Peppernuts, straws and marzipan in history since 1863. Peppernuts sprinkle and marzipan, they are inextricably linked to the Saint Nicholas celebration. As soon as the Saint is back in the country, the pieten sprinkle with their litter. At least, that’s what they’re handing out these days. There is still a lot of real scattering indoors, but on the street this is generally no longer the case.

The sprinkling is something that we have done for a very long time, for example there is a photo available on which there was already in 1863 sprinkled. Today, the litter is often richly filled with marzipan and other sweets, for example, which are offered in the hand.

Peppernuts sprinkle and marzipan history since 1863

Litter consists of peppernuts, herb nuts, peppercorns and foams, for example. In recent decades, candy, chocolate (letters), breastplate and marzipan have also been added. The different figurines make for a rich bag of litter, which children generally love.

Already sprinkled in 1863

The scattering of these goes back to at least 1863. There is an image available of Hansellaufen. That’s another party, where litter was already being handed out at that time. For a long time, the confectionery was also distributed in the Netherlands in this way. The Pieten of Saint Nicholas spread the litter over the groups of children. The disadvantage of this, however, was that a part ended up on the ground, which the children wanted to eat anyway.

Today, it is therefore more common to offer the litter in hand, a lot more hygienic. Nevertheless, we are still talking about litter, partly because it is still common indoors to scatter the peppernuts and other delicacies on the ground.

Litter in the Netherlands and beyond

It is not typically Dutch to distribute litter. This is also very common in Germany and the Czech Republic, for example. It indicates that it is a tradition that goes beyond the way we celebrate St. Nicholas in the Netherlands. The litter ensures that the children can count on goodies. Previously this was the case if they had been sweet, today no distinction is made and everyone can count on a few handfuls of sprinkles with peppernuts and marzipan. Delicious recipe for making chewy toughty foam  from the kidde




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