I was pretty sure Americans had the market cornered on the sugary, no-good-for-you (but really tasty) food. But hagelslag, a favorite snack of many in the Netherlands takes things to a new level. The recipe is simple. Take a piece of white or wheat bread, spread with butter and top with chocolate sprinkles.
On paper this should be delicious. Carbs + fat + sugar = yum. Right? The first bite made me laugh as I bit into the sprinkles. They crunch is such a stark contrast to the soft bread. Initially, I didn’t care for it, but I did go back for a few more bites. I can see how this snack could grow on you.
One of my focuses for this blog is to try new foods from around the world, but I also want to discover more music. And if we are talking about music in Europe I think we must talk about the Eurovision Song Contest.
If you’ve never heard of the Eurovision Song Contest I saw it explained in a Buzzfeed post as “like the Hunger Games but for singing.” It looks pretty epic. The first Eurovision Song Contest was held in 1956 after World War II to bring Europe together. Each country selects one musical act to perform against other countries.
One of the honors given to the country that wins every year is that they get to host the next year’s event. This year’s contest was held in Copenhagen, Denmark because Emmelie De Forest won in 2013 with her song “Only Teardrops.”
The song in the video above is called “Calm After the Storm” from the Common Linnets, the second place winners of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. If you told me they were from Nashville I wouldn’t even question you. The musical style the band is trying to achieve is Americana or Bluegrass. I’m no expert in either genre, but sounds spot on to me.
Both band members hail from the eastern region of the Netherlands where people are nicknamed heikneuters, which is reference to a songbird from the area called the kneu. In English the bird is known as a common linnet, hence their name.
If you are interested in seeing this year’s winner check out the video below featuring Austria’s Conchita Wurst. You can also learn more about the very intriguing world of Eurovision in Buzzfeed’s post “Everything Non-Europeans Need To Know About Eurovision.”
One last song to share with you. This one happens to be the one I enjoyed the most. I would happily pay to go see him in concert. The song is “Home” by Dotan.