Thursday, 29 July 2010

Expat Life: Beschuit met muisjes

From Coisas Minhas



We sent this postcard to A. and R. in Portugal. They had a beautiful daughter some weeks ago. ;-)

Beschuit met muisjes or "biscuits with little mice" (that we see in the postcard) is the traditional cookie served to the relatives and friends who come to meet the new baby born.

These muisjes are sugared anise seeds. White and pink, if it is a girl; white and blue, if it is a boy.

These biscuits are round and prepared by baking a small cylindrical bread, cutting it in half and baking a second time. They are spread with butter or margarine. The muisjes (lit. 'little mice') are sprinkled on top.

When a child is born in to the Royal House of Orange (the rulling Royal House in the Netherlands), we see orange muisjes being sold in the bakeries.

The tradition of celebrating a birth with beschuit met muisjes goes back to the 17th century when it was thought that the anise was good for the mother’s milk, would ease the contractions in the womb and would drive away evil spirits.

The name ‘muisjes’ was derived from their resemblance to the shape of a mouse, with the stem of the anise seed resembling a tail.

Beschuit met muisjes was originally eaten only by the upper class. The lower classes celebrated a birth by eating white bread with sugar on top.

7 comments:

Margarida Elias said...

Que costume engraçado! Gostava de provar esse bolo.
Gostei muito deste post.:)

Aledys Ver said...

THat's a nice tradition, isn't it? Back home we don't have any special sweet or food in general for when a baby is born...
Very nice entry, Sandra!

Presépio no Canal said...

@Margarida: Obrigada ;-) Ora, aqui esta algo tipico para experimentares quando vieres a Holanda ;-)
Beijinhos ;-)

@Aledys ;-) the same in Portugal; as far as I know, there is no special food or cake in this ocasion to give to the relatives and friends who come to visit the new baby born. Beijinhos ;-)

Patricia Sgrignuoli said...

Sandra,

Beautiful and sweet tradition this one!!! Here in Argentina we don´t have any like this. Only a an ornament hanging on the door of colour pink for girls or blue for boys. It can be a puppet, little socks, a bun, etc..
Good entry with this MUISJES...
See you in the next entry!!!

Patricia

Presépio no Canal said...

Patricia :-)

A puppet? That is very funny and sweet too ;-)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh dear, this is so sweet and interesting!!! How are you dearest? Anita

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

I love this card! How lovely to send a little Dutch tradition to the new parents :-) I bought a box of these muisjes before I left Den Haag. And six packages of beschuit... I love them!