The Dutch love their candy! Every year on 5 December the Dutch celebrate ‘Sinterklaas’, a traditional feast for children in which all kinds of candy play a big part. There are chocolate letters, ‘speculaas’ ginger cookies or ‘taaitaai’ puppets, ‘borstplaat’ and marzipan. And this is just one of the many occasions on which the Dutch like to consume their typically Dutch candy. New Year’s Eve also has its traditional sweets, like ‘oliebollen’ - balls of dough fried in oil - and apple flapjacks.
Holland has many types of sweets and candy, that much is clear. One much-enjoyed variety is ‘drop’ or liquorice. This special candy is made with ammonium chloride (salmiak) and gum Arabic. The ‘salmiak’ flavour means most tourists have to get used to it, especially with salty liquorice. If this is the first time you eat liquorice, you might want to start with the soft, sweet variety. It is also available in a liquid, alcoholic variant called a Dropshot.
Of course, candy is sold almost everywhere. However, the candy types specifically associated with holidays like Sinterklaas or Easter are not available year round. You can only buy these in the months prior to the festive season. They are definitely worth a try!