Get to know the Dutch foods associated with Holland’s Sinterklaas holiday season, from banketstaaf and borstplaat to chocolate mice, frogs, letters and money.
SPECULAAS: Variations exist ranging from flat gingerbread-type cookies to a spiced loaf (along the lines of a brownie) with almond paste filling (shown above).
KRUIDNOTEN: Spiced mini-cookies highlighted by ginger and cinnamon flavour. Popular variations include chocolate-covered.
PEPERNOTEN: A specific type of Kruidnoten which are usually irregular in shape, resembling nuggets rather than perfectly round drops. In addition to shape, this variation is highlighted by its hint of licorice flavor which comes from the spice aniseed.
CHOCOLATE LETTERS: These come in a myriad of variations including milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, hazelnut, plain or with nuts.
CHOCOLATE MUNTEN: Gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins and Euro bills. Stories say Sint Nikolaas saved 3 young sisters from being forced into prostitution by tossing a bag of coins through their window.
CHOCOLATE KIKKERS & MUIZEN: Chocolates shaped like frogs (“kikkers”) and mice (“muizen”), often filled with fondant and wrapped in colourful foil.
BORSTPLAAT: Similar to fudge, but flatter and more brittle in consistency. Popular shapes include discs and hearts.
MARZIPAN: More than any of the others, marzipan is offered in far more variations during Sinterklaas season than any of the other Sint-related Dutch foods. It can be found in both 2D and 3D interpretations of fruits (such as bananas and pears), vegetables (such as peppers and carrots) and animals (such as pigs).
BANKETSTAAF: Flaky tube-shaped pastry roll with almond filling. Shown above is the similar Amandelstaaf.