I think most of you will agree that the snack cart is one of THE most important parts of the flight. So after Joe posted the story about Stroopwafels being replaced on United over the weekend, I was a little bummed, because those were my one of my most favorite airline cookie in the world. So I decided to do some investigating to see what the deal was.
I should preface this by mentioning that I’ve recently had a rather large glass of wine, so if there are any emotional outbursts or typos, we can blame that. Well, we can actually blame the typos on Joe, cuz he’s supposed to proofread my stuff before it goes out into the blogosphere (Joe: Yes dear. I’m reading it now.). But the overdramatization about the Stroopwafels? Totally the Pinot Noir we had with dinner.
Stroopwafels, for the uninitiated, are soft, toasted waffles filled with caramel, cinnamon and real bourbon vanilla. They’re amazing and delicious, and, if truth be told, about the only thing we still liked about United Airlines. They’re very popular in the Netherlands (hello to my friends Frank, Evelyn & Teddy, who live there!), and were first made in the city of Gouda, which is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland (and yes, they’re famous for their cheese, too).
“The stroopwafel was first made in Gouda either during the late 18th century or the early 19th century by a baker using leftovers from the bakery, such as breadcrumbs, which were sweetened with syrup. One story ascribes the invention of the stroopwafel to the baker Gerard Kamphuisen, which would date the first stroopwafels somewhere between 1810, the year when he opened his bakery, and 1840, the year of the oldest known recipe for syrup waffles. In the 19th century, there were around 100 syrup waffle bakers in Gouda, the only city in which they were made until 1870. After 1870 they were also made at parties and in markets outside the city of Gouda. In the 20th century, factories started to make stroopwafels. In 1960, there were 17 factories in Gouda alone, of which four are currently still open.” (thank-you, Wikipedia)
In 2016, United Airlines started serving Stroopwafels as a free breakfast snack on its domestic flights. But now? Nope. They’re going to give out something called Maple Wafers, which are made exclusively for United by the Byrd Cookie Company, out of Savannah, GA.
Wait…that last paragraph needs a little more information. Yeah, so after making a huge deal that they were finally bringing back snacks in the form of Stroopwafels just a couple of years ago, United has now decided that caramel and cinnamon are out and maple is in. So goodbye Stroopwafels on United’s pre-9:30am flights…even though you fit perfectly over a coffee cup so you could get the caramelly and cinnamony goodness even softer still, which makes for less crumbs. And hello, “maple wafer cookie that combines a crunchy texture with a sweet maple flavor.” Good try, United. Crunchy = crumbs. Crumbs = gotta brush them off me and they’re on the floor and we know they don’t clean the planes often enough so now our shoes will grind the crumbs into the plane’s carpet. WTG, United. And sure, there’s nothing WRONG with maple, but really, there was nothing WRONG with the Stroopwafels….so WHY MESS WITH IT IF IT ISN’T BROKEN???
“We know that maple is an increasingly appealing flavor, and we are always looking for ways to capitalize on trends in taste buds,” said Vice President of Catering Operations Charlean Gmunder. Ah, so they’re looking at trends, not what’s already proven itself as a home run. “We are excited to offer our customers a light, crisp snack that is created by a woman-owned bakery,” he continued. YES, utilize that concept of woman empowerment to give justification for ruining the best part of the flight! Don’t get me wrong – I am all for equality for women, especially since, you know, I am one. But number one, Byrd’s Famous Cookies may be run by a woman now, but the company was started by Ben T. Byrd Sr., – yeah, a GUY – in 1924. And number two, it’s not like they ever gave out Mrs. Fields or Tollhouse (those were invented by one Ruth Graves Wakefield), or Pepperidge Farms (the company was started by Margaret Rudkin) or even flippin’ GIRL SCOUT COOKIES before now. But NOW they’re all of a sudden excited about giving out cookies baked by a woman-owned bakery. Whatever. Gmunder also said had the gall to say that Google Trends data suggests maple could be the “next pumpkin spice.”
THE NEXT PUMPKIN SPICE? Ummm, no. I mean, sure, it’s good and all, but just…NO.
Anyway, from what I’ve read on the internets so far, few are happy with the changeover. United did say that, “The Stroopwafel will be available again in the future as the airline rotates between morning snack options.” OK, good. Let me know when that time comes, OK? Until then, we’ve been less than thrilled with United anyway, so don’t call us, we’ll call you.
Until then, I shall purchase my Stroopwafels at Target, Wegmans, and on Amazon. But I know they won’t be as good. Just like store bought ice cream is never as good as when you get it from the ice cream man. #sigh
By the way, United’s morning flights from Europe? The lucky stiffs on THOSE flights are still gonna get Stroopwafels.
(I promise…blame the wine, y’all…) 😉
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