Good evening lovelies,
Today’s snack tasting is not like all of the others. Because of the wildfires in the USA at the moment, this box was rather late and unfortunately arrived from the USA at around the same time as our SnackSurprise box, which is shipped from within the UK. Because of that, we ended up with two boxes of snacks to get through at roughly the same time, which felt rather greedy!
With a family gathering planned for the weekend, I did something that I wouldn’t normally do. I offered to bring a box and hoped to get everybody involved in some international snack tasting. I wasn’t sure that there would be much interest, but I could surely try.
I needn’t have worried, they were very keen!
September’s box comes from the Netherlands to the USA and then on to the UK, which seems pretty crazy given that it probably would have arrived a lot faster had it come directly from the Netherlands rather than travelling halfway around the – no matter, it’s here!
For me, the Netherlands brings back memories of my grandfather’s wooden windmill lamp. It was a stunning piece of construction with a lamp fixing and a musical box inside. When you switched it on, images of tulips were cast onto the walls of the windmill and “Tulips of Amsterdam” played. It was a truly remarkable piece of craftsmanship that I longed to inherit, though sadly that never happened.
Before we get started, I want to give a special shout-out to my dear friend Simone who chats with me every day from the Netherlands. In the short time that I have known Simone, she has taught me so much about what it means to overcome our limitations as disabled people. In fact, thanks to Simone showing us how it’s done, seated workouts are now part of my new daily self-care routine! Simone has a great mind and infectious personality so if you haven’t already. please do head on over to her blog and show this lovely lady some love!
Okay, let’s get onto today’s special family edition snack tasting. I do apologise that my photography isn’t to my usual standards, this was a little bit of a anack tasting on a whim!
Lay’s Patatje Joppie
Before we could begin, we had to understand what this translation was. That little bit of logic I have told me that “patatje” translated to potato, but “joppie” was was something of a mystery to me. Well, it turns out that Joppie sauce is a popular snacking sauce in the Netherlands, with flavours of onion and curry, and “patatje” translates in English as “fries” – so I was close!
Winner or Binner? The odd thing with these crisps was, it was a flavour that was familiar, but unique. There is a definite spiciness to them, but not at all unpleasant. They’re slightly vinegary, but also with a sweet, creaminess because of the mayonnaise in Joppie sauce. It was new for sure, but the flavour was so identifiable, we agreed these were a Winner.
Croky Bolognese Crisps
These are fairly self-explanatory, bolognese fkavoured potato crisps. Nothing fancy, but hopefully very tasty.
Winner or Binner? Unfortunately, these crisps just tasted like beef gravy granules more than they tasted of anything else. Slightly beefy, mostly salty, a little bit peppery and quite greasy tasting. A Binner, especially for this bolognese enthusiast.
These twisted potato snacks are dusted with a paprika flavour. My mother said that they reminded her very much of her Maltese snack favourite “Twisties”, but would they be as good?
Winner or Binner? These were another crowd-pleaser. They’re light, crispy and fun with that wonderful sweet and smoky flavour of paprika – and apparently just as impressive as Twisties. Winner!
Peunenburg Gingerbread – Original
In the autumn and winter months, there is something so familiar and comforting about a piece of gingerbread. Just for Peunenburg’s existence, I could almost be tempted with a trip to the Netherlands sometime, maybe.
Winner or Binner? Okay, so we all agreed that this was a little dry and would have benefitted from a smudge of butter. Aside from that though, you can never go wrong with gingerbread. A winner.
We had a Dutch waffle in our Russian box
Winner or Binner? These waffles have just a hint of cinnamon, rendering them absolutely moreish. I was told by my brother to buy some more and put one over a hot mug of coffee. Having followed his instructions, I can safely say that it’s a marvellous idea! Regardless, these are very, very, very much an all-round Winner, and much better directly from the Netherlands. Sorry, Russia!
Dutch Bakery Windmill Cookie
Because of its tiny size and pretty crushed up state, we were sent home with this little cookie to try between the two of us instead. This is a speculoos cookie that has been moulded to look like a windmill, but how does it taste?
Winner or Binner? It’s not like Lotus biscuits, but it’s still a Winner. It was slightly more gingery, but still very tasty. I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy these biscuits but if they were available, I’d definitely eat them again.
In the UK, Pontefract cakes, little discs of liquorice, are a thing. Muntendrop are much, much tougher than their British counterparts, but otherwise, they are more of the same.
Winner or Binner? These were a Winner by a narrow 4-2 vote. If you like liquorice, you’ll love Muntendrop. If you happen to hate it, you won’t be a fan.
Katja Zure Matjes
Zure Matjes, or “sour mats” are short ribbons of strawberry flavoured jelly candy covered in sour sugar. Sour “ribbons” are certainly popular in the UK, but short ribbon pieces aren’t so common.
Winner or Binner? I’m not generally one for sour candy, but these were a Winner all around. They aren’t too sour and they have a great strawberry flavour – great!
Fruit-Tella is popular all over Europe, including the UK. These soft fruity chews are made with real fruit juices that are guaranteed to leave your mouth watering for more.
Winner or Binner? I mean… I like Fruit-Tella, but if it comes down to going out of my way to buy them again, then the answer is no, I wouldn’t. I put the same question to the rest of the group, and nobody said they would hunt them down if Fruit-Tella suddenly disappeared from our shelves. They’re nice, but they’re also quickly forgettable. A Binner.
So it would appear, kermisstok (or “fairground stick”) are also sometimes sold as kaneelstok, or “cinnamon stick”. The leaflet included explains that these sticks are a popular treat at festivals, and it’s not hard to see why.
At first, I thought this was a baked breadstick of some description. If there is one thing that I’d learned from these snack tastings, it’s that I should always prepare to be surprised, and by far this was certainly no exception. When I opened the kermisstok, I immediately realised that it was not what I had in mind.
Kermisstok is a stick of crumbly cinnamon flavoured candy, covered in cinnamon powder. Texturally, they are very similar to Edinburgh rock available here in the UK, but with a cinnamon flavour and a dusting of cinnamon powder around the outside.
Winner or Binner? All I could think or say, was that Christmas had descended. If Christmas could be captured into a piece of candy, then this was it. It was sweet, it was spicy and it reminded me ever so much of something that would be available at the Christmas markets in the UK. Ronan wasn’t a fan, but besides that, it was a 5-1 Winner victory for kermisstok.
What Surprised Me Most Was..
In the UK, cinnamon is a popular flavour, but it’s not too common any time other than Christmas. Everything that we tried had me convinced that the Netherlands might be worth a visit. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find myself hopping onto the Eurostar some time!
Alright lovelies, I hope you enjoyed this snack tasting. Have you ever visited The Netherlands? What was your favourite snack or memory? Do share your thoughts in the comments!
Until next time!
Stay safe & have fun,