5 Minute Read | By Gino De Blasio
Day 3 of the Giro displacement and we’re at the end of the foreign journey for the grand tour. Alas, what better way to leave the Netherlands to discuss one of their best exports, no, not clogs or tulips but the amazing Stroopwafel. If you’ve never had one, go and buy one, now!
Stage 3 also sees the sprinters taking to action on the route they did yesterday, but in reverse. This makes no sense whatsoever, don’t thank me, once again, thank the course directors.
Welcome to 2016. Much is happening around the globe as it stands today (or on the day of writing); Donald Trump is one step closer to becoming President of the United States, Leicester City (1) have become the largest underdog story since Sylvester Stallone wrote Rocky and United Airlines are offering free in flight snacks.
For those born after the year 2000, it’s a hard concept to understand that airline snacks were, free. It’s probably also the reason why flying used to be so expensive, done irregularly and like an advert for viagra, anything lasting over four hours you’d want to seek medical help before moving on.
Yes, air travel used to be glamorous, so glamorous that pilots were lauded as champions of the sky. Flight attendants were considered the next sexually attractive thing after supermodels but before nurses, and that champagne is only reserved for the upper class section of your flight but throw a cheeky smile and charm you could grab a glass from the very attractive flight attendant; male or female!
Then cost cutting came in. Cheap airlines such as Easyjet and Ryanair (2) appeared and it turned the market upside down; both in Europe and around the world. Larger airlines understood that they could copy the cheap, low cost, business model in return of world dominance. New markets would open weekly, all of a sudden if you lived in Australia you could visit Hong Kong on a shoestring, these were exciting times.
But something had to give. You couldn’t get rid of airline pilots, they’re essential. Your air stewards were both safety, marketing, naysayers on when you could “put your headphones in” and to the sexists of both genders, eye candy. You couldn’t fly planes on low fuel, although there have been some stories over the years…
There was a time that the inflight snack stop serving peanuts, this was in order to avoid passengers with peanut allergies developing anaphylactic shock and well, dying. There used to be a time that a steward would pass through the cabin with peanuts in a bowl and you would carefully dish out a handful with a spoon. Remember, these were the glory days of air travel. No one care if the passenger next to you had a severe peanut allergy. No one.
No more free snacks, no more air travel etiquette spoon whittling required, the heady days of getting salted or sweet treats, for free had gone. That was until December 2015 and United Airlines decided to do something about it.
“We’re refocusing on the big and little things that we know matter to our customers and shape how they feel about their travel experience,” said Jimmy Samartzis, United’s vice president of food services and United Clubs. “We’re bringing back complimentary snacks that are a nod to our global presence. They also add that extra level of service our employees will be proud to deliver and will make a big difference for our customers.”
America, you now have the option of indulging in a stroopwafel. If you fly before 9:45 a.m. on a United Airlines flight, you’ll get a stroopwafel. United Airlines described the breakfast snack as a “Dutch, caramel-filled waffle that pairs perfectly with coffee or tea.”
So happy about this cultural culinary coup d’etat, they did a video on how to gently warm one up over your cup of tea or coffee.
The ‘news’ of United’s laissez-faire attitude to following the industry accepted rules made headlines. An opportunity for good PR, social media and the burgeoning request of what seems, many customers to enjoy some sort of snack on their flights had been heard. United were championing the inflight snack, thankfully the Dutch kind that doesn’t give you lucid visions or a panging for multiple nibbles after take off.
United were championing the inflight snack, thankfully the Dutch kind that doesn’t give you lucid visions or a panging for multiple nibbles after take off.
The Huffington Post described how you should eat a stroopwafel in their piece “Stroopwafel, One of the World’s Greatest Cookies” using the tea/coffee example. “Stroopwafels are meant to be eaten with coffee or tea. You put the round disc on top of your mug and let the steam soften it for a couple of minutes. The steam heats the cookie and melts the inside layer so that it’s warm and gooey. If you can’t wait that long, stroopwafels are great from straight from the package, too.”
So great from the pack in fact, that over 22 million packages were sold in 2012 and the popularity has been increasing ever since.
Originating in gouda (the same place as the cheese) from the late 18th century, this combination of caramel, cookie flavouring and two wafer waffles that are pressed together to hold in a caramel centre has become a firm favourite across Holland, europe, IKEA stores and now, morning travellers on United Airlines. As the site, stuffdutchpeoplelike point out, “Stroopwafels are made from two very thin layers of baked batter with a caramel-like filling in the middle. Stroll through any busy Dutch market, and you will smell the delicious confections long before you actually see them being made.”
there is no way of grabbing a cheeky glass of champagne nowadays, try and you may get tasered.
Whilst the world of air travel may not be as glorious as the heady days of the 1950’s to the 1980’s, it’s cheaper, opened up more cultural exchanges than a Donald Trump rally in Mexico and importantly, safer. The stewards are slightly firmer in their safety talks, the captains less god like and there is no way of grabbing a cheeky glass of champagne nowadays, try and you may get tasered.
If you want to learn how to create your own stroopwafel, Food.com has a recipe for you to indulge in here. If however you are used to the more commonly known United Airlines variety, BBC Good Food has possibly the easiest recipe you could come across.
1. Leicester City is a city in England, Leicestershire which causes much confusion for tourists in London as they think it is one of the same thing and, it is hard to pronounce unless you are British. But Leicester City Football Club have done the equivalent of the San Diego Padres winning the MLB or the San Diego Chargers winning the NFL. Basically, Leicester is like San Diego only, it really isn’t.
2. Easyjet and Ryanair are European inventions of aviation. So cheap you could be paying to go to the toilet in the next few years for flying with them. Be warned.
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