Last year we told you about an ice cream man from Maarssenbroek, Utrecht who rings his bell at night, pushes ice cream on children to get their parents to pay for it and does other nasty things. Albeit very different, here’s a contender for most questionable ice cream man: a guy from Uddel, Gelderland who makes calculations that don’t match his list of prices.
The long story is that one flavour of ice cream is counted as two scoops of ice cream, so if you want two flavours, you’ll end up paying for four scoops. If you feel like that’s not what you asked for, then too bad. The scoops are apparently as small as strawberries. Imagine what happens if you order for a family of four. If you need napkins called ‘happy hands’, he’ll hand them over to you and then charge you for them. And there’s no child-size cones, so that’s also quite expensive and wasteful I’m sure in many cases.
Munchies interviewed the man behind this creative accounting scheme who simply said he’s been in the business for years. He blames all his clients for not understanding his concept and if people don’t like it they can go elsewhere. He compares the ‘happy hands’ to paying for mayonnaise with Dutch fries, but then the price of the mayo is clearly indicated, while his napkins are not. Oh, and the amount of bad reviews he has on social media must mean something.
Let’s roll the clip and see what happens. In Dutch.
We wrote to you ages ago about famous Dutch chocolate brand Tony’s Chocolonely trying very hard to produce 100% slave-free chocolate, and now they are one step closer thanks to a collaboration with French-Belgian chocolate company Callebaut.
Callebaut will install a cacao butter tank with fully traceable cacao beans just for Tony’s Chocolonely, which they say is a milestone in chocolate production. This improvement means that as of November 2016 the chocolate bars of this Amsterdam-based company will only be made from traceable cacao beans.
Read more about it because it is a very cool story and check out the video. And if anyone has any limited edition with the pop sugar in it that they don’t want for some reason, hit me up.
Employees working for a company that sells organic fries from bikes drove the company truck to a McDonald’s in Utrecht and got the truck at the McDrive. They eventually managed to back up the truck and all was good. Funny enough, this was their first day on the job.
Someone did the world a favour and posted a photo on Facebook, and in true Dutch style, the company owner casually said his employees are free to eat wherever they want.
The system will be fitted onto a trolley for serving and will be pre-cooled before takeoff and then kept cool for a maximum of eight hours with insulating material. KLM plans to serve beer on tap on a few selected flights and then eventually roll it out.
Roll out the barrel, and we’ll have a barrel of fun – in the air.
Belgian company Montea from Aalst, Belgium, which specialises in really big warehouses, is currently building the biggest bakery in Europe in Aalsmeer, North Holland, a city known its world-famous flower auction and proximity to Schiphol Airport.
The bakery will be the size of eight football pitches, use 8000 m3 of concrete and cost 40 millions euro. Construction should be done in October and family business Borgesius-Bakkersland, two recently merged Dutch companies, will start producing some 600,000 loaves of bread and pastries to supply supermarket chain Albert Heijn.
One of Montea’s last big Dutch jobs was the development of the biggest Internet pharmacy in Europe located in Heerlen, Limburg, of which the warehouse was a “mere” 14,800 m2.
According to linguists Ilja Croijmans and Asifa Majid of the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Dutch language is a bad choice for describing smells, and therefore not great for wine-tasting. However, Dutch wine experts are getting better at describing smells by using very colourful language, something the average person would not do. Then again, pointing out that experts are actually better than ordinary folks sounds odd, considering that’s usually the point of being an expert.
To drive the point home, ordinary mortals and wine experts tasted wine and coffee, to see which group used what kind of language in their descriptions of smells and flavours. The wine experts were better at describing both wine and coffee, although both wine and coffee experts were no better than novices at naming everyday smells and tastes, showing that the expertise benefits are limited to the specific smells and flavours used to train experts, and not to more general ones.
For anyone who sucks at finding words other than ‘fruity’ (calling wine ‘sweet’ is often a no-no) and ‘dry’, Dutch wine shops and even supermarkets sell wine by numbers, which represent some sort of range between ‘fruity’ and ‘dry’ for us plebs.
Having some shops open until 10pm is something many people in the Netherlands, especially expats, don’t know the uphill battle it was and may have helped push through without knowing it. The fight to have any kind of shop open past the regular Dutch hours of 6pm was won about 10 years ago when Albert Heijn decided to have supermarkets in major cities open from 8am to 8pm, something if I remember correctly political party D66 (Democrats), a party that traditionally caters to expats, were very much in favour of. At the time it upset a lot of smaller shops that claimed they could not compete, the same argument used for shops not being open on Sundays, but without the sorry Christian excuse that usually comes with it.
Rob van Gijzel, the Mayor of Eindhoven (Labour) would love to accommodate the expat population of his city by having all matters of shops in the city centre open until 10pm. His goal is to make Eindhoven more attractive to ‘knowledge workers’ who come from cities with millions of residents and who aren’t used to shops closing at 6pm on weekdays and 5pm on weekends, with the exception of ‘late night shopping nights’ until 9pm, usually Thursdays or Fridays. And of course this means the Dutch get to shop more conveniently as well. But the stakeholders are against the 10pm opening hours, saying “it’s a bridge too far”.
Back in 1996 when I came to work here as a PA for the summer, I lived in Delft and worked in Hoofddorp. I finished worked at about 17:30 and it was completely impossible to buy any supermarket food after 6pm: there were no Albert Heijn To Go’s at train stations back then. The Dutch would tell me to buy all my food for the week on Saturdays like everyone else, but how could I buy seven days’ worth of food for two (I had a roommate – we switched weeks) without a car or even a bike, never mind that our small student fridge couldn’t fit all the food? He had time during the day as a student – I didn’t.
Here’s what I had to do to get food for dinner: I would take the train to Hoofddorp as usual, but get off in Leiden since my connection was always a 25-minute wait. Supermarket chain Via (now defunct) was right next to the train station and open at 7am. Opening early was the trick back then to avoid the arguments about being open late. I would have 25 minutes to shop for dinner and catch my train to get to work. Then I would go to the office’s restaurant and ask to use their fridge to store my food. They laughed, but understood my logic. I’d bring the food home in the train and have food for dinner.
When I told my roommate how retarded opening hours were as compared to what I knew he said it will change some day, and it did. It could change some more though, so yes 10pm for at least food would make a lot of our lives easier and provide more jobs to people. Yes, some supermarkets are open until 10pm now, thanks to Albert Heijn and expats whinging about it. Go Eindhoven!
An online survey carried out by rtlz.nl and Dutchnews.nl with 1,123 respondents (including myself) revealed to anyone who hadn’t heard this before that expats find it really difficult and even ‘almost impossible’ to make friends with the Dutch, and tend to stick with other expats, which doesn’t help them integrate.
Many expats in the Netherlands come from Germany and England, two thirds of which are men and have an average age of 34, often considered an age at which people already have their groups of friends. An additional explanation is that since many expats don’t stay for long (three to five years), the Dutch won’t bother making new friends with people that won’t be there in a few years.
Work remains the number one place to make friends and sports clubs, the second. In fact, the Netherlands is often compared to a big sports club you need to be a member of in order to integrate. And of course learning Dutch will also help any expat loads, although when everyone around them constantly switches to English, it’s a major obstacle.
Rtlz.nl brought up a nice cultural example, which was if a Dutch person invites you over to their place at 8 pm, many expats expect it to include dinner because many of them eat at 8 pm or later, like the Spanish. The unwritten rule is that the Dutch eat at 6 pm and have had dinner, so don’t expect a meal. The funny thing is, the trains are full of Dutch people not eating dinner at 6 pm, so I dare say this unwritten rule needs to go. I was recently invited at 8 pm by Dutch folks, ate dinner before I came over and then was unexpectedly served dinner again because they wanted to accommodate the non Dutch folks, but hadn’t told anybody. I guess communication is key, but let’s call it an improvement for both sides.
Just last week we told you about the ‘frikandellen vlaai’ and many other frikandel-related ‘inventions’, but we can now call it a hype.
Joining in is Roberto Gelato from Utrecht with a video of the owner listing off other frikandel delights such as pizza-frikandel from Urk, but then what about Utrecht, he says to the camera. Well, Utrecht is going to make frikandel ice cream!
According to Waarmaarraar, the ice cream is ready to roll. Foodies could combine it with Van Gogh potato ice cream and be all set.
There’s been a run of weird food combos lately, including pancakes with fries and the discodel. Now the frikandel sans disco has made its appearance in ‘vlaai’ (‘pie’) from Limburg turning a sweet dessert into a savoury one.
Bakers from Grubbenvorst, Limburg whipped up a ‘frikandellen vlaai’ for a friend’s birthday. It can have curry sauce, chopped onions and mayonnaise on it if you like that sort of garnish. Other frikandel fans started asking for the pie after a picture of it was placed on Facebook.