Wikipedia tells us, “Survival of the fittest” is a phrase that originated in evolutionary theory as a way of describing the mechanism of natural selection. It is more commonly used today in other contexts, to refer to a supposed greater probability that “fit” as opposed to “unfit” individuals will survive some test. In this contexts, “fit” refers to “most well adapted to the current environment,” which differs from common notions of the binary ‘fit’ and ‘unfit.’ Coincidentally, “Survival of the fittest” is also the best phrase to describe our Dutch Lunch experience that takes places daily at our Amsterdam office.
Since we’re tossing around phrases, here’s another one – “the early bird gets the worm.” Or in our case, the first employees downstairs get to eat. The feeding period begins sharply at noon, when the pillagers begin securing precious resources for their midday meal. In true evolutionary theory, what is originally an early lunch break quickly becomes a gastronomic norm adapted by your stomach, complete with a daily quarter-to-noon reminder via a loud grumble within.
If you’re so lucky to procure some sustenance (and to come out of it with only a few bruises on your hands and a couple broken fingers), it’s likely to consist of some type of bread, cold cuts, cheese, sauces, eggs and some salad, and it’s like this… EVERYDAY! But this is just the average stuff. Among the strange concoctions are chocolate sprinkles, which are drizzled on top of buttered bread. Another bizarre – and admittedly pretty good – creation is peanut butter, cucumbers and Sriracha sauce served on bread.
Why there is only one or two cheese slicers for the entire company remains to be a mystery – even if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a cheese wedge, good luck cutting it! And if you’d like to have a drink, once again, good luck! There are never enough clean cups. Your best bet will be taking shots of orange juice out of tiny espresso cups.
All jeering aside, the lunchtime tradition is a great way to bring everyone together during the busy work week. We talk, laugh and fight for table scraps just as any family would. Here’s to experiencing new cultures, new customs and everyone coming together!