Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bad coke no more

Thursday night is Maastricht's koopavond, the one night of the week that stores are open later so that you can get stuff like shampoo and shower gel if you've run out that week but have been working late. I sometimes like to get myself a waffle from the Pinky's by the HEMA while I get my stuff--there may be many Pinky's but that one makes by far the best ones, with a thick crispy-chewy coating of melted sugar and a fluffy yet dense middle. For the BESTEST WAFFLES EVER you have to go when the grumpy middle-aged guy with glasses is there, because he makes the penultimate waffle, perfectly burning the sugar coating and always asking if you want powdered sugar on top.

The first time I had a waffle from Pinky's, I agreed to the powdered sugar. This was before I knew anything about powdered sugar: I took a bite and ended up looking like I'd just snorted a bad line. It got worse with every subsequent bite I took, and what was worse, I was wearing a dark coat. I'm fairly certain that Maastrichtites have conceived the powdered sugar as some kind of litmus test to weed out the Maastrichtites from the rest of the Dutch people--if you can eat a waffle coated with powdered sugar without looking like Frosty the Snowman, you're not a tourist.

Ever since then I've always refused the powdered sugar, because the strange looks you get when you wander into a high-end store looking like a coke junkie just aren't worth the extra bit of sweet. Until yesterday, that is:

See, they make these waffles fresh--you can watch them come out of the griddle, and while they always have a small pile of them sitting in front, the waffle-maker will give you one hot off the griddle if your timing is right. If your order comes next to orders from another group's, then they might just take all of them at once--and if your order comes without powdered sugar they might not hear it.

Either way, I was left with a waffle covered with powdered sugar. And I was still wearing a dark jacket. Never one to be defeated by baking ingredients, I became determined to eat my waffle without spraying myself with a white aerosol of powder.

And now, I bequeath to you, dear reader, the Technique: so that you might walk down the streets not looking like a powder-sugared tourista clod.

1) Angle of incidence: This is critical. You must hold your waffle at such an angle so that the powdered sugar which isn't stuck to it is trapped in one of the corners of the square, and keep it at that angle, even as you bring it to your mouth.

2) Angle of consumption: You need to be very careful about eating only one square at a time, and make sure that your teeth pass through the middle of the "wall" around reach square. This ensures that the powdered sugar in the surrounding squares does not escape.

Good luck!

ETA: I've just been informed that Outside Looking In is being featured as one of Go Overseas top blogs, which is pretty cool, considering that it's only been a few months since I made this public. Fame and fortune, here I come! (well...maybe just fame....15 seconds?)


  1. It could have been worse. Instead of just strange looks you could have got arrested :p

  2. @ Stu: Really? I mean, I know hard drugs are illegal but given the number of coffeeshops around Maastricht I'm not sure the police could be bothered :-)