We always thought snoep meant sweets… but seem to have been labouring under a misapprehension for years! At least according to this list, snoep appears to mean nibbles and snacks.
Elsevier magazine states the Dutch eat an average of 34 kilos of snoep a year – spending a combined €3.6bn on sweeties and snacks.
1 Cakes and biscuits €1bn
2 Savoury snacks €954m
3 Sweets €821m
4 Chocolate €760m
We’ve just tracked this survey down to its source: The Studiecentrum Snacks en Zoetwaren Benelux. It does not use the word snoep at all. Now we are totally confused.
The issue is made even more complicated by that other great Dutch invention, the snoepgroenten, or vegetable.
The word ‘snoep’ will always remind me of my Dutch grandparents who introduced me to the word. Back then it meant any sugary sweets; not biscuits or chocolate, which were definitely ‘koekjes’ and ‘chocola’.
Nibbles and snacks are not snoep. Snoep is zuurtjes, kauwgum, toffees, zwartopwitballen etc
Een ouwe snoeperd is a dirty old man. Snoeperig means cute or sweet
Somewhere I read that snoep was a verb, with connotations of sneaking those nibbles and snacks or sweets, but I can’t find confirmation of that online now.