What’s Hagelslag and Why’s It So Popular in the Netherlands?

Netherlands desserts
Photo by Rebecca Campbell on Unsplash

It may look odd to see serious adults eating chocolate sprinkles on toast for lunch, but that’s nothing unusual in the Netherlands. In fact, there’s a whole new kind of sprinkles they use that have a higher cocoa content, which makes them better in quality and taste. These sprinkles, called hagelslag, are a common part of the Dutch culture.

We mentioned chocolate hagelslag, but they actually come in many more varieties. There are fruit-flavored ones and licorice seed-flavored ones. The typical way to serve them is on a twice-baked piece of round toast called beschuit with some butter, but they find their place everywhere.

Sometimes, special-edition varieties pop up around holidays, such as pastel hagelslag for Easter and orange hagelslag for King’s Day. Anise hagelslag is reserved for new baby visits, when the visitors coordinate its color with the gender of the baby.

If you have some hagelslag and you’re not sure how to store it, it’s best to keep it in a cool and dry place. Keep in mind that the chocolate will melt when left in the heat, so if your kitchen is too hot, store them in the fridge and enjoy whenever you feel like it.