We’ve all seen or had droppies in those clear conical shaped bags. Did you ever wonder why? Why don’t we just use a regular bag?
I actually wasn’t sure myself, beyond being of the opinion that they look much more inviting than a plain bag. When filled up strategically, they can look like a piece of art or a party in a bag! So I did a little digging around to find some more concrete reasoning behind the pointy bag.
In historic Holland every town had (and still has) an outdoor market where you can buy anything from spices, to shoes, to veggies, to thread… you name it and you’re likely to find it. Wares were laid out in bulk and the customer asked for the desired amount. Vendors needed an easy, cheap way to package their wares for the customer. Newspaper fit the bill as it was readily available and could be folded to contain goods of various shapes and sizes. Spices, candy, and other goods that could be poured were put in puntzakken (point bags) made of a square of newspaper rolled into a cone. This made for a stronger bag as well as being easy for the customer to pour out.
Although the newspaper version is not used anymore for hygienic reasons, the puntzak is still used in Holland and Belgium today. Fries and oliebollen are often served in paper puntzakken. The wide opening makes it easy to reach in and the small bottom keeps the food on the bottom warm. The plastic version of the puntzak, as we have in our store, is used for bulk candy as well as for hardware like screws and nails. Not at the same time, though! 😉
Some say that the puntzak fits more in it than a regular bag giving it instant appeal to the deal seeking Dutch. Some are impressed with its strong design and ease of use…good, practical Dutchmen. Yet, for the most of us who use them today, I think it is pure nostalgia that makes us grin with glee at a puntzak beautifully filled with candy.