“Oh no. No, no, no, no, no.”
“You have to try it. Otherwise you’ll never truly be integrated into Dutch society.”
“Are you going to try it?” I asked defensively, trying to find a way ouy..
“I don’t have anything to prove. I’m already Dutch,” she smiled.
I sighed, defeated, “I’m going to have to try it, aren’t I?”
My wife and I were looking at a news story that had just been sent to us by a friend. It announced the arrival of the speculaaskroket at Febo, a special seasonal kroket, shaped like the ‘S’ from Sinterklaas, filled with speculaas and topped with slagroom. It was even being promoted by Sinterklaas himself (or at least, one of his helpers). This was very bad news for me because I knew that the article had been sent to me as a challenged.
Ever since I confessed my crippling addiction to speculaas friends and family have delighted in challenging me to try every strange and bizarre speculaas product they have been able to find. Crunchy speculaas sandwich spread, speculaas hagelslag, speculaas Easter eggs, speculaas breakfast cereal, speculaas wine and more. I tried them all in the spirit of adventure and uncontrollable addiction. I liked all of them.
But even to a self confessed speculaas addict like myself the idea of warmed up speculaas wrapped in crunchy deep fat fried breadcrumbs, topped with cream did not sound good… But I knew I had to try it anyway. I could not back down from the challenge.
And so, on the day that Sinterklaas’ press conference had announced that the speculaaskroket would go on sale I did the un-thinkable. I went to Febo and ordered the speculaaskroket for lunch.
No turning back now. I must be brave.
Yes. That is hot Speculaas in a kroket.
Oh dear god! Why Febo? Why? Why did you create this? Why did anyone think this was a good idea? Why did you endorse this Sinterklaas? Did you need the money? It is a crime against speculaas. It is a crime against kroketten. The two should never ever be put together. Febo has taken something I love and turned it into something that made me throw up a little in my mouth. It was not even shaped as advertised and there was no slagroom (although that might have been a good thing). In short, it tastes terrible.
It’s official. This is the one that broke me. I’ve met every speculaas/speculoos challenge you have thrown at me but this one… this one has beaten me. I am ashamed to confess that I could not finish it. Even worse; I did not want to finish it. Just one bite was enough to tell me that I never wanted to taste such an abomination ever again. I quickly threw the remains in the bin and I have been trying to forget the taste ever since.
Febo has managed the impossible. They have created a speculaas product that even I don’t like. The world does not make sense to me anymore. I only hope that by sacrificing myself I have saved some of you from trying it.
November and December can be a very confusing time of year for expats in Holland, especially for those who have never heard the name Sinterklaas or seen a Zwarte Piet before.
Who is Sinterklaas?
If you were to ask a Dutch Person who Sinterklaas is the basic description you’d receive would be something along the lines of, “He is a very nice old man who has a long white beard, dresses in red and gives presents in December to all the good girls and boys.”
Sinterklaas vs. Santa
Whatever you do, do not follow this up by asking them how that makes him any different from Santa, not unless you want to seriously damage diplomatic relations between Holland and your own country. Santa and Sinterklaas are two very different people. They just happen to work in the same area of business. There are several very key differences for identifying them:
1) Santa Claus comes from the North Pole but Sinterklaas comes from Spain and saves money on his yearly heating bill.
2) Santa Claus dresses in red with a fluffy white trim but Sinterklaas goes with the slightly more fashionable gold trim and accessorizes with a staff.
3) Santa Claus delivers presents on the night of December 24th but Sinterklaas arrives in Holland in the middle of November, does some sightseeing, delivers presents on the 5th of December and returns home in time to enjoy a quiet Christmas.
4) Santa Claus flies to his destination but Sinterklaas arrives by steam boat. It is still unknown if this difference is because Sinterklaas is afraid of flying or Santa is afraid of water.
5) Santa Claus rides on a sledge pulled by 12 over worked reindeer but Sinterklaas rides a single white horse called Amerigo, saves money on animal feed and has to remember less names.
6) Santa Claus puts presents for children under a Christmas tree but Sinterklaas puts presents in children’s shoes regardless of how smelly they are.
7) Santa Claus has an elf equal opportunities program which has helped keep the fairytale creature unemployment rate down. Sinterklaas also has an equal opportunities program and employs Zwarte Pieten who suffer from A.D.D and regularly get their shoe polish mixed up with their face cream.
8) Santa Claus gives a lump of coal to children who have been naughty so that they might learn from their mistakes. Sinterklaas on the other hand has a zero tolerance policy and orders Zwarte Piet to throw naughty children into a sack and drag them back to Spain while beating them with twigs.
Looking for more? Find a full list of all humorous sinterklaas guides and posts right here:
All About Sinterklaas
1) The English are only polite to hide the terrible secret they keep.
2) Contrary to popular belief the English did not invent the English language. They simply found it in a book one day.
3) The English have very strict rules about queuing. Anyone who is caught breaking those rules is held in the tower of London indefinitely.
4) No one knows where the Thames River came from. It simply appeared over night in 1972.
5) It is always raining in England. Any photo you have seen to the contrary has been altered in photoshop.
6) Downton Abby is an accurate depiction of modern day England.
7) Everyone in England must wear bowler hats. It is the law.
8) The English don’t need to spell things differently. They just like to annoy the Americans.
9) If an Englishman ever offers you the last biscuit do not take it. It is a test and if you take it you will fail.
10) If an Englishman ever turns something down out of politeness it is secretly the thing they desire the most.
11) The easiest way to trap two Englishman in one location is to present them with an open door. They will become stuck in a politeness loop as they take turns in saying, “No. I insist. After you.”
12) Tea is a highly addictive drug. The English don’t actually like drinking it but they can’t kick the habit either.
13) And most importantly of all; none of which you have just read is the terrible secret which the English hide behind their politeness.
What to know more? Check out more lies about the Dutch and the English:
– Lies about the Dutch
– More Lies about the Dutch
– Even More Lies About The Dutch
– Some More Lies About The Dutch
– Lies about the English
– More Lies about the English
– Even More Lies About The English
“By the time we realized anything was wrong it was too late. Holland was the first to fall.”
Happy Halloween from Invading Holland.