A tradition with years of debate has given one of the tastiest cookies to children, when they are being nice. Many of us confuse the kruidnoten with the pepernoten. There tends to be questions on which one is which as many people think that pepernoten are the round and crunchy ones. Turns out, they have been an imposter for many years. Kruidnoten are in fact the round and crunchy ones with a slightly herbal taste, whilst pepernoten are more square-like in form and a bit more chewy.
The confusion is understandable. In most information found, the pepernoten were more documented in history than the kruidnoten. But in the Middle Ages the difference between a pepernoot and a kruidnoot were not distinguishable. Only that the ingredients used to make pepernoten were seen as luxurious and new in the Middle Ages, which made them more expensive to make. Therefore, they were only made in times of festivity. And the reason they are thrown around (quite literally) has to do with celebrations, such as weddings and giving to the less fortunate ones. Somehow these factors, after centuries, have resulted in a connection with Sinterklaas — due to it being a national Dutch celebration and his personal giving to others.
So how would you eat these little bite size snacks?
- Pick them out one by one as you go through the bag.
- Challenge yourself to see how many you can fit in your mouth for your own entertainment.
- Throw a handful in a glass of milk and scoop them out with a spoon.
- Suck all the flavor out until you have a soft chewy texture you can just swallow.
- Mix them with pepernoten so you can have a balance of crunchy and chewy.
Let’s be honest kruidnoten never look very inviting, even if you want to serve them on a festive day for Sinterklaas. The Dutch website Like and Love did some great research on nine different ways to use your kruidnoten and pepernoten — from ice cream to tiramisu. Start getting your Google translate ready, however, as the website is in Dutch.