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Vlokken is the Dutch word for flakes. As a food product, they are a variety of chocolate flakes that is typically served on top of sandwich bread. The sweets are sold in a variety of flavors and are one of several kinds of candy toppings served in this manner. They are a popular daily breakfast food in the Netherlands, in addition to the former Dutch colonies of Indonesia and Belgium.
To prepare vlokken the most common Dutch way, a piece of untoasted bread is first spread with butter or margarine. Then a few spoonfuls of vlokken are sprinkled over the bread, usually in a layer thick enough to cover the entire surface. The chocolate is then pressed lightly so that it will not fall off when eaten.
Vlokken are sold in a wide array of colors, textures and flavors. Common flavors include dark, bittersweet, and white chocolate. Sometimes a combination of these are sold together. They usually come in curled, thin flakes.
In addition to vlokken flakes, there are several other Dutch products that are similarly sprinkled on bread. Hagelslaag and kwinkslag are candy sprinkles similar to the kind used for desserts in several other cultures. Also known as hails, these candies are smaller, more uniform and less fragile than vlokken. They are also crunchier.
Muisjes are another type of Dutch sweet also served over a buttered baked good, though usually a biscuit instead of bread. They are a small, round, colored candy made out of aniseed covered with sugar. They look similar to decorative nonpareils. Muisjes are traditionally served in celebration of a newborn baby, with pink and blue candies each symbolizing girls and boys respectively. The candies are also served crushed on bread for daily consumption.
Though most Dutch people only eat vlokken open-faced and as a breakfast food, the topping is occasionally used in different ways. The sweet may be consumed alone as a snack or used to garnish desserts. It may also be served on other kinds of baked goods, or with another slice of bread on top.
Candies similar to vlokken are also popular in other parts of the world, though more often for occasional rather than daily consumption. In the United States, small candies known as sprinkles are used to decorate desserts such as cakes, cookies, doughnuts, and ice cream. In New Zealand and Australia, sprinkles on buttered bread are called fairy bread and commonly served to children for special events.
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