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Happily Dutch

If you’ve ever tried it, you will know that it is good. I mean, what’s not to love? It comes in many varieties, is multipurpose, and brings out the inner child in us all.

I’m referring to sprinkles, of course. Not American sprinkles as we know them, but Dutch hagelslag.

Did you know that in one year, the Dutch eat 19 million kilos of hagelslag?!

It’s not just the kids that are eating them, either. Dutch sprinkles are enjoyed by children and adults alike. Toast with chocolate sprinkles is a well rounded breakfast, or try a slice of bread with lots of butter and chocolate sprinkles for lunch. (Didn’t I just read a study somewhere that discovered that the Dutch were happier than most other nationalities?) There you have it…

You are not restricted to only chocolate, however. After the selection of pure, milk, white, and flaked chocolate, there are at least half a dozen other varieties. Fruit sprinkles which are orange and yellow or purple and pink, anise sprinkles which are white, crushed anise which makes it a powder, and the all time favourite baby welcoming treat: the ‘muisje’. These are little balls made with anise and the outside is coloured to match baby’s gender. So blue and white muisjes for a boy and pink and white for a girl. These are traditionally to be eaten on a rusk.

Besides being enjoyed on toast(mmmm…melted chocolate) bread, pancakes, and rusks, hagelslag can also be used to decorate baking. Think black forest cake with chocolate sprinkles wrapped all around. Or how about in cookies? Or on cookies? Sprinkled over ice cream? Get creative.

As I sat here writing this post, I got the box of ‘vlokfeest hagelslag’ (which is milk and white chocolate flakes) from my cupboard to look up the different varieties. Each box has a handy photo display of the different kinds. As I typed, I couldn’t resist eating a handful straight out of the box…