Every year in the Netherlands, you can hear someone say ‘those pepernoten [actually kruidnoten] are already in the shop this year!’, with irritation in their voice. It’s a similar, yearly reaction to anyone from North America like myself who sees the Halloween stuff disappear from shops on 1 November being replaced with Christmas stuff the very same day.
Who sells Sinterklaas treats in summer? The answer is the PLUS supermarket in Almelo, Overijssel. And the owner believes the ‘shock’ is free publicity and he’s probably right. Amusingly, PLUS has been selling kruidnoten since the end of July, for the ‘heck of it’. ‘They’re perfect for the BBQ or next to the swimming pool’, claims the owner.
Tags: kruidnoten, pepernoten, Sinterklaas, supermarket
Tonight’s pakjesavond, when Saint Nick visits the homes of many a European child to deliver presents.
I realise many of you won’t be sharing in the fun because you have fallen for the trickery of the Arctic imposter. Fret not, though. With Wiering Software’s video game Zwarte Piet you can experience the gift delivery process as if you were here in person.
Guide Black Peter across rooftops, collect the delicious pepernoten (lit. ‘pepper nuts’) and shove them together with gifts down chimneys. Mike Wiering has been producing new versions of this game every year, so if you don’t like this particular version, try another. Tip: “Klaar! Zoek de uitgang” means “Claire! Find the exit”.
UPDATE: We are very aware that many Dutch folks now consider Zwarte Piet a racist stereotype.
Tags: pepernoten, racism, racist, Sinterklaas, Zwarte Piet