Breakfast of champions

Dutch American breakfast comic _

I have explained to several dumb-founded Dutch people that Americans eat waffles and pancakes for freaking breakfast.

In the Netherlands this is not done. Waffles can be eaten as a sweet snack. Pancakes can be eaten in special pancake restaurants, but only for lunch or dinner.

While the Dutch do not eat pancakes or waffles for breakfast (because it’s freakish and wrong), they do eat slices of bread slathered with butter and absolutely coated with sprinkles (aka jimmies, hundreds and thousands, hagel slag). Really and truly they do.

If you are skeptical, please observe what the boys are eating in this advertisement featuring a ‘typical Dutch family’:

Dutch kids eating slices of bread coated with a mix of milk chocolate and white chocolate hagel slag.

I love waffles, but have yet to be won over by hagel slag on bread (because it’s freakish and wrong).

My children, in full ‘Third Culture Kid,’ multi-cultural-style, have happily embraced them both.

In fact, they have further suggested that we might eat waffles coated with maple syrup andΒ hagel slag.

27 responses to “Breakfast of champions

  1. The Dutch do eat pancakes for breakfast, but not in a pancake restaurant. Only at home. But that’s part of a larger “though shall not eat breakfast outside the house” commandment.

    • Would they ever eat waffles for breakfast? Our Dutch babysitter thought I was mad for even mentioning the idea.

      Ah and knowing that there is a “thou shalt not eat breakfast outside the house” commandment has now explained a lot!

      • I think waffles are more a Belgian thing. I’ll ask the ones I know whether it is socially acceptable to eat waffles for breakfast down South.

  2. This reminds me of my dutch friends coming to visit me in london and their amazement when I fed them baked beans for breakfast – apparently they don’t have such a thing and considered the concept of beans in tomato sauce most bizarre. They politely ate the full english breakfast however and gifted me some cheese and a candle with a windmill on it in appreciation! My daughter and I eat plenty of dosa and paratha and idli as part of our breakfasts now as much as beans on toast – not sure about Hagel Slag – sounds delicious but a bit fearful of putting that much sugar into my toddler that early in the day!

    • As an American, baked beans is a BBQ side-dish so I was similarly amazed to arrive in Cambridge five years ago and find people serving it for breakfast and on toast to their children for “tea.” Dosa is fabulous. I could eat it for breakfast every day! Lucky you! As for hagel slag, we try to limit our intake to once or twice per week as it is mighty sweet!

  3. In my experience you are many to only eat bread for breakfast and lunch. At breakfast with the sprinkles. At lunch with a slice of ham/cheese or both. It can be a sandwich but you should eat it with a knife and fork and a glass of sour milk.

  4. I like the way your children think. I wouldn’t like it if they were my children, but they’re not (I’m actually seeing them more as my mentors) so that’s ok.

    At the moment we are very much into the cold cuts and cheese on bread thing, which is very Germanic. I’ll have to look into exactly how many countries are down with that idea before making any sudden international moves.

    • Oh, they would be perfectly suited to the Netherlands as everyone eat pieces of bread with meat/cheese/whatever at least two meals per day. Fancy a move from Singapore?

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