“I’ve got this at home and it’s great!” A lame sales pitch, except if you’re aboard a KLM flight, because the cabin attendant may well be telling the truth. KLM has a wide range of typical-Dutch, duty-free articles in its Sky High Collection. Personally, I am the proud owner of many of these items. From the singing egg timer to various Miffy products. From the tasty ‘stroopwafels’ and fair-trade chocolate to traditional Dutch jewellery. What I don’t keep for myself, I give to others, because these items are always a success.
In fact, one of these items recently led to a minor domestic crisis. Not as serious as the famous tulip crisis that shook the global economy three centuries ago, but there were certain similarities. The crisis was caused by a typical Dutch product and it rattled our little world to the core. What happened? Our beloved singing egg timer had lost its voice.
An egg timer that sings Dutch classics
Back in its golden years, our egg timer would bob around in boiling water, merrily singing its little Dutch ditties: one for a soft-boiled egg, one for a semi-hardboiled egg, and the national anthem for for a hardboiled egg. He was a true patriot, our timer. When put in hot water it proudly displaying its decorative row of canal-side houses just above the waterline. With this gadget in the pan, the other eggs felt like they were on a dreamy cruise on the Amsterdam canals, probably with this classic Dutch song in the background…
Miffy, the world-famous Dutch bunny
For over six decades, Miffy and her friends have won the hearts of tiny tots and their parents all over the world. Translated into over 50 languages, more than 85 million copies of these books by Dutchman Dick Bruna have been sold worldwide. I too grew up reading about the adventures of Miffy and her friends: Miffy’s Bicycle, Miffy at the Museum and of course Miffy Goes Flying. Which makes me wonder whether it really is a coincidence that I’ve been flying for years. Whatever the case may be, KLM’s collection of Miffy articles on board includes a number of books, as well as cuddly versions of Holland’s world-famous bunny, which I have got at home too. I do!
Share the delicious Dutch ‘stroopwafel’
During some flights, we give away ‘stroopwafels’. For free. If that isn’t a Dutch treat, what is? Before I let non-Dutch passengers taste this the ‘stroopwafel’, I try to teach them how they should pronounce the name of this Dutch delicacy: “Str-oh-hope, as in ‘oh, how lovely’. Not stroop, as in ‘oops, I ate another one’. And then: waaavel, as in: ‘aaaah, yes please, I’ll have another one’.” Once they’ve got their tongue around this double Dutch, I explain that the waffles are actually stuck together with caramel, rather than syrup. Personally, I love this delicacy most when the syrup (caramel!) is runny. The best way to do this is by placing the waffle on top of a steaming hot cup of coffee or tea. We sell the waffles separately on board, or in a beautiful biscuit tin with a decorative Delft-Blue print. An excellent gift, as I know from experience. The Dutch stroopwafel is also ideal for teaching people two other Dutch words: gezellig and lekker. Feel free to look these words up or to experience them in Holland!
This Tony certainly isn’t lonely
Tony Chocolonely is in the same class of yumminess as the stroopwafel. Launched in Amsterdam about 10 years ago, this chocolate maker has been winning hearts all over the Netherlands with unusual flavours such as “dark pecan coconut”, “milk coffee crunch” and “milk popcorn discodip”. But also with its mission to make chocolate production “100% slave-free”. They’re doing a great job and KLM is more than willing to help them take things further, which is why we now offer passengers the basic dark and milk bars, as well as the hugely popular “caramel and sea salt” flavour. This Dutch chocolate is not only sustainably produced, but also very tasty and a guaranteed winner as a gift for friends, children and strangers. But maybe you should try the many flavours yourself, before sharing!
Silver and diamonds from the Lowlands
Not everyone knows that silver jewellery and diamonds are also typical products of the Lowlands. Personally, I don’t wear any jewellery, but I did recently buy an engagement ring for my girlfriend at Gassan. Gassan is a famous Amsterdam diamond merchant, with a big shop on Dam Square. These typical Dutch products definitely deserve to be part of the KLM range up high. And you’re sure to get a very warm welcome if you buy your beloved a set of earrings or studs from this renowned Amsterdam firm.
The same goes for the jewellery created by Buddha-to-Buddha. Made in Holland, but inspired by Asian themes and motifs, these pieces are very popular in the Netherlands and aboard our flights. I can’t claim to have a Buddha-to-Buddha bracelet, but many of my colleagues do. And that’s true, because I’ve seen these Dutch creations decorating fingers, wrists, necks and ears all over the world!