From workers to cooks
In great-grandfather Geert's time, rye bread was a straightforward local food. Workers used to eat it because white bread was simply too expensive. When the socialist leader Pieter Jelles Troelstra was taken to prison after offending the Court on purpose in the Hogerhuis Case, the minister stepped in to put wheat bread on the menu.
But things have changed since then. Rye bread as we know it today makes a mouth-watering snack. It is perfect with herring, spicy old cheese or a fresh salad. For this Van Dijk bakes special rounded pieces of rye bread which look awesome in transparent tube packaging. It is just that the cooks, especially those in Friesland, needed to be slightly more creative.
To attract today's generation, Geert junior came up with a new variant. Rye bread with currants and apple, which slightly reminds us of delicious muesli bread. We bet it is very healthy too, and helps maintain a healthy digestive system.
It is common knowledge that Jan and Jel Sytema used to treat their customers to a 'heaberchje'. That was in Eastermar, between World War I and II. A 'heaberchje' basically consisted of a large piece of manually cut rye bread, with some baked potatoes and chopped onions. With a touch of pepper, it was the best meal you could lay your hands on. Kids loved it as well.
Each generation has its own recollection of rye bread. With or without farm butter, cheese or authentic Frisian kitchen syrup with the Frisian flag illustrated on the lid. It is also great with radish. Or an egg, a real treat that easily outshined any piece of pie.
And so, rye bread has become part of our culinary legacy. It typifies Friesland and is popular even across Germany. It is prepared in peace and perfect harmony, every single day in Sint Johannesga. That is where Van Dijk lives. For a hundred years now, or 101. Who knows.