“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.