“As a tradition in the period before Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas), people in the Netherlands eat small round brown cookies made from butter, brown sugar and ‘Speculaas spices’ which include: cinnamon, nutmeg, white pepper, coriander, cardamom, aniseed, ginger powder and cloves, called Kruidnoten or Pepernoten.”
The WIN test panel ate five bags of kruidnoten to test which one is the best. The prices differ from 15 to 45 cents per 100 grams.
Really Hema: There is no old-fashioned layout on the packaging, the bag is a flashy green with yellow letters. The taste? “A bit bland.” This is not what we know and love from Hema`s products.” They do have a crunchiness to them.” That is a plus.
The store Big Bazar sells the cheap version of the brand Van Delfts strooigoed (a bag of candy, pepernoten and/or kruidnoten). Between the kruidnoten is a smaller bag of candy. The candy has not done the kruidnoten any good. “The aftertaste is way too sweet.” Concludes the group unanimously. Also, there is barely any bite to them: “They are dry, powdery and sticky.”
De golden-brown Kruidvat bag is very festive. The kruidnoten do smell very good, according to a member of the panel. However, they taste like old Bastogne cookies which are a brand of speculaas cookies. They taste very sand-like and dry. We mostly get thirsty after eating the kruidnoten. If that was the intent, then it was well executed. Cheers!
Smikkelhuys is the cheapest kruidnoten brand from the store Action. To the amazement of the panel (who has blind-tasted the kruidnoten), the Smikkelhuys kruidnoten are the best. “Mmmm, they taste like they were homemade.” “I cannot stop eating them.” However, there is also some criticism. ‘They taste a bit stale’, says an expert.
Grade: 7 –
Bolletje named its kruidnoten ‘the Original’. This brand of kruidnoten is the most expensive in the test. It is as if the baker was distracted whilst adding the nutmeg during the flavouring process. The amount of nutmeg in the kruidnoten is not making the focus group very happy. The flavour is very strong and bitter. “One serving is more than enough.” These kruidnoten are also very hard: “I almost broke a part of my braces.”