Undeniably the Ultimate coffee (or tea) biscuit

a dutch stroopwafel

a dutch stroopwafel

Undeniable, for me anyway, the stroopwafel will have to be the ultimate biscuit to enjoy with a good coffee. The stroopwafel consists of two thin wafers stuck together by a lovely sweet sugar syrup. The best way to eat them is freshly baked, still warm from a street vendor, syrup slightly drippy. Not what you would call healthy, but oh – so – good!!

The second best way is when you get one from a packet, which you can luckily buy here in New Zealand. Just put it on top of your hot steaming cup of coffee or tea and wait for a minute or so. The steam of the coffee or tea will heat up the syrup, soften it and slightly heat the wafers as well. Then you bite.

Oh yes, definitely undeniably the ultimate biscuit! Do you have another favourite?

U

Drop delicious!

lovely salty Boerderij or farmers drop

lovely salty Boerderij or farmers drop

Drop, or liquorice as it’s called here, has one of those really polarising tastes. You like it or you don’t. And when you like it, really like it, most probable this has something to do with the Dutch. You may have grown up in the Netherlands, have some Dutch heritage or had a Dutchie introduce you to it at some point in your life.

As I grew up in the Netherlands, Drop, especially the extra salty one, is really one of my favourite treats. Lucky for me , you can buy it here in New Zealand, but it’s extortionately expensive. At least compared to what I would pay for it in the  Netherlands! So I don’t have that too often.

ButI found enough alternatives:

What has started to become fairly popular is liquorice tea, which unlike the sweets, is actually supposed to be healthy for you. Of course it’s not the same, but when I smell that lovely aniseedy smell of the teabag, I am in happy dropland !

And more chefs are using it as a marinade too, which is great! The other day I had some liquorice rubbed chicken drumsticks.  They added some other things to it as well, like ginger and sesame oil. I could really taste the lovely aniseedy taste though, just drop delicious!

What do you think of Drop and the aniseedy taste ?

D

Outworn Graduation gowns

Image

 

Its uni graduation time in Auckland. There are black gowns everywhere. Students looking like they are by no means ready to enter the labour market are celebrating their uni degree by dressing up in a long black gown and a cap and parading through the mains streets of Auckland.

NZ is a lucky country. Basically everybody who wants to, can go to university. Yes you’ll build up a debt, but unemployment in NZ  is pretty low, so you can pay that off pretty quickly afterwards. There are degrees in all sorts of areas that would not necessarily have been seen as academic years ago and are still not in most European countries. It doesn’t mean the skill learned is not valuable. It maybe should just not be a uni degree nor should it follow the academic traditions like the formal graduations. The only reason it does is because tradition is just applied : we’ve always done it this way.

For some reason NZ likes their education traditions. Take all the incredibly ‘important’ school gala’s, where girls are expected to basically dress as if they are getting married, with all hairdo, nail polish and expensive limousine transfers bells and whistles attached. The amount of grief and unnecessary expense it causes! Becaue if you’re not there dressed as a princess, you are ‘missing out’. And this is not only at the last year of high school, there are at least 3 years you have to go.
The other week somebody told me there was a formal graduation ceremony they had to attend from day care with presents and all. Really?

I can see this is my practical down to earth Dutch mind at work here. The mind that questions traditions for traditions sake, all having to dress in the same uniform (and paying big bucks for it too) because heaven forbid individual expressions amongst a group and yes, mandated unnecessary expenses too.

I am very happy for all of them that they have passed their exams. Education is fantastic and  achievements should be celebrated. But do they really have to be so traditional, so regulated and so costly and commercial? Go celebrate, do it your way and not because others tell you to put on that outworn gradation gown again.