Column Maurice: Crompouce

I have made every conceivable effort to avoid the crompouce. In vain.

I often get together with friends to work on my thesis. We book a study room and lock ourselves in to spend the day writing. We launched the tradition of having one of us bring a “thesis snack” to help get us through the day. And, sure enough, this time, the croissant-tompouce appeared. A brief review.

The fluorescent pink glazing that almost radiates through the packaging merits no award for looks. The “snack” was also surprisingly large, ensuring your insulin spike will last you the rest of the day. Having a real sweet tooth that is a feature I appreciate. As for the flavour: sweet. And, of course, it tastes like tompouce. In fact, it’s quite enjoyable, my friend and I decide, with some embarrassment, as the crompouce is somewhat vulgar. It falls within the same category as a frikandelbroodje—things you aren’t supposed to like.

The crompouce falls within the same category as a frikandelbroodje. Things you aren’t supposed to like

Other than that, the crompouce is strangely opulent. A croissant, plus vanilla custard, plus pink icing. Dutch cuisine is known for its modesty, with the simple ‘bun with a slice of cheese’ as its flagship. I remember an international friend’s amazement when a professor produced a plastic bag with sandwiches for lunch. ‘Doesn’t she make enough to buy lunch?’ my friend inquired. It is the Dutch way. A professor’s salary will easily cover the costs of buying lunch every day, but why would you succumb to pretentiousness? A sandwich is nutritious, relatively healthy and tastes just fine.

I admit that mocking Dutch cuisine is all too easy, but its simplicity deserves more appreciation. In that respect, I would gladly swap the crompouce for a hagelslag sandwich.

Resource-student editor Maurice Schoo (24) is a second-year master’s student of Development & Rural Innovation. He likes to cook, and he paints when he has the time.  

Crompouce: a vanilla custard-filled croissant generously covered in pink icing
Tompouce: a pastry consisting of vanilla custard between two slices of puff pastry, topped with pink icing
Frikandelbroodje: a meat roll wrapped in puff pastry
Hagelslag: chocolate sprinkles

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