In Dutch we have a saying. Actually we have many and maybe the one I mean exists in English as well, but starting my post mentioning this old saying sounds very wise, I hope. Also I realized that the sentences following the first screwed up the ‘ wise person’ image. Anyways, we have this saying.
Liefde gaat door de maag. It translates to: ‘Love travels through one’s stomach.’ Basically it expresses how Dutch people are just a bunch of pigs, that you can get to like you just by providing good food. But how could it be otherwise if we have all these delicious snacks! Someone once told me Dutch meals(think stews..lots of stews) are terrible, but the snacks make up for it completely.
Therefore, whenever I travel I make sure to carry around bulks of the following snacks to make friends everywhere.
The first is a pack of Stroopwafels. I used to keep stock in my kitchen in Switzerland and my roommates would always eat them. They’re delicious crispy wafers with syrup filling in the middle.
Secondly I carry something that everyone wants to try but no one actually likes; Licorice. Those from the US might think they now licorice, but you’re wrong! Well, at least you don’t know Dutch licorice. Our’s is saltier and more licoricely! Only the Dutch (and Finnish) seem to like it.
In winter we celebrate St. Nicholas on the 5th of December and he brings something called ‘Kruidnoten.’ A Dutch tradition is to complain about the time stores start selling them. It’s always too early. As a matter of fact, I think there are in stores already, how scandalous! I always take them on my winter travels and everyone loves them!
On a few occasions I have tried to bring kroketten, frikandellen and bitterballen, which was a little difficult because A: They need to be frozen until prepared and B: they need to be deep-fried, something that is not easy to do in an apartment or hotel room. However they are delightful, so if you ever get to Holland; try them!
Over the past years I have made many friends by feeding them. Now all my friends are fat because they eat so many of these snacks. (sorry!)
Do you people take treats from home to spread a little of your culture? Let me know!
- About Food: The Stroopwafel (bonappetitdelft.wordpress.com)
- Eating Dutch food in Amsterdam (wanderinggraduate.wordpress.com)