Christmas Tree Chocolates

Christmas Tree Chocolates

Chocolate Christmas tree ornaments have been popular since 1880 when Woolworth sold the first chocolate ornaments in their department stores. In England you will find chocolate coins covered in gold foil paper. These coins are an echo of the generosity of St. Nicolas...
Marzipan and Piggie Banks

Marzipan and Piggie Banks

By our checkout we have a small container of marzipan pigs. People pick them up and ask what they are. That is when I explain the story of marzipan pigs. For the uninitiated, marzipan is a candy made from ground almonds. It can vary in quality, the best being in the...
Why Dutch People Give Chocolate Letters

Why Dutch People Give Chocolate Letters

Why do Dutch people give chocolate letters? When we receive our initial on “Pakjesavond” December 5 or at Christmas most of us just eat the delicious chocolate without wondering why this unique tradition is still practiced. The history of receiving a...
Nagyon Finom – delicious!

Nagyon Finom – delicious!

There’s nothing like pictures to inspire us to cook but one of my favourite and obviously well used recipe books, “The Old World Kitchen”  by Elizabeth Luard boasts no colour photography. The illustrations are pen and ink drawings by Luard. Yet it is...
Surprises are nice but…

Surprises are nice but…

At The European Pantry, we keep a container of leftover cheese pieces from our sampling sessions.  I try to label them but sometimes I pick up a piece neatly wrapped but with no label.  I like all the cheeses we sell so I don’t mind these surprises when I am...
Is European cooking bland?

Is European cooking bland?

What do you think…is European cooking bland?  I have had some lively discussions about this question with my son who lives in China.  It seems some people gravitate to the subtle flavours in a cream sauce. Others prefer very lively flavours. What do you like?...