The Dutch and Chocolate

Today a parcel arrived from the Netherlands. Which means it must be Christmas, in a way. My parents send out a shipment of Dutch goodies once a year, and sometimes it gets here in December, but usually it is easier to aim for another less-postally-congested month.

2015-03-30 - Step 1

Chocolate features heavily in the parcel.
There are some reasons for this.
Not good reasons, but… good enough for me.

2015-03-30 - Step 2

I have no idea where historically/culturally our predilection for starting the day with “beschuit met hagel” (crispbakes with chocolate sprinkles) comes from. But I dare you to find a household in the Netherlands that doesn’t have at least one pack of hagelslag somewhere in a cupboard.

2015-03-30 - Step 3

It used to be very difficult to get hagel in Australia. It is getting a little easier, even if the cost if extravagant compared to back “home”. And it always takes people aback when I explain it is a breakfast topping. My parents have been sending annual care packages with hagel for forever, but since it has started becoming available here too, I tend to get sent the more luxury flavours, like Mocha and Extra Dark.

2015-03-30 - Step 4

But the chocolate most directly tied to Sinterklaas (the Dutch equivalent of Christmas) is the chocolate letter. The Chocolate-Initial-Complex is a force unto itself in the Netherlands.

2015-03-30 - Step 5

And those that know me well, know exactly what happens when chocolate letters arrive. I really have no trouble leaving chocolate be, as my former experiments with The Chocolate Drawer have shown at my previous job.

2015-03-30 - Step 6

But when it comes to initials, the only way to consume them is all in one go.
That’s my story.
And I’m sticking with it.