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Typically Zeeland

In Zeeland you can find several products which are typical of this region. Many of these products and customs are known in the rest of the Netherlands, but originate in Zeeland. These products often have a long history and date back to days long past. These products are a part of the cultural heritage and the way in which the people of Zeeland have developed over the centuries. The Zeeland landscape and the eternal battle against the sea have caused the people of Zeeland to be proud of their land, products and customs.

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Zeeland Butter Candy

One of the most famous candies in Zeeland are the Zeeland butter candies. This candy is very popular among tourists mainly because of its packaging. The butter candy is often sold in a typical blue container with pictures showing scenes from across Zeeland. In most cases the pictures show ladies in traditional costume and the typical Zeeland landscape. The candies are made of butter, sugar, glucose syrup, vinegar and water. No artificial odors, colorings and flavorings have been added. You can also buy a liquor that tastes like this butter candy.

Bolus, a sweet pastry from the Dutch province of Zeeland

The Bolus is a typical product of the province of Zeeland. It is made in all kinds of varieties. However, the basic ingredients that are used are almost always the same for this sweet pastry. The dough is rolled out into a long strand, covered in sugar and rolled up into a spiral shape. The composition varies per bakery but always consists of soft brown sugar. Some bakers add cinnamon while others add ginger. An annual competition is held for the best bolus of the province. This delicacy is originally Jewish. However, you can also find specialized bakeries in Paris, Moscow and Jerusalem.

Traditional costume

The traditional costume in Zeeland varies per municipality, village and island. You can find pictures showing the traditional costume on the containers of butter candy and syrup. With the exception of people in Arnemuiden and on South Beveland there are no people anymore who wear these costumes on a daily basis. Many of the ladies who still wear their costumes are advanced in years and with them the tradition will probably die out. In most regional museums much attention is paid to traditional costumes as well as other local customs.

Zeeland mussels and oysters

The most outstanding characteristic feature in Zeeland is the mussel. These mussels are consumed all over the world. However, they are most popular among the Belgians. Almost half of the farmed mussels are exported to Belgium. Most of these mussels come from the Wadden Sea and are set out in the Easter Scheldt. Here they get their specific taste which is so characteristic of this mussel. Most mussels come from Yerseke. Here you can find some of the largest mussel processing companies in the world. Before the mussel was discovered by the general public the largest export product was the oyster. The oysters from the Easter Scheldt are among the tastiest in the world. The most popular way to eat mussels is the Philippine way. And where better to enjoy this delicacy than in the village after which it was named. Several mussel restaurants can be found in this small Zeeland village.

Ring spearing

Tilting at the ring is a game that is typical of the province of Zeeland. This game is also held in different forms in Friesland, Germany and Denmark. During this game the rider rides an unsaddled horse with a spear in one hand. During the first few rounds the rider tries to spear a 38 millimeter suspended ring. If there is no winner after a few rounds the playoffs begin. During this stage in the game the rider has to spear an increasingly smaller target; who misses, loses. The smallest ring is about the size of the hole in a cd. In several cities in Zeeland these games are held on a regular basis. There is even a Zeeland Ring Spearing Association and in Middelburg you can find the statue of the Ring Spearer.

The Zeeland landscape

The beautiful flat Zeeland landscape is protected by many dikes, dams and dunes and is unique for the Netherlands and even in the world. The landscape is managed by Het Zeeuwse Landschap (the Landscape of Zeeland) In total they manage about 8,000 acres of nature reserves. The most popular areas are: Het verdronken land van Saeftinghe, Oranjezon and Yerseke Moer. Besides these areas they manage several smaller areas throughout the province. They do not only manage the landscape but also provide education on nature reserves in Zeeland. They also organize several walks through areas which are off limits to the public. Their slogan is: Our combined effort keeps Zeeland beautiful.

More information on Zeeland

The following sites offer extensive tips and information on Zeeland:
Zeeland tourist info

Zeeland travel guide
Zeeland weather & climate
wikipedia

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