Posts Tagged With: Chocolate

Chocoladna (Or: Chocolate at its finest)

For Christmas I received a box of chocolate from Roger from an Amsterdam-based company I hadn’t heard of yet: Chocoladna. Normally they cater more to hotels and restaurants, but thanks to Corona and lockdowns the company has been forced to expand its horizons a bit.

Marco and I have been enjoying a piece each with coffee in the last week or so. Half the fun is trying to decide which one you want (the other half is misery for Marco because I take so long!). So far my favorites have been a hazelnut praline and a hazelnut crisp. Which is interesting because I don’t go out of my way to get hazelnut chocolate normally. So far everything we have tried has tasted great. Oh, and we like to joke that the larger red ball near the top is probably a sour ball and not chocolate at all, as a sort of prank.

Of course, you can also get the luxury option for € 449, which includes 50 chocolate truffles, 7 bottles of mini liquors and… a 7 inch LED tv screen!? See also the LXRY kist page. Admittedly it is mainly for use by companies, restaurants or hotels, and you can order chocolate truffel refills separately. The TV screen shows viewers how the chocolates are made and what ingredients are used.

For that price it is good to see that it is also personally delivered to you!

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Old finds at Xenos (Or: Sinterklaas chocolate letters in January)

Back on the day that stores were allowed to reopen (January 15) I saw a curious find at Xenos. Xenos is a national chain here in The Netherlands. The Dutch Wikipedia page summarizes it well when they say Xenos specializes in selling “mass produced exotic goods”.

Well, apparently they also had a leftover stock of chocolate letters (English Wikipedia) from the Sinterklaas holiday, celebrated on 5 December. I know the stores had to close in mid-December due to the lockdown, but still! Albert Heijn and Hema always clear out their stock even before 5 December.

Of course, at this point they only had the most common letters (M) or some rarer ones (O, P). They still had all of the usual flavors, though. Milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, hazelnut…

In other news, for the history buffs among us:

Digitalised Holland Amerika line passenger lists reveal famous names from dutchnews.nl. “The digital archive, which is kept at the Rotterdam city archive and accessible to the public, covers the period between 1900 and 1969 when millions of people made the journey [from Rotterdam to the United States] and took three years to complete.” Apparently Albert Einstein was also one of the regular passengers, as he frequently taught a course at nearby Leiden University. The direct link to the list is available here (stadsarchief.rotterdam.nl, in Dutch).

Categories: Everyday purchases, Holidays | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Decadent delights (Or: Three mini birthday brownies)

Earlier this week I received a small box in the mail. In Dutch it’s called brievenbuspakje. Brievenbus = mail box, pakje = little package. (A normal package is called pakket and the Dutch have the habit of adding -je to the end of the word to make it cute and tiny. If you’re interested in the reasons why, feel free to read Make it small: the Dutch love affair with diminutives at iamexpat.nl.)

But I do love brievenbuspakjes or brievenbuscadeautjes (mail box gifts). For whatever reason I am not a fan of having a company deliver something to our door, probably because the doorbell for downstairs is so heart attack inducing when you press it too long. Or something like that. I will go out of my way to order something at bol.com (effectively Dutch Amazon) if and only if it has the option to deliver to the local Albert Heijn grocery store.

But brievenbuspakjes are even better because they are guaranteed to fit in your mail box, meaning you don’t have to be at home and the deliver doesn’t have to spend time ringing your doorbell. Just put it in the mailbox and move on to the next delivery.

But back to that small box I received in the mail. I was thrilled to see the tiny gift in our mailbox earlier this week, though had no idea who it was from. The spoon is in the back of the picture to give a bit of reference to how small this box is.

It was from work to say happy birthday! It was a brownie from a local Dutch site, www.mmoodwineandfood.nl. At first when I read the flavors on the card (caramel, white chocolate and m&m topping) I thought it was one really, really extragent brownie. But no, luckily it was separate flavors:

It was so rich Marco and I split the one on the left, the m&m toppings. (Also, I’d not call that m&ms. They were more smarties size, aka the UK chocolates (English Wikipedia). Which apparently pre-dates m&ms by a few years.) The other two brownies were saved for another day.

But: yummmm. Even though we weren’t able to get to them for a few days it was still moist and delicious.

Happy Friday, everyone!

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The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian (Or: Enjoying the Christmas gifts)

Marco received an awesome book for Christmas this year—The Art of Star Wars: The Mandalorian—from Roger.

Marco being Marco, he had to get the perfect photo. And what better way to do that than to use the reindeer and teddy bear he bought from Xenos as the “readers”?

If you look closely you’ll see some chocolate in the lower right. That is dark chocolate marzipan from Albert Heijn, a joke of sorts between Marco, Roger and I. A few years ago Roger “stole” some dark chocolate marzipan we had in our Christmas candy dish, so Marco bought some and wrapped it up as a Christmas gift that year for Roger so he wouldn’t have to “steal” ours. But Roger also bought some and wrapped it up as a gift for Marco, so there was lots of marzipan going around.

This year we each gifted one to another (three packs in total). The tradition lives on…

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Hot chocolate (Or: The case of the disappearing cookie)

Yesterday Marco, Roger and I made a cup of hot chocolate before sending Roger off back into the cold. Hot chocolate, whipped cream, chocolate powder, and a piece of speculaas cookie (Albert Heijn link to the cookie).

Keep your eye on that cookie…

… by the time Marco noticed, it was gone. Marco did say the bottom of his hot chocolate did taste rather speculaas-y, though.

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Chocolate eggs by Hema (Or: Stroopwafel flavor, anyone?)

It feels like a lifetime ago, but a few weeks ago (13 March) I was browsing in Hema. I could not resist snapping a few photos of their chocolate egg collection:

Some of the flavors included dark chocolate banana cream, white chocolate matcha lemon, milk chocolate cookies and cream (that one was almost empty), milk chocolate orange, milk chocolate coconut, milk chocolate peanut butter… I definitely learned that everyone’s favorite flavor is milk chocolate, not dark chocolate.

There was also a display near one of the entrances.

But the best (and most Dutch) flavor was…

You guessed it… Stroopwafel flavored chocolate eggs!

Categories: Everyday purchases, Holidays | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Milka chocolate stand (Or: Vote for your favorite cow)

Traveling through the city centre of The Hague means you always see interesting promotions, especially on the Grote Markstraat (in Dutch), one of the larger shopping areas of the city.

Today’s promotion: Milka. Milka is a German company specializing in chocolate confections. You can vote on which of the four cows you like the best (link also in Dutch). The top prize is a trip to the Alps, with smaller prizes including chocolate packages or Milka-branded mugs.

The most interesting thing about the photo is on the left: one worker is helping another put on their cow head for the costume.

And no, I didn’t vote. They were still setting up and there’s no way I could choose who was my favorite cow: Marisa, Lotta, Lola or Katja (heh).

I will also mention that all of the names end in a… is there no love for a Sophie or Zoe?

Categories: Everyday purchases, The Hague | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Kinder eggs (Or: An unexpected surprise in the Target aisle)

As my last two blog posts have mentioned, Roger, Marco and I were in the States last month. It was over a month ago that we flew there, eek!

Imagine our surprise when we were going up and down the aisles at Target (a department store which also contains a pretty large food section). It is something we always do in the States – find a Target and/or a grocery store and just check out the offerings and decide what we want to bring back. I have a photo of Marco jokingly holding five large bags of Synder’s Hot Buffalo Wing pretzels, for instance. 🙂 I think he settled on opening one bag during the trip and bringing two unopened bags back in our luggage…

But that’s not surprising. What is surprising is seeing a Kinder egg for sale! In the States!

No longer banned in the US - Kinder Joy eggs

This was illegal due to a 1938 Food and Drug Administration regulation, because of what it is: candy with a toy (wrapped in plastic) inside the chocolate shell. After I got back from vacation I looked up how we could possibly come across this item. It turns out that Kinder Joy is a variant legally sold in America because it completely separates the candy from the toy with two sealed halves. The Italian company which makes them (Ferrero) first started delivering them exclusively to Wal-Mart in late November for 30 days and then any American store from January of this year.

According to this today.com article: “The Kinder Joy, the version that will soon be available in the U.S., comes in a plastic egg-shaped package comprised of two separately sealed halves. One half contains an edible treat made of two soft cream layers: one is sweet milk cream-flavored and one is cocoa-flavored. Nestled into the creamy layers are two round, chocolate-covered wafer bites that are filled with a sweet cocoa cream that’s soft enough to be eaten with the included spoon. The other half of the egg contains a surprise: a non-edible toy.”

You can see a picture of the Kinder Joy egg and what it looks like when opened (including the toy that still needs assembling) over on Wikipedia. And here is another fun link: “Why the FDA doesn’t like chocolate eggs with toys inside“.

And there you have it – the story of how American kids can experience the joy of a Kinder Egg. Pun possibly intended.

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Chocolate Christmas decorations (Or: Hop & Stork)

Recent photos that I took of Hop & Stork in De Passage, a covered shopping area in the heart of The Hague. The creations they can make with chocolate are just insane…

Hop and stork chocolate shop Christmas decorations, 2017 3

Dressed up and on your way to a fancy Christmas soirée…

Hop and stork chocolate shop Christmas decorations, 2017 2

Hop and stork chocolate shop Christmas decorations, 2017

Hop and stork chocolate shop Christmas decorations, 2017 4

Tasty!

Categories: Dordrecht, Food, Holidays, The Hague | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

A gift from Marco (Or: …Now I am craving chocolate)

Chocolate!

Marco bought these for me – they are the size of drink coasters (onderzetters, in Dutch) and the theme is chocolate (droooool):

four-chocolate-sayings

The four sayings are:

  1. Chocolate comes from cocoa – which is a plant – therefore chocolate counts as a salad. The end.
  2. Chocolate doesn’t ask silly questions. Chocolate understands.
  3. All I want is peace, love and a chocolate bar bigger than my head. (My favorite!)
  4. I love you more than chocolate, but please don’t make me prove it.

Yum.

Categories: Food, Marco&Niki | Tags: | Leave a comment

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