Easter - Dutch egg facts

Easter - Dutch egg facts

Whether it’s chocolate or hard-boiled, the Easter egg is a much-enjoyed treat in the Netherlands. So in its honour, here are some interesting Dutch egg facts!

The history of the Easter egg

Since people weren’t allowed eggs due to fasting during Lent, in the past there was often a surplus around Easter. They were cooked and painted to set them apart from the uncooked eggs. In the old days, coffee, onion peels, spinach, red cabbage and lime blossoms were used as dyes in the Netherlands.

Easter egg hunt

In many Dutch families (like in various other countries), it is traditional for children to start Easter morning with an egg hunt, usually in the backyard where the Easter hare (paashaas) will have hidden real or chocolate eggs.

Eating eggs at Easter

In previous years, about 32 million eggs were consumed in the Netherlands during the Easter weekend. That’s about two eggs per person.

Generally, the Dutch eat an average of two eggs a week each, and a total of 195 eggs per year per person.

Dutch egg phrases

Eggs are prevalent in Dutch culture, and they are even part of many popular expressions:

Dat is het hele eiereneten (That’s the whole egg-eating)
Meaning: That’s the whole point, or whole story.

Dat zal hem geen windeieren hebben gelegd (That won’t have laid him any shell-less eggs) 
Meaning: That probably made him a pretty sum.

De kip met gouden eieren slachten (To slaughter the chicken with the golden eggs)
Meaning: To get rid of something profitable.

Eieren voor je geld kiezen (To choose eggs for your money)
Meaning: To settle for less than originally desired.

Op eieren lopen (To walk on eggs)
Meaning: To act with extreme caution.

Dutch egg production

The Netherlands is a major producer and exporter of eggs and egg products. Almost all the eggs in Dutch supermarkets come from within the country.

Cracking the code

Eggs in supermarkets contain a stamp on the shell with numbers and letters, like "2 NL 45146 01". The first number is either 0 for an organic egg, 1 for eggs of chickens that are kept outside, 2 for free-range or 3 for colony chickens.

NL means the Netherlands, of course, and the last set of numbers are a code for the company the eggs came from, so the place of origin can be traced.

Interesting related facts

  • An egg is kept in its box with the narrow end down to keep it fresh longer.
  • You can tell if an egg is fresh by putting it in water. A fresh egg sinks, while a rotten egg floats.
  • An uncooked egg is slower and more wobbly than a cooked one when you spin it.
  • There is a professional egg painting company in the Netherlands called Egga Foods.

Dutch egg cake recipe

Dutch egg cakes (eierkoeken) are easy to make. You need four eggs, ¾ cup of sugar, 1 ¼ cup of flour and about a tablespoon of baking powder. Beat the eggs and sugar until foamy, mix everything together and bake for 10 minutes at 180°C.

Do you know any interesting egg facts from your country? Let us know in the comments below!

Alexandra van Kampen


Alexandra van Kampen

English and Japanese theatre and culture are my forte. My mother was raised in England, and my grandmother in Japan. I studied Japanese Language and Culture, and Film and Photographic...

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