It’s Saturday and time for something sweet and there is no better way than to get right back into my sorely neglected “Around the World in 26 Breakfasts” series; today with the sweetest breakfast you ever did taste – “Zoet Beleg” (or sweet topping) from the Netherlands.
Now, I have three fabulous Dutch colleagues who, when asked about breakfast in the Netherlands, unanimously cried: HAGEL SLAG! *insert my raised eyebrow of confusion here*
They went on to explain to me that the best Dutch breakfast is bread with a sweet topping “zoet beleg” and that the best topping is “hagel slag” which translates to hail fall (or more literally hail hitting [your bread]). 😀
In case you’re still confused – it’s chocolate sprinkles. That’s right: sugary chocolatey goodness quite literally sprinkled onto bread. Where was this when I was growing up?
Now, one of these lovely colleagues brought me back my very own authentic boxes of “zoet beleg” and “hagel slag” when she recently went home for a visit, so that I could show them off here. It turns out that there are several different flavours, so let’s get right tucked in! 🙂
Zoet Beleg – sweet topping (usually the spread)
There are four flavours in the box; each with varying degrees of interesting names (from left to right on the box print):
1) Appel stroop – Apple Syrup (what??)
2) Honig – Honey (oh, okay)
3) Chocoldepasta – Chocolate paste (is it like Nutella??)
4) Pinda kaas – Peanut cheese (which I am assured is peanut butter, they just call it cheese…?)
Then there are “hagel slag” (the hail sprinkles) and “vlokken” which are bigger, chunkier flakes! Yum!
Upon closer inspection there are actually 5 varieties hidden in this gem of a box, so I shall break them down here:
1) Chocoladehagel Puur – Pure Chocolate Hail (dark chocolate)
2) Chocoladehagel Melk – Milk Chocolate Hail
3) Vruchtenhagel – Fruit Hail (I’m just rolling with it at this point.)
4) Chocoladevlokken Puur – Pure Chocolate Flakes
5) Chocoladevlokken Melk – Milk Chocolate Flakes
So yeah – delicious!
As far as recipes go, this is pretty simple.. If you can’t get your hands on real Dutch “De Ruijter” zoet beleg, you can always substitute the honey, peanut butter and chocolate spread with the generic kind you have at home and raid your baking cupboard for chocolate (or fruity) sprinkles and/or flakes. You then get your favourite bread (it doesn’t matter what kind) and some butter and get going.
You can obviously use the spreads without butter, but common sense (and the authority of my Dutch friends) dictates, that butter is required for the sprinkle variety, otherwise they will just roll off your bread.
Spreading sprinkley Saturday sweetness!! I love it! 😀
There will be no kid friendly version needed here, since this about as child friendly as it gets… haha but we could make an adult version where we use fancier bread and maybe enrich the butter by whipping it with some booze … a cream liquor perhaps? 😉 Or Oranjebitter (an orange-flavored brandy, which is traditionally served on festivities surrounding the Dutch royal family.)
No matter which way you try it, it’s the most perfect way to regress to a childlike state… I actually think I am going to take mine and curl up with some cartoons. Sailor Moon anyone?
BONUS: I have always been dreadfully confused about the difference between “The Netherlands” and “Holland” and a fantastic YouTuber named C.G.P. Grey has made an excellent video that finally clears it up for us all. I figured you all might enjoy it too! https://youtu.be/eE_IUPInEuc
As always thanks for reading, take care and enjoy your Saturday Morning treat! 🙂 xoxoxo