News - November 4, 2010

Drop me in!


What is the sweetest thing that you would give your beloved children as a reward? My answer is candies, but not drop, a not-for-kids exotic Dutch sweet.

Drop is special to me, perhaps because there is no sweet like it in my country, Vietnam. I would expect candies to be sweet, more colourful and definitely not salty. That is what people perceive as sweets in Vietnam. We are used to candies with fruity, chocolate or coffee tastes, and drop doesn't fit the description.
I was offered drop during my 1 st period, of course by a nice Dutch friend. The guy did warn me a bit before I tried, but I was more of a sweet lover than a cautious foreigner. I came to regret this. The sweets were lovely black coins, with a faint honey-like smell, nothing different from all the sweets I have tried in the last 23 years. Except for the taste: a mixture of sweet, salty and the strong liquorice taste really triggered a feeling that I was being poisoned. And besides, drop is as hard as if you were chewing a silver bullet. That was my first experience with drop: I totally dropped out.
Things changed gradually when I read a book named 'The Dutch, I presume?' in which the author Martijn de Rooi described drop as a controversial sweet: the Dutch would steal bikes for their drop addiction, while foreigners would rather die than try it. I then bought a packet of drop and tried it during tea breaks. And the good thing is: now I have the joy of watching movies with my little packet of drop in hand.
Drop is really a Dutch thing you should try, to see how much you like it - or hate it, like every other foreigner does on their first try. My advice for you this weekend: Go get a pack of drop and drop yourself further into Dutch culture.
Long Hoang Phi, MSc Environmental Sciences: Integrated Water Management