Dutch Delights: Haagsche Hopjes

EM periodically tests typical Dutch foods with help of international students under the name of ‘Dutch Delights’. This week, second year IBCoM student Federica Romaniello from Italy has tasted Haagsche Hopjes.

What is it?

Haagsche Hopjes are named after 18th century Dutch baron Hendrik Hop, a known coffee addict. The tale goes that on a cold winter night, the baron left his coffee with lots of sugar and cream on the stove. The next morning the coffee had transformed into coffee caramel. He immediately fell in love with his accidentally discovered new candy. When he wasn’t allowed to drink coffee anymore by his doctor – due to his weakened physical condition – he asked his neighbour to prepare Hopjes for him. These became known as Haagsche Hopjes.

As Federica had the ‘honor’ to be the first tester of the new EM item Dutch Delights, I left the choice of delight going to be tested a bit to her. Of course I am curious about why her choice were Haagsche Hopjes.Federica with a box of Haagsche Hopjes

‘Since I lived here for a year, I have tasted some typical Dutch Foods such as Stroopwafels already. Haagsche hopjes appeared to be a pretty safe choice, it’s a candy I think. I heard they were made with coffee, so I expect something caramel like. Like a classical toffee. Maybe they are soft?’

Federica unwraps a candy and tastes it

‘They are not soft.’ [laughs]. ‘It does taste a bit like toffee. I can taste the coffee as well. Maybe they’re a bit too sweet. It’s not bad actually.’

However, the candies turn out to have a bit of a hard shell. ‘I don’t want to bite it’ [laughs.] ‘I think they are a bit too hard, it might take a while to go down.’

Would you recommend Haagsche Hopjes to other students? ‘Yeah, why not? It’s a candy. It’s really good to have in winter perhaps, if you like coffee. Maybe it’s nice to eat them at the end of a meal or something.’

Federica’s score: 3

1= I flushed it down the toilet)

2= If you bought it anyway, eat it, why not?)

3=Quite nice actually)

4=Really good food)

5=Best food I’ve ever tasted)

You would like to participate in a future edition of Dutch Delights too? Taste a bit of Dutch culture, and mail to [email protected]. LJa