Dutch Treat

Once, what now seems like eons ago, I worked for a Dutch company. At first, I loved the idea of working for an international organization, and dreamed of one day getting to see our headquarters in Amsterdam. According to corporate lore, our company was known by all in the Netherlands, and our brand was so strong there that we could command twice the price of our nearest competitor. But eventually, I would come to understand what it meant to be the unprofitable country within a global firm’s portfolio.
Whenever someone from “headquarters” paid a friendly visit to one of the US offices, it would inevitably end in tragedy. Within one month of giving a tour to one of our Dutch counterparts, we would have to initiate a complete reorganization, cut staff by 20%, and increase profits by 35%. And stop using so many envelopes. Because of this, we began to live by the mantra, “Trust no Dutch.”
Time and distance taught me that perhaps it was unfair to apply this standard to an entire country. I mean, I really do like tulips, and I think they make Edam cheese there, which I find quite tasty on a Stoned Wheat Thin cracker. I will admit, however, that I am still perplexed by the Holland/Netherlands thing. Why must they have two names for their country? What are they hiding?
Naming conventions aside, I realized that I could not pass judgment on the people as a whole based on this one experience. I learned to overcome my aversion to people with blonde hair, blue eyes, and double “a’s” in their last names. Everything was going fine… until this past weekend, that is, when I paid a visit to my local apothecary.
As I browsed through rows of tinctures and cough lozenges, I came upon a shelf of European candies. One bag in particular caught my attention: Licorice Made in Holland – Double Salt Salty kind.
I thought, I love salt, and I love licorice, and if the Dutch deem it a worthy combination then surely it must be divine! I bought a bag and headed out to a movie with fellow blogger, Dave, who happened to be in town for business. Somewhere in the middle of Pirates of the Caribbean, during a particularly noisy fight sequence, I ripped open the bag and grabbed one of the tiny discs.
I popped the candy into my mouth, bit down, and was instantly struck by the overwhelming taste of Play-Doh and Palmolive. Now, I am a grown woman, properly raised in the ways of social graces, but the taste of this candy, and the flood of saliva that immediately followed, forced me to audibly retch the licorice into the half-empty bag of popcorn at my feet. I then took a napkin and wiped the last remnants of it from my tongue. Five swishes of water later, and the taste still lingered.
Of course, this did not stop me from offering a piece to Dave at the end of the movie. “No, really. It’s so bad, you have to try it. It might be the worst thing I’ve ever tasted.”
Dave graciously acquiesced. And then retched the licorice into his empty soda cup. He couldn’t even bite all the way through it, it was so bad.
So once again, dear Holland – if that is your real name – you have betrayed me. And if you think I’m just going to forget about this, you’ve got another think coming. I’ve got my eye on you, Netherlands. Trust no Dutch, indeed.

25 Responses to “Dutch Treat”

  1. RW Says:

    They downsized people out of jobs. They make salty licorice (this… wasn’t a clue??). They add salt to salty licorice. They go by aliases. They use a lot of “a’s”… and still you bit.
    Yes clearly this was all Holland’s fault (rolls eyes).

  2. jenny Says:

    Yes, RW, still I bit. I just wanted to see the good in them, give them another chance, the benefit of the doubt. I’ll not be so naive the next time… ;)

  3. sandra Says:

    A friend of mine lived in an area with a pretty big Dutch population for a while. Apparently lots of people had bumper stickers that said, “if you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much”.

  4. ms. sizzle Says:

    they are gonna have to come up with something far greater than tulips and edam cheese.

  5. shari Says:

    /adopting Angela Lansbury voice:
    And how did the term “Dutch” come to apply to people from “Holland” or “Netherlands” anyway? Germans come from Germany, Fins from Finland, Brits from Britain, etc. This is a giant conspiracy, I just know it.

  6. Dave2 Says:

    It burns… IT BURNS!!
    The Dutch have somehow managed to come up with something saltier than actual salt, and for that I must give them some credit.
    Of course, now I am scarred for life and am plotting my revenge against yet another country, but it’s all good because “Pirates of the Caribbean” had an undead monkey in it. It’s pretty hard to top an undead monkey. :-)

  7. Dustin Says:

    Gold Member didn’t tip you off as to the weirdness of the Dutch?

  8. jill Says:

    I love you for using the word “tincture.”
    And THANK YOU. Holland? Netherlands? Where? I’ve always been vaguely confused about that. Wasn’t sure if they were in fact the same place and I’ve even BEEN there. And yes, Shari, the Dutch. Why are they Dutch? Dutch sounds NOTHING like Holland and even less like Netherlands.

  9. Rhea Says:

    I visited Amsterdam for the first time, earlier this year. It was a really cool city with tons of cafes and an easygoing pace (except for the bike commuters, who will run you over without a second thought).

  10. peefer Says:

    “Hey, you got half-chewed salty-salty licorice on my popcorn.”
    “Hey, you got popcorn dregs on my half-chewed salty-salty licorice.”
    /a pause, then they each sample the result/
    I think you’re on to something, Jenny, and I’m not talking about my shin.

  11. Göran Says:

    I clicked your link over at Daves, Blogography and this gave me a good laugh.
    I would however like to point out that Sweden and Finland are famous for salty licorice and maybe I should send you some to compensate for Hollands bad taste? Just to prove that blond, blue eyed people can be trusted! :)

  12. Bobby Says:

    Maybe you accidentally received the display candy – you know, like how they have wax fruit just for display.
    But, any country that would produce something as uncomfortable as wooden shoes would be capable of producing candy that tastes like walrus meat.

  13. jenny Says:

    Sandra: Well, they should make bumper stickers that say, “If you ain’t Dutch, thank your lucky stars because if you were, you’d be eating candy that tasted like sardines right about now.”
    Sizz: Amen! I mean, Heineken will only get them so far.
    Shari: Excellent point! What’s with the Dutch and identity theft? What – is the whole country in the witness protection program?
    Dave2: The saltiest salt ever made… come to Holland! But I agree – zombie monkeys make everything better.
    Dustin: OMG! That picture just scared the crap out of me!
    jill: Want me to pick you up some herbal tinctures? They’re right next to the Herbal Ricolas. Hey – are those Dutch, too?!
    Rhea: Well, I would definitely still visit Amsterdam, but I’d avoid the candy shops!
    Peef: I don’t think the popcorn could’ve made it any saltier, so maybe that would be an all right combo. Sorry about your shin.
    Göran: I trust you already, because you only have one “a” in your name, and anyone with an umlaut in his name is already A-OK in my book! I think my problem was the DOUBLE salt. Single salt would probably be fine. :)
    Bobby: Hmm – the candy was kind of dusty, now that I think about it…

  14. Randa Says:

    Has this candy actually not yet been named here yet? The infamous (at our house) ‘DoubleZout’? This candy, introduced to us by our Dutch friend, the illustrious Mr. Hoogkaamp (ha ha; the double ‘a’), is adored by my husband and two children. As for me, it makes me want to vomaat. I mean, vomit.

  15. ashbloem Says:

    THIS IS MY FAVORITE CANDY! In fact, I have a big bowl of it here at my work desk. Mmmmm, delicious salty licorice.
    Netherlands is the country as a whole. Holland is the region wherein Amsterdam lies. And because Amsterdam is the most important, sometimes people refer to the country as ‘Holland’ instead of the proper ‘The Netherlands’.
    The word ‘dutch’ has the same etymology as the word ‘deutsch’, for German, as these have the same roots.

  16. ashbloem Says:

    You might notice my URL is half-Dutch.
    I shall now be known as AASHBLOEM.
    Yes!! Licorice!! HEY! BORED AT WORK!

  17. Mocha Says:

    I’m going to send this post to my Delft friend to see what he has to say about this. Of course, he’s an ex-pat who was probably PROPERLY reared on licorice, so he’ll agree.
    THIS was a fantastic post. I love that you offered some to Dave. I would do that, too.

  18. jenny Says:

    Randa: So THAT’S what the “DZ” stands for? Leave it to Mr. Hoogkaamp to give your faamily the naastiest caandy.
    Aashbloem: My dear blonde, blue-eyed Hollandaise, I have been waiting ALL DAY for you to weigh in on this topic. How did I know that you would love salty licorice? But is it the DOUBLE salty kind? And thanks for the geography info – I never knew that Holland wasn’t the same as the Netherlands! Clever girl – you must’ve been doing more than drugs and prostitutes while you lived there… ;)
    Mocha: Ahh – but the question is: would you have warned Dave first? Having seen your inner she-devil in action, I’m not so sure!

  19. steph_s Says:

    Funny that you and I (and how many others?) know that Play-Doh tastes salty. Am I also supposed to know what Palmolive tastes like? I should have cursed more as a child…

  20. elle Says:

    Yea, and what’s up with those wooden shoes?

  21. jenny Says:

    Steph: That Play-Doh taste is really unmistakable, isn’t it? (as is Palmolive)
    Elle: Okay, a Dutch friend of mine tried to convince me that wooden shoes are comfortable. I’m not buying it.

  22. steph Says:

    ew. i cant stand it when candy tastes bad. its such a let down. there should be laws against this type of thing

  23. Kevin Says:

    Palmolive and Play Doh? Now who was the genius behind that taste treat?

  24. egan Says:

    I see no reason to lecture you about the differences between Holland and The Netherlands on your blog. Looks like someone else beat me to it. I raised the same stink on my blog and some snobby person not-so kindly explained the difference. Thankfully Ashbloem seems like a nice person.
    I’m so glad you gave this review of this candy. I’m sort of inclined to go buy some and try it out.

  25. Tracy Lynn Says:

    There’s a reason why the phrase “in Dutch” has a negative connotation.
    I, personally, don’t trust the Swiss. Bastards.