Sinterklaas comes from Spain with his Moorish helpers, they are called Zwarte Piet, black Pete. Sinterklaas has a full white beard, a bishop's hat, long red cape and carries a hooked staff.
Jan always tells the story of being a little boy in school when Sinterklaas visited. Zwarte Piets would throw out handfuls of candies and kruid nootjes, the little round gingerbread cookies. All the children scrambled across the floor to pick up as many as they could. The kruid nootjes are not wrapped! Maybe the children were trying to beat the three second rule.
Another tradition is receiving your initial chocolate letter either in milk chocolate or dark chocolate. Here are our boxed Dutch chocolate letters for Joe, Doug, Reese, Davis and Jan.
We stock up on Dutch foods every few weeks when Erik Timmerman comes from southern California on a route. Can't do without our Dutch coffee and other goodies. Erik gave us a box of Weinbrand-Bohnen, brandy filled chocolates, delicious.