It’s a phenomenon: you go to a new city for a meeting—or a holiday—and you eat something so delicious, you can’t live without it.
It’s a phenomenon: you go to a new city for a meeting—or a holiday—and you eat something so delicious, you can’t live without it. The problem: it’s one of those foods that you can’t get at home.
So, you strategically pack your luggage and “import” this new product. Recently, we saw this food trend in action. Spotted in on a KLM departures line at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam: a fellow traveler was forced to re-pack on account of having overweight baggage. When he unzipped his suitcase, that came out was amazing: 50 packages of the #1 Favorite Dutch Food to Bring Home (after Gouda cheese)—stroopwafels, pronounced STROPE-vahffels. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, here’s what they taste like: a sandwich-cookie concoction of crispy, sweet wafers top and bottom, with a thin layer of syrup to stick them together. If you’re American, that syrup tastes a bit like molasses; if you’re French or German, it will taste like a rather dark caramel. Stroopwafels rock—and are worth the addiction.
Next on our list: ontbijtkoek—say, what? Like stroopwafels, ontbijtkoek is a grocery-store item. It’s a packaged spiced cake, rather like gingerbread, designed for eating at breakfast. Why breakfast, you ask? Tradition! Italians love their cappuccino at breakfast, and (some) Dutch people pick ontbijtkoek as part of their first meal of the day—or as a snack any time of day. Connoisseurs of this special cake know all the varieties: the kind with crystallized sugar on top, the kind with pieces of candied ginger inside…. Whatever the variety, you can spread a bit of butter on it, brew a cup of coffee, and enjoy your imported ontbijtkoek in the pleasure of your very own home.
Last but not least on our list is Dutch drop—also known as licorice. One American jet-setter we know asks for a cone-shaped bag of this stuff every time we drop in on her. Drop devotees will tell you exactly what they like, whether it’s sweet or salty, hard or soft, sugar-coated or not, animal-shaped or car-shaped: you get the picture.
So, when shopping for what Dutch delicacies to bring home, for a change, keep stroopwafels, ontbijtkoek, and drop on the tip of your tongue.