In the hands of creative genius and the courage to go to non-traditional places, anything can be reinvented. Take the case of “Speculoos,” that started out as one thing and wound up as another thing, generating buzz and controversy in its wake. In the far reaches of Belgium, the Netherlands and their neighbors, Speculoos, a cookie or “biscuit” in their words, is the equivalent of America’s Chocolate Chip Cookie. And to be honest, it could be the equivalent of the Sugar Cookie or Graham Cracker because comparisons across cultures aren’t easy. In any case, every baker had a recipe with a multitude of variations on the same basic theme. In the case of Speculoos it was laced with cinnamon and other spices. The signature of Speculoos was a stamp in the image of an animal or other object.
The legend of the Speculoos could go on but its most recent incarnation is as a spread, like peanut butter. Who would have guessed? A cookie paste on toast. A reality television show for inventors in Belgium featured a winning contestant who made a paste by “allegedly,” grinding up the cookie with oil and stuff. While such a thing might seem less than appetizing to the rest of us, it was a big hit. Rumors are that it tastes like a not-too-sweet gingersnap paste. Soon enough there were disagreements over who owned the rights to the paste, which is being marketed to the rest of us as a nut-free spread. While legal matters may or may not be settled anytime soon, the reinvented cookie product has the potential to be even more popular than it was in its original form. Props for creative reinvention. Meanwhile, most of us have enjoyed a Speculoos or two on a Delta Airlines flight – they’re yummy.
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