Today is “Antipakjesavond“, literally “anti-packages-eve”, a day designated for cooking and preparing food yourself without the use of packaged sauces or ingredients. I started the celebration by going to a small market at the Jamie Oliver 15 restaurant on Sunday where various foodies had stalls selling delicious treats; fresh pasta, home-made tiramisu, Christmas cookies, and the world’s best chocolate fudge made by one of the founders of Smulpaapje.


Explaining this celebration, and the photo above is a bit like going through an inburgeringscursis.

Pakjesavond is the 5 December, and it’s when Dutch exchange gifts, Sinterklaas is here giving out chocolate and sweets to good children, and families have a feast together. It’s bigger than Christmas. The photo above shows carrots being prepared for Amerigo – Sinterklaas’ white horse, the carrots have been cooked and are now being dipped in chocolated, I suspect they’re not being eaten by any horse.


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