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What Is Dutch Hagelslag?

The Dutch Hagelslag

In the Netherlands, hagelslag denotes small smithereens of sweets, like sprinkles, that are used as a coating for buttered bread. This excellent Dutch food is served at meals or as a snack and is prevalent with both children and adults. Hagelslag is presented in a variety of flavors and colors, with chocolate being the most shared. It is common in the Netherlands, Belgium, and the previous Dutch settlements of Suriname, the Dutch Antilles, and Indonesia. The chocolate assortment is also called chocoladehagelslag,  muisjes or muizenstrontjes.

Do Hagelslag originates from Amsterdam?

Some say that hagelslag was an Amsterdam oriented dish and was likely twisted by candymaker B.E. Dieperink, who was manager of the company which is now known as Venz. The story is, one day in 1919 when it was hailing, Dieperink came up with the first variation of hagelslag; crispy, anise-flavored grains and called them “hagelslag,” which means “hailstorm” in Dutch. They were highly profitable. ​

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By 1928, a competitor candy company called De Ruijter had created its own type of hagelslag. In addition to anise-flavored scatters, the company served lemon, raspberry and orange. Eight years later, Venz started mass-producing chocolate hagelslag, at that time it was the only company that could use the term hagelslag; that’s why only “Hagel” is seen on the wrapping of other chocolate sprinkle brands. De Ruijter began to make the chocolate type in 1957.

Hagelslag or Sprinkles

Hagelslag is identical to sprinkles in appearance, but that’s the only similarity. In order for chocolate hagelslag to be declared chocoladehagelslag, it must contain at least 32 percent cocoa. While, the American chocolate sprinkles are made of very little cocoa and are mostly sugar, corn syrup, lecithin with carnauba wax. ChocoladeHagelslag comes in variety of subdivision including milk, dark chocolate, even darker chocolate and a mix of dark and white chocolate. For sure, the primary variances are how they are enjoyed, sprinkles are consumed in desserts only, whereas hagelslag is taken mostly in breakfast.


Hagelslag is exists in a large diversity of tangs each force you to lick your fingers, chocolate, anise, and fruits are the main categories. Other assortments are mostly created for outings and special occasions, like pastel-colored hagelslag for Easter and orange hagelslag for major Dutch game events or King’s Day. A bit similar to hagelslag are curly chocolate flecks called chocoladevlokken.

Other demanded versions of the food include: Blauw en Witte muisjes (muisjes refers mice), bosvruchtenhagel, rimboehagel, extra clean hagel made from extra dark chocolate, XXL hagel and scatterings containing less sugar. Nevertheless, chocolate is the most demanded variety.

Hagelslag Traditions

This sweet confectionary is used as a coating on buttered beschuit, a piece of round bread that is baked twice and eaten in breakfast, lunch, or sometimes as a snack. It is also a Dutch tradition to serve guests visiting infants, the color varying with gender.

Eating Dutch Hagelslag

It is very easy to cook hagelslag for eating; all it is needs is bread, butter, and the hagelslag flavor of choice. To make the taste as realistic as possible, a bushy slice of Dutch country bread is best, along with some European lard. Most Dutch simply buy hagelslag straight from the package, filling it directly into their guts. Of course, hagelslag can be used likewise to sprinkles in desserts.

How it tastes?

Each flavor of hagelslag has its own exclusive touch. As the chocolate has a large percentage of cocoa, they taste like original chocolate. The fruit diversities are light, sweet, and have a fruity flavor, while the anise seeds taste like licorice or Glycyrrhiza glabra. Hagelslag has little to no artificial taste and greasiness than other chocolate bars and colored dustings.

Where to Get Dutch Hagelslag

Hagelslag can easily be acquired online from Amazon and other retailers. Different varieties may also be found in European food markets. The tags are written in Dutch, thus milk chocolate is “melk,” “puur” means darker chocolate, and the fruit varieties will be “vruchten.” Hagelslag is traded in small paper boxes or plastic jars.


You should stock containers of hagelslag in a cool and dry place. The chocolate can thaw if taken in heat, so try keeping it refrigerator if the kitchen is warm. Be careful of the expiration date on the bottom of the packing.


Each type of hagelslag will have a different nutritional ratio, but mostly this sweet is high in calories and fat and low in nutrients.

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