Reply
  36. Ra

    Hagelslag also applies in Indonesia, … we eat bread with these choco sprinkler on it, .. but we dont call it Hagelslag instead of meises…. derived from meisje word in Dutch, there’s a history of it when The Dutch were there in colonial era, … they drop this culture in Indonesia, … but we called it meises ,cuz dutch little girl loves this hagelslag

    Reply
    • Sofy

      I DO THAT, TOO! BTW, when I need a boost from a lousy day, I make my triple-killer choc sacnwidh: butter 2 slices of bread, then spread chocolate spread thick on it (CHOCOLATE, not hazelnutspread!) and atop of that a generous helping of chocolate sprinkles. That is milkfat, cocoafat, sugar, more fat from cacao and still more much sugar. My dentist would kill me if she knew.

      Reply
  37. Nicky

    Chocolate vlokken are my absolute favorite and make hagelslag lose the battle. Of course, just the dark chocolate variety. Can we buy that at all on the US East Coast? I wish we could!

    Reply
    • Victoria

      Ha, and when there’s a funeral here in America, I aalwys find it strange that they don’t have refreshments. Because people come from far away and in Holland, when anyone comes from further away for anything, there are refreshments. And let’s face it, funerals can be great reunions and with refreshments people have the occasion to hang out and talk more about the deceased and say more meaningful things than just condolences while shuffling past the survivors.

      Reply
      • Desirée

        I think in Holland we always have refreshments at funerals, even when no one is coming from further away. There’s always ‘koffie en broodjes’ (coffee and breadrolls), and you’re right, they are ‘great’ reunions. You meet up with family you might not have seen in years… Sad really that you need a funeral to meet up with family, but there you go.

      • Florence

        Just started reading this blog, so this reply is a little late. Nicky: I don’t know of any store on the East Coast (I live in PA, close to the MD border), but I get all my Dutch food and other stuff from http://www.Thedutchstore.com, located in Michigan. They have reasonable prices and fast service!

  38. Jim

    I am first generation Canadian and grew up eating hagelslag on toast for breakfast. We would sometimes Canadian-ize it by first spreading peanut butter on the toast and then cover with hagelslag …. mmmmm

    Reply
    • chiara

      we do that too in the Netherlands! But you have to try the real PEANUTbutter, wich actually tastes like peanuts. Not the buttery kind you get in america.

      Reply
  39. Arctic Dutchie

    For the times in-between-parcels-from-home, or they-sent-me-the-wrong-brand/item, you can order a lot of dutch stuff (foods especially) at http://www.heimweewinkel.nl – it seems they’ll take and send orders all over the world. Hagelslag, vlokken, Calve pindakaas…. you don’t have to live without……

    Reply
  40. sasha

    yes, we eat sprinkles on our bread, but we are far from the only country where this is done: how about the french and their lovely habit of slipping a few blocks of choloclate into a torn of piece of fresh baguette? or the belgians and their ‘pralinekes’ on a pistolet (roll?)

    and not to mention the, in my blunt dutch opinion really awful, breakfast habits of americans and their choclate-glazed donuts and chocolate covered cereal… and at least dutchies also eat cheese and meat and tomato on their excellent whole wheat bread and do not indulge in eating dessert for breakfast, like waffles, pancakes or muffins.

    Reply
    • Lynn

      Wait, what? Waffles, pancakes and muffins are dessert food?
      Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!
      And no, I’m not american but I evr since a kid I’ve been thinking that americans had the tastiest breakfast lore in those. Except that they were missing the hagelslag (which, btw, here in Dutch Caribbean we call muisjes, which helps confounds the native Dutch people and amuses them when they get the mix-up).
      I don’t recall, has anyone mentioned vruchtenhagel yet?
      And De Ruyters bosvruchtenhagel variation? Just when you thought things couldn’t get better (read: sweeter!)

      Reply
      • sasha

        every kind of sweet hail was mentioned already. ;)
        if you love sweet stuff, american breakfasts are wonderful. i prefer the french variety: a fresh croissant and a nice double espresso. unsweetened.

    • iemand

      I know pancakes as dinnerfood. and waffles, muffins and the like as cookie(for with the coffee)

      Reply
  41. Dutch Food, Part 1 « Kelly Goes Dutch

    […] Hagelslag. For a short informative and witty blog post about it written by another American, click here. The children eat it almost every day at least once and I have seen both of my host parents eat it […]

    Reply
  42. CC

    I do believe the normal English term for buttered-bread-with-sprinkles is “fairy bread” – it’s a pretty normal component of any children’s birthday party around these parts (Southern Ontario).

    Reply
  43. Manuela

    Hi there!
    Let me first tell that I found out about this page just today and I’ve been spending the entire night allready, reading about your vision on Dutch habbits! I love it! You’re doing a great job! I’m missing the famous ‘bitterballen’ (bitterballs) though, or maybe I haven’t found that blog yet ;-)
    Now, as for the Hagelslag. You are so right! I’m so used to eat Hagelslag on my toast and bread for as long as I can remember, LOL! And I still eat. And so does my mom :-P It is so common here. I never even thought about the fact that everything in these blogs are not so common in other countries. One story after another, I was like; huh? They don’t know that? They don’t do that? They don’t have that? LOL!
    I LÓVE HAGELSLAG!
    And I lóve your stories!!!
    xxx Manuela

    Reply
  44. Martine

    Even though I didn’t eat them as much when I still lived in the Netherlands, I somehow have a big desire for a slice of white bread with hagelslag on it after reading this.

    Reply
  45. knuffelrups339TP

    Hagelslag is great so don’t mess with hagelslag if you hate it. I put it on my bread all the time.

    Reply
  46. Jerzy

    What about the ‘Vlokken’ (Flakes) then? Sprinkles come in quite some varieties around the world, but I don’t seem to remember any other country where they have something similar to Vlokken…

    Reply
  47. Gerrit

    I have been living in Australia for over 30 years now but one Dutch tradition I still follow is hagelslag op brood with lashings of butter underneath, yum. I also love sprinkling it on top of pindakaas (peanut butter). And I still occasionally have the chocolade vlokken as well.
    One thing which is also very nice and has nothing to do with hagelslag but I’ll mention it anyway, is a slice of bread, spread with copious amounts of appelstroop topped with cheese, heaven.

    Reply
  48. The Not-So Soccer Expert | Red Tulips

    […] make kroketten and bitterballen, how to get used to Dutch “directness,” how to make a sprinkles sandwich, and how to accept the color orange when you previously thought it was such an awful color that […]

    Reply
  49. ameijerink

    Hi! I found your blog when I Googled “Hagelslag.” Your thoughts on the subject are so true, and I have to admit hagelslag was total culture shock the first time my Dutch husband made it for me. However, I must admit I have come to love it! I referenced your post about hagelslag on my blog: http://redtulips.wordpress.com

    I will keep reading, your blog is fantastic!

    Reply
  50. joke vrolijk

    Germans have their own version: super thin chocolate bars or slices that are as big as half a slice of bread, you take two for a slice or one on a folded slice. Is great, more chocolate and less spilling over.

    Reply
  51. Esther

    I have never heard anyone here in Holland calling muisjes or vruchtenhagel ‘hagelslag’. That word is always referring to the chocolate sprinkles…
    And I found out a while ago why we have the tradition of eating ‘muisjes’ (sugar covered anise seeds) when a child is born: the anise stimulates the milkglands in a woman’s body, so she gives more milk to her baby! Which was the reason why my American friends refused to eat it, hahaha!!!

    Reply
  52. lotte

    I am pretty sure “muisjes” are the food of choice to celebrate births because they symbolize fertility.

    Reply
  53. Freek

    I mis my ‘hagelslag’ here in Houston. Anyone has a tip where I can get a bulk size box of chocolate sprinkles. I’ve checked in every grocery store and supermarket here. The only thing they sell here is a petit little mini jar, that’s barely enough for one sandwich.

    Reply
  54. harmamae

    Did you mention the bread itself yet? Not just the hagelslag, but bread (and lots of it) comes out at almost every meal… Three weeks visiting different sets of relatives around the Netherlands, and I was almost done with bread by the end.

    Reply
  55. crystalclog

    I have a tip for everyone going to the Netherlands: get some brown, wholewheat bread, smear a freaking thick layer of butter on it, preferably cold, and apply the darkest, most cacao-laden sprinkles on it, but not too much in proportion to the bread and butter (the 70%, smaller variety of De Ruijter is heavy stuff). THAT’S how you do chocolate sprinkles.

    Reply
  56. Jaap

    “Muisjes” are called so because the anise-seeds have little stems (tails) that protrude from the sugar coated part, forming the tail. The sugar coated seed itself is also oblong, making up the body part of the muisje.

    Reply
  57. 6 Things I Wonder About Food « Table Scraps

    […] your well-balanced meal that begins your day! I’ve always grown up with the assumption that chocolate spread between bread is called cake, and cake is never an acceptable part of a complete breakfast. Unless it’s […]

    Reply
  58. Amanda

    My family used to have Hagelslag on a piece of toast every morning for breakfast when i was growing up. I live in Colorado now and it’s difficult to find any stores that carry any Dutch sprinkles, but i found a really cool website that has all kinds of flavors. Here’s a link: http://www.indofoodstore.com/De-Ruijter.aspx

    Reply
  59. Roel

    Whats better than a dry piece of round toast with butter, sugar and anice to celebrate a birth? Just about anything. The muisjes are probably a matter of taste, but, honestly, I can’t fathom why people keep buying beschuit when there is so much better dry bread related stuff available. Beschuit is actually used by people to do contests of who can whistle first after eating one, because the human saliva production is utterly inadaquate to cope with this slice of desert. I this some ploy concucted by new moms to have others share in their recently endured agony? What about we celebrate with a beer or wine from now on?

    Reply
  60. brett79

    I grew up in Florida with a Dutch babysitter and whenever they would get care packages from home, a couple of boxes of De Ruijter would be included. It was usually an afternoon snack for us. After a day of swimming it was a nice treat that would coax us away from the pool.

    Reply
  61. Birthday! | To Stand Alone

    […] to the mailbox, and found a package from my parents! Inside I found all my favorite Dutch foods: hagelslag and rusk, Wilhelmina peppermints, speculaas cookies, pannenkoken mix, and – of course […]

    Reply
  62. cloggy

    HAGELSLAG !! I love it always have at least 2 cartons of it in the kitchen. Way better than HARING?? Yes it is raw !

    Reply
  63. Cat

    In Twente (the east of the Netherlands) there is another tradition for newborn babies. When visitors come to see the baby (they call it ‘kraamschudden’ (literary: maternity shaking – don’t ask me why, but it sounds nice) the parents get a ‘krentenwegge’ (currants bread) of one meter length (yes, really!).

    Reply
  64. Supermarket Souvenirs – The Netherlands | Thrifty Travel Mama

    […] You might think black licorice is weird, but that’s just because you haven’t heard of Hagelslag yet!  Basically, it’s chocolate sprinkles that Dutch people sprinkle on their toast.  And by Dutch people I mean adults.  And by toast I mean a sandwich at lunch time.  Don’t believe me?  Read more here. […]

    Reply
  65. Pauline

    Hagelslag isn’t weird, it’s just choclate spread, but hard :-) And the “little mice” (muisjes) are called that because if you look very closely the little sugar-coated seeds will have a tiny “tail” sticking out. Btw, try strawberries on “beschuit”, it’s delicious!

    Reply
    • gothic gourd girl

      I wish I would have seen this comment earlier, because I just posted the same thing (In Belgium we called them and mouse droppings). I am glad I am not the only one who knows them by this name, nor the only Flemish person who has posted here. :)

      Reply
  66. | Tongfamily WebsiteTongfamily Website

    […] Here in the Netherlands, it is apparently perfectly normal behaviour for an adult to merrily sprinkle some fruit or chocolate flavoured sprinkles on their bread at mealtime. from No. 3: Hagelslag | Stuff Dutch People Like […]

    Reply
  67. josinjapan

    in flanders they are often referred to as muizenstrontjes, “little mouse droppings”. could that be the origin of the word muisjes? the chocolate version tends to look like mouse droppings right?

    Reply
  68. Anneliese

    I LOVE chocolate hail. That’s what we call it in my household (my dad is dutch) I could eat it by the box full. No toast necessary. And the pink yellow and orange sprinkes are bomb on toast!

    Reply
  69. Touring the North (day 3) | Katventures

    […] breakfast I’ve eaten in Europe. We were the only two guests, but the hostess laid out jam, hagelslag, fresh tomatoes, fried eggs, juice, tea, coffee, and a basket each of different types of cheeses […]

    Reply
  70. Mirjam

    I am a true dutch girl and I think hagelslag is disgusting. I really dont like the taste of chocolate on bread/toast. So not all dutchies eat hagelslag ;-)

    Reply
    • Eric

      Mirjam is not the only one who never eats hagelslag. I gave up on hagelslag, because I am so clumsy, that most of the hagelsag will end up on my plate. Using chocolate/hazelnut-spreads instead has proved to be a far more effective to get about the same taste, but without making a mess of my breakfast table.

      Reply
  71. jeanine

    and of course the beschuit in tea. Just let a cup of tea over your bischuit and it will taste delicious. Or an piece of bread with peanut butter with chocolate hagelslag.
    Definitely we, Dutch people, have the best food and food combinations of the world :D

    Reply
  72. iris meijer

    every country is different. i love hagelslag, but i really don’t understand peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Why combine nuts and fruits?

    Reply
  73. Me Munroe & the Book

    […] the four inches between the boys was the spot for her. That is until the dog’s preference for hagelslag yanked the old dear clear off her feet. Slight thing, in her dotage, with sparse wire-wool […]

    Reply
  74. L

    Pink muisjes for a girl, blue for a boy, orange for a royal baby, and squashed(?), for every other day of the year!

    Reply
  75. gothic gourd girl

    I hope you mention this treat’s nickname. At least in Belgium we call them ‘mouse droppings’. Teehee.

    Reply
  76. gothic gourd girl

    Is it okay that I love this website? Yes, I am Flemish, living in Canada, but the Flemish and the Dutch are quite similar in many things, so it does make me feel like I am closer to home. Let’s leave the Belgian versus Dutch teasing in the past, though, not that I believe that most educated modern younger people think like this anymore, nor do I assume there will be any of that here, either. I just hate it!

    Reply
  77. Paul Hoogeveen

    “Muisjes (yep, “mice”, don’t get it” — As my mother explained it, this refers to the resemblance anise seeds bear to mouse droppings.

    Reply
  78. No. 21: Herring

    […] slippery, smelly, raw fish is not your cup of tea, I’d suggest you perhaps avoid this very Dutch treat. For those of you who are brave enough to give it a try, it’s important to know that the very act […]

    Reply
  79. de Leeuw Crêpes « Our Recipes

    […] a lemon and sugar guy. Jess and Rachel varied… sometimes adding Nutella, sometimes Hageslag, sometimes BOTH! Nutella and Hageslag were things I fought for a few years as being too unhealthy […]

    Reply
  80. Peter

    Two slices of white bread with real butter and hagelslag (always the Venz brand) and two cups of tea every morning got your day going back in the 60s. After breakfast, however, no hagelslag whatsoever.
    Nowadays, living in Mexico, They sometimes offer chocolate sprinkles at Costco or Sam’s Club, but they always turn out to be some kind of cereal grains covered with chocolate, so I don’t even buy them here, but get them in The Netherlands.

    Reply
  81. Vera

    Being Dutch I love hagelslag off course. I live in Ireland and they always make fun me when I bring back loads of hagelslag . My kids love it. Irish attitude: who puts chocolate on bread. uhh hello what about Nutella which you can buy in every supermarket in Ireland? What do they put on bread in Ireland? French fries and more often potato chips. Who are the funny ones now?

    Reply
  82. Michelle

    They are called Muisjes “mice” because the chocolate version look like mouse droppings. I am dutch and I assure you this is the real reason, you’d have to be truly dutch to get it!

    Reply

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