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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The White and Blue Box

 This is the white and blue box. Inside this box is the reason I drove fifty miles out of my way to come home the other day. Inside this box is something worth driving fifty miles out of your way for! Inside this box you will find the definition of decadence. The true unashamed meaning of the word bliss! When you see this box coming at you, you know you are about to indulge in an almost spiritual experience! Inside this box, are dutch letters!
What is a dutch letter you might ask if you have never had the pleasure of meeting up with one.  To an untrained eye, it may look simple, unassuming, maybe even unattractive. Bite into one, and you will know why you have taste buds. First the crispy sweet puff pastry crackles between your teeth. Then the sensation of almond. As you chew it the crisp of the pastry mixes with the chewy of the almond paste, and you have found a little bit of Heaven on Earth. Ahhhh.  And do not make the mistake of throwing away the little end pieces. They are the best part. Crunchy and chewy all at the same time. YUM!

Now, where to get these wonderful gifts to all mankind. They are in a little town in Iowa called Pella. Pella is one of those few small towns that seem to have found a way to keep, their heritage and make it through the hard times of many recessions intact. They have found a niche. Pella has embraced their heritage, and shared it with all that wish to see. Pella has kept it's small town charm, but incorporated modern business practices. This has left the town successful while other towns are crumbling away.

No matter what time of year or what time of day I go to the bakery in Pella they are almost always busy. Of course, in small town fashion they roll up the sidewalks and close the town down no later than 6:00 pm everyday, and nothing is open on Sundays.

With the exception of Tulip Time. When they may stay open clear till seven. But the festival ends on Saturday. Don't go on Sunday and expect to find it still going on.

Every May Pella celebrates its Dutch heritage with a festival revolving around the blooming of the many tulips planted around the town. The townsfolk dress in period Dutch costume and have parades and lots of food to eat. There is Dutch clog dancing, that they do in true wooden shoes. The sound is amazing and makes you want to put on a pair and join in. Even the children are involved, down to the tiniest babies dressed in traditional Dutch, being pushed around in authentic old time prams.

If you want a true bit of fun, that is appropriate for all ages, take the time to go to Pella. It is worth the drive. But if you go at Tulip Time and want to buy a Dutch letter, be prepared. You will stand in a long line for what seems to be forever. Plan your strategy well. The best time to get into the bakery is during the parade. Is missing the parade worth it? You will have to decide that for yourself. But if you live 400 miles away from this lovely little town, it just might be.


  1. Thank you for sharing a photo of Pella with us for our Small Town theme. Those tiles on the wall caught our eyes, and after reading this post, we can see that they are all about Dutch traditions, landscapes etc. Just lovely!

    1. Thank you! I love that little town. I grew up about 45 miles away but went to the Tulip Festival almost every year. As an adult I took my children often as well. They always loved it too!