Dutch Delight: Vruchtenhagel

EM periodically tests typical Dutch foods with help of international students under the name of ‘Dutch Delight’. This edition, Shafayet Choudhury (25), British Master student International Relations and Global History, tries vruchtenhagel.

The product

As the Dutch consume a lot of sandwiches, or as they call it, boterhammen, they have a wide variety of festive toppings to put on them. Especially during breakfast, sugary or chocolate sprinkles of many different kinds are eaten on bread, with or without a layer of butter in between. Vruchtenhagel are little sprinkles made of sugar, ‘fruit juice’ (the backside of the package clarifies that this means one percent apple juice) and some artificial flavour and colour. You can find them in the breakfast section of any Dutch supermarket.

The review

Shafayet observes the colourful meal he is about to have, and says he has never seen sprinkles like these before: “It looks like something that six-year-old me would have loved to eat. I grew up on Kellogg’s and Cocopops, and this is just as sugary.” He clearly struggles to eat his sandwich with vruchtenhagel, as a portion of the sprinkles land on the plate and the table: “It’s impossible to eat this. Did you put butter on it? Yes? Well, it probably needs a lot more butter.” Still he finishes his sandwich, pauses and pensively observes the remaining sprinkles on the plate.

After having his first vruchtenhagel sandwich, Shafayet does not consider buying it himself due to health reasons: “I’ve not been eating very well since the beginning of this Master, because I’ve been quite busy. But I’m trying to cut down on sugar.” All in all, Shafayet is mildly positive towards these sugary sprinkles, but notes it’s mostly suitable for a children’s breakfast. In general, Dutch breakfast fails to impress him: “I’m sorry, but it’s quite underwhelming in my opinion. Coming from the UK, one slice of bread with a slice of cheese doesn’t really do it for me.”

Score: 2,5 out of 5

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