HIT #6: Top 3 must-try Dutch sweet treats
‘Hang In There’ is a weekly series hosted by our Marketing & Communication intern: Hang Vu. After 2 years of studying in the Netherlands, Hang wants to share her most honest experiences with other internationals who are also living in the Netherlands generally and in Eindhoven specifically.
In HIT #5, I have already shown you the top 3 Dutch savory specialties that stole my heart from the first bite. And now, it’s time for sweet-tooth people! It is not so healthy to rely on a sugar rush, but you have to try these sweet bites at least one time, especially during winter.
The very first Dutch specialty that I tried in the Netherlands. ‘Stroopwafels’ means syrup waffles, and it is made by adding a caramel filling between two thin, baked waffles. Founded in Gouda in the late 18th century or the early 19th century, this dish has soon become widespread and popular as a signature Dutch tea dessert or snack.
Like a ‘Dutchie’, you should put your stroopwafel on top of your cup of tea before eating it. At first, you might find stroopwafel way too sweet and sticky. But believe me, this gooey texture goes really well with hot tea/coffee. The balance between sweetness and bitterness is irresistible!
Eating stroopwafel like a Dutchie.
Where to try: stroopwafel is quite easy to find since it is sold in supermarkets and souvenir stores. However, I highly recommend you try the warm stroopwafels on the street market. Nothing could beat the freshly baked, right?
A sweet treat for the traditional Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays in the Netherlands! You can make a good guess about this pastry by reading its name. An oliebol or ‘oily ball’ is made with flour, eggs, yeast, milk, a pinch of salt, and baking powder. The kneaded dough will be divided into small, round-shaped balls (which makes it different from donuts) before being deep-fried in hot oil.
A warm oliebol is often served by adding powdered sugar on top. Crunchy and sweet on the outside, chewy and soft on the inside, this greasy, oily ‘fritter’ could warm up your body on a cold (and typical Dutch windy) day. This type of ‘donut’ is so familiar to the Dutch during the Christmas and New Year period, and it even makes me call it the ‘Oliebollen season’.
This high stack of oliebollen could make my mouth water just by looking at it.
There are many variations of oliebollen, but my favorite is the classic one filled with raisins in the dough. A little bit of currant scent, a little bit of powdered sugar, and a whole lot of satisfaction!
Where to try: You can easily spot many oliebollen trucks on winter fairs or weekend street markets. Numerous fillings are waiting for you to try! In some cities during holidays, oliebollen stands are set up in the Christmas markets or even in the middle of the city center to seduce those who are looking for a winter warmer to fulfill their empty stomach.
And for the top 1, it doesn’t take me too much time to come up with this name because my heart always belongs to the one and only...
I was super impressed by the shape of kruidnoten because they look like cute…burger buns! More than its look and flavor, what makes kruidnoten special to me is the association with Sinterklaas, or St Nicholas’ Day, on 5 December. Since it is only available 1-2 months before this holiday, you’d better enjoy it while it lasts.
Taste like crunchy cookies, smell like gingerbread but have the small size like candies, stop grabbing a piece or two of kruidnoten is basically impossible for me. That is also one of the reasons why I gained 4 kilograms in 2 months after moving to the Netherlands (thanks a lot, kruidnoten!).
Look at these cute kruidnoten! How could you say ‘no’ to them?
Although its crunchiness and the sweet-scented smell of cinnamon of classic kruidnoten already caught me right in the first trial, I found out that there are tons of kruidnoten flavors, from chocolate to cappuccino coating. So, more reasons to fall deeply in love with this delicacy and try as much as possible!
In the cold breeze of winter, having a cup of hot chocolate with kruidnoten, speculaas cookies, or even strooigoed – a mix of typical Sinterklaas sweets, is the perfect combo for a sugar craving day.
Where to try: Peppernuts Holland. Check out the website to see if their (pop-up) stores are available in your city center. They are only open from October to 5 December. Besides Peppernuts Holland, you should also visit Van Delft Chocolates & Bakery. They have a lot of brand stores in several big cities, and in Eindhoven, their store is located inside Heuvel Gallerie. And of course, the final option is you can buy kruidnoten in the supermarkets, but with fewer flavors.