I know – I know – it’s not Christmas yet. However, seeing as I keep seeing Christmas Lights everytime I go into the city centre as well as Christmas food, etc, in the shops, I decided to tell you about some of my favourite Festive Food.
When my Dutch Grandma was alive my Christmas used to start a little earlier than most UK Christmas festivities. Did you know that the original Father Christmas (or “Santa Claus) is actually a Dutch invention???
In the beginning of December the Dutch have a Festival called “Sinterklaas”. This is when St Nicholas (and his helper “Zwarte Piet”) turns up. St Nicholas is dressed as a Bishop and arrives on a horse. I have yet to find out the reason for this next bit but I am sure there is a point to it – instead of leaving stockings for the English Santa Claus to put presents in the Dutch leave shoes out.
The Dutch have a few songs which I love – here is one of them – Sinterklaas Kapoentje.
The one foodstuff I live which I associate with Sinterklaas Avond is the chocolate letters. You get one with the initial of your first name.
My other favourite foodstuffs are –
Speculaas – a kind of more cinnamon-flavoured gingerbread. If there is a Continental Christmas Market near you with a Dutch stall in it you will be able to try some.
Kerstkrans – just think sausage-roll with Marzipan replacing the sausagemeat.
You can even throw a few Mincepies in my direction.
However, my all-time favourite Festive Foodstuff is only eaten at New Years Eve – Oliebollen (Doughnuts to English-speakers). However, these are more like a cross between an English Christmas Cake and a Doughnut. They have got lots of fruit in them.
It is odd how my all-time favourite dessert is never actually eaten as a Festive Food. Chippolata Pudding does not contain a single sausage. What it is is a cross between a Tutti Frutti icecream and a Blancmange. Delicious.