12 North Brabant local products and specialities

Rianne Leenders
By: Rianne Culture lover | Read time: 10 minutes
  • Bossche Bol van Jan de Groot
  • Kaasplankje van De Ruurhoeve in de Brabantse Kempen
  • Schrobbelèr Tilburg
  • Worstenbroodjes in een mandje

The people of Brabant know how to eat and drink well. And the bountiful Brabant soil provides the most delicious tastes in the region. From authentic Trappist beers and Brabant cheese to the famous ‘ASA’ menu. And, of course, you cannot leave out the traditional Brabant treats, such as the Bossche bol (a chocolate-covered pastry filled with whipped cream) and sausage rolls. Be inspired by these exquisite local products and treats from North Brabant.

1. Cheese from Brabant soil

From Brabant buffalo mozzarella to sheep's milk cheese from the Kempen

From Brabant buffalo mozzarella to sheep's milk cheese from the Kempen

As a true Dutch speciality, good cheese is not lacking in North Brabant either. From Brabant buffalo mozzarella to sheep's milk cheese from the Kempen. If you are travelling in the Loon and Drunen Dunes National Park, fourteen farmers in this area have joined forces to share their passion for agriculture and protecting nature. The result is the prize-winning cheese called Duingoed Kaas.

Kaasplankje van De Ruurhoeve in de Brabantse Kempen Snijden  van de kaas bij Zuivelboerderij De Driekhoek in Oosterhout

2. Oyster mushrooms

These are also referred to as the crème de la crème of mushrooms: oyster mushrooms! In North Brabant, the most delicious oyster mushrooms come from nearby. They are cultivated organically, with a great deal of passion for the final product. They come from Erp, organic oyster mushrooms cultivated by John Verbruggen. They can be sampled in various restaurants in the region but, if you give them a call, you can pick up a crate of them for yourself as well. In Liessel, Mariëlle van Lieshout is the third generation to work in the nursery where 2500 kilos of oyster mushrooms are cultivated each week. The location can be visited by appointment. If you would like to taste an oyster mushroom croquette, ZuiderZwam in Tilburg cultivates oyster mushrooms on coffee grounds. This adds even more nutrient content and is very circular. Oyster mushrooms can be purchased at the city’s market garden Ut Rooie Bietje, and oyster mushroom croquettes are included on the menu at the Tilburg city cafe De Spaarbank.

3. Chaams Hoen

Never heard of the Chaams hoen (Chaams chicken)? Not surprising, since this Brabant race of chickens has been all but forgotten. The Chaams hoen, also known locally as the kaamsekiep, was originally kept as a broiler chicken by many farmers south of Breda. The chicken was known for its relatively high egg production and the delicious meaty taste. To prevent the race from dying out, various farmers have reintroduced the Chaams Hoen. De Walnoothoeve in Hoeven is an example. The meat as well as the advocaat or glorified eggnog made with the eggs can be purchased in De Walnoothoeve’s own poultry shop.

4. Brabant wine

  • Druiven bij wijndomein Brabantse Wal
  • Sint Catharinadal Wijnhuis de Blauwe Camer
  • Wijnglas Domaine de Brabantse Wal

Did you know that North Brabant has more than 15 (semi) professional vineyards? This makes North Brabant the 3rd largest wine-producing province in the Netherlands, after Limburg and Gelderland. The largest vineyard is the vineyard of Sint Catharinadal, near Breda. It is a 15th-century monastery that offers guided tours with a wine tasting, just like De Santspuy in Etten-Leur, where, in addition to delicious wines, you can also purchase homegrown asparagus. There are many more similar vineyards in North Brabant that you can visit. The Brabant vineyards are also a fun stopover while cycling along a fun food route.

5. Special beer

The beer-brewing region of the Netherlands!

The beer-brewing region of the Netherlands!

In general, the people of Brabant enjoy their beer. There is good reason why North Brabant is called the beer-brewing region of the Netherlands! With around 4 beer breweries per 100,000 inhabitants, Brabant also take first place when it comes to artisanal breweries and tasting rooms. And – just as extraordinary – of the 12 Trappist breweries that are permitted to carry the ‘Authentic Trappist Product’ label, at least two of them are in North Brabant: Trappist brewery De Kievit in Zundert and De Koningshoeven in Berkel-Enschot. During the La Trappe cycle routes, you explore the beautiful rural setting of Oirschot, Oisterwijk and Hilvarenbeek, and become acquainted with the region and the traditionally brewed Trappist beers.

Fietsers die speciaalbiertjes drinken tijdens de La Trappe route Bierbrouwerij Ooijen bier proosten Lekkere borrelplank  met vers getapt biertje bij Stadsbrouwerij Frontaal in Breda

Are you going out for a day or weekend in one of the cities in North Brabant or will you be following a pleasant walking or cycling route? Throughout the entire province, you can enjoy a tour, tasting or unique beer experience in old mills, former factory buildings and rugged city-centre buildings. Check out North Brabant beer breweries for tips as to where you should go.

ASA: Asparagus, strawberries and anchovies

If you fancy a real culinary regional experience in North Brabant, in April the first asparagus and strawberries are harvested from the field that, in combination with the famous anchovies, are part of the ingredients for the ASA menu. Many restaurants in North Brabant are inspired by this theme and, throughout the season, you can even eat asparagus out in the field.

't Winkeltje boerderijwinkel asperges en aardbeien

6. Asparagus

Asparagus is the first of the ‘ASA’ products that come from Brabant soil. You can enjoy this delicious seasonal product from April until the end of June. The Brabantse Wal asparagus is even a regional product recognised in Europe, its salty taste being due to the pure groundwater of the Kalmthoutse Heide and the salty sea air. Tip: While you explore the Brabantse Wal with its beautiful nature reserves and the historic Bergen op Zoom, the Bergen op Zoom asparagus cycling route takes you past farm shops and culinary restaurants that have asparagus on the menu.

7. Strawberries

North Brabant is also called the strawberry garden of the Netherlands. At least two-thirds of the Dutch strawberries come from here. North Brabant has many places where strawberry-lovers can pick the strawberries themselves, purchasing them directly from the farmer, or enjoy strawberries on the property, like at the Aardbeienterras (Strawberry Terrace) in Rijsbergen.

8. Anchovies

  • Ansjovis weervisserij Bergen op Zoom
  • Ansjovis vangen Bergen op Zoom

Did you know that the only Dutch anchovies are caught in North Brabant? This honour has been awarded to the Van Dort family from Bergen op Zoom. As soon as the sign that announces that ‘Fresh anchovies available’ appears on Artilleriestraat, there is a run on this fish. They are caught in the traditional manner in a fyke or hoop net. From May until early June, it is possible to watch the anchovy catch during a boat excursion to the fishing weir.

9. Sausage rolls

If you talk about North Brabant, you talk about sausage rolls

If you talk about North Brabant, you talk about sausage rolls

If you talk about North Brabant, you talk about sausage rolls. The elongated white rolls with spiced minced meat has become such a part of the North Brabant culture that it has been listed on UNESCO’s list of intangible world heritage since 2016. Traditionally, it is eaten with friends and family on special occasions, such as around Carnival time and at Christmas. Nowadays, you can purchase them on any day of the year from every baker in North Brabant.

Worstenbroodjes in een mandje

For a genuine experience, go to Houben Worstenbrood in Eindhoven, where the third generation is still baking the most delicious rolls, following the recipe of Grandpa Willem, who created the sausage roll with his own hands in 1935. The sausage rolls are still made by hand here, sustainably and using local ingredients. You can also come here for the vegan variant and for special culinary sausage rolls made following the recipe of various North Brabant Michelin-starred chefs.

10. Bossche bol

  • Bossche Bol van Jan de Groot
  • Bakkerij Jan de Groot Bossche Bol

Another tasty North Brabant icon is the Bossche bol. It is impossible to eat the round cake filled with whipped cream and covered in chocolate without making a mess, but this does not detract from the taste. (A tip from those who know: forget the fork and just turn it over!) Naturally, the original Bossche Bol comes from ’s-Hertogenbosch, where it is also called sjekladebol (dialect for chocolate ball).

At Bakkerij Royal on Visstraat, this North Brabant speciality was made with passion already back in 1900, and still is. You can even find a mini museum about it in the townhall cellar under city hall in ’s-Hertogenbosch. And you can even book a true Bossche Bollen experience here. Every 10 minutes a group of a maximum of 6 people may enter to discover the secret of the Bossche Bol.

Inge Ament

"A true resident of 's-Hertogenbosch does not eat the Bossche Bol with a knife and fork. The best way to eat it is to grab the sphere at the top and turn it over and then take a bite."

11. Oosterhout cinnamon stick

A truly nostalgic treat is the cinnamon stick, known for its delicate cinnamon taste. This sweetness originates in Oosterhouse in North Brabant. The first recipe appeared already around 1894. The cinnamon stick quickly gained popularity and was ultimately put into production by what is now known as Holland Foodz. It grew into a treat that is sold in particular at fun fairs. But rest assured, you can walk into any sweet op in North Brabant and be sure to find a genuine Oosterhout cinnamon stick.

12. Schrobbelèr herb liqueur

  • Schrobbelèr Tilburg
  • Schrobbelèr Tilburg
  • Schrobbelèr Tilburg

Almost all bars in North Brabant carry the characteristic jug of Schrobbèler’s. The liqueur, made from at least 43 herbs and spices, arose in the seventies in Jan Wassing’s home bar in Tilburg, and later developed into a true Brabant classic. The name is derived from the Tilburg textile industry, where the schrobbelaar or scrubber had to untangle the wool before it could be spun. If you are visiting Tilburg on a weekend, you can join a tour in the Schrobbelèr Brewery. You will be told the story behind the Schrobbelèr, discover the family recipe’s secret, view the bottling of the jugs and, of course, sample the liqueur.

Een foto van Kiki Brouwers.

"The Schrobbelèr tour was voted the most fun outing in North Brabant as recently as 2023. A fun activity to do with friends."

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