Since I’ve been back to visit family in Québec, the comments about the Netherlands have been reduced to coffeeshops, whores and cheese, which are polite jabs, but also pretty accurate. However, a recurring theme is chips or crisps, or even ‘croustilles’ for the proper French word. The proper Dutch word is ‘chips’, following the North American tradition. Szechwan, that’s pretty exotic. Salt n’ vinegar, nothing special. Mesquite BBQ I had to look up, and has something to do with a style of BBQ sauce in Texas.
One interesting trend was that many of these Canadian chips were advertised as kosher. Canadian food products have always had kosher symbols on them, but there are many different ones (COR, K, MK, etc.) and seem to me to be more prominent. It was swiftly pointed out to me as well that these products (not all junk food by the way) are in fact more expensive to produce because a rabbi has been part of the process. In other words, these kosher products cost more for people who don’t eat kosher. The press has written that regular people are being had for more money at the expense of people who choose to eat kosher and even halal foods, as it is a life choice and not a health issue. The conclusion was that there are tons of symbols for gluten-free, no nuts and low-sodium products, which can even be life-saving for many people, even religious people, and may even cost more to produce, but they are for the benefit of society as a whole, not a select religious group.
I am amazed this discussion hasn’t popped in the Netherlands yet, albeit regarding halal foods.