The Dutch are not a food country: the motto here is food as fuel, like the hearty cheese sandwiches I’ve grown accustomed to over the years. However, like most humans, they love tasty food and as of late, are flexing their great trading skills by trying to combine junk foods and also trying to counter food waste.
I just read a letter sent in to newspaper Trouw in which a couple actually believe that ‘normal’ food is poisonous and expensive organic and bio-organic food is the dog’s bollocks. I’m thinking they did not grow up with organic and bio-organic food because it’s not been readily available for that long, and read something somewhere about it and now act as if they are in a higher social class. I’m picturing a white Dutch couple with some education, 30s, where the woman cuts off the man when he’s talking, especially since he’s the only one making sense, as you’ll see. And he’s going along with it because he can’t be arsed to find another partner at the moment and I bet eats dirty poisonous food when she’s away at her mother’s.
The couple wanted to know if it is OK to ask their friends to cook them organic food at dinner parties and wonder if it’s not too annoying for them to ask for ‘non-poisonous food’. The man thinks it’s inappropriate, while the woman has asked friends before and it has gone well, but still they get invited less. I hope they realise their friends fed them normal food and are going to avoid them like poison in the future until the guy splits up with his girlfriend and finds a new shiny one who eats everything under the sun.
The answer the couple got starts with: “it is quite arrogant to ask your friends to serve you expensive organic/bio-organic food. […] Your menu demands are very different than those of vegetarians or from people with a specific allergy because normal supermarket food is not poisonous.” It goes on to say there’s no scientific proof whatsoever that normal food is poisonous and called the couple ‘bonkers’ to conclude that their friends serve them ‘poisonous meals’, which is horribly arrogant and incorrect. The author would invite them over, serve them normal food and never invite them again, too, with a smile.
The man of the couple believes that being with friends is more important than the food they eat, but his partner isn’t getting the message. I think food and dinner party etiquette isn’t this couple’s biggest problem.
Started up in Finland last year and already available in Sweden and Estonia, ResQ, a successful app that offers restaurants trying to sell cheap, leftover meals to hungry patrons is launching in Amsterdam this week. Other major Dutch cities such as The Hague and Utrecht are soon to follow this fall.
Research from Wageningen University claims the Netherlands throws out 51 million tonnes of food a year and that’s waste many groups would like to put a halt to. Available for iPhone and Android, ResQ will first aim at people who come from their work and want to eat something without too much fuss, like lasagna, sandwiches, salades, soups and baked goods, which are easy to sell fast rather than throw away.
In February a Dutch supermarket chain hired a chef to cook food that otherwise according to the law still had to be thrown out, but ResQ is sure to stop some of the waste.
The year of weird junk food combos is not over yet! Move over pancakes with fries, the discodel and the frikandellen vlaai for ‘Patatje 2.0’ (‘Fries 2.0’) named after cafetaria ‘t Huus 2.0 in Veenendal, Gelderland.
What it is? Straight up fries with a side of vanilla soft ice cream instead of mayonnaise, an idea one of the employees got from Sweden. The first thing that came to mind for me is Americans dipping fries in their milk shake, which my brain says I’ve seen somewhere before.
The picture above comes from Brussels: it’s fries with andalouse sauce, a mild spicy mayonnaise sauce.
In November 2015 young entrepreneur Jordi Hillenga introduced the first ever pizza vending machine of the country at a supermarket in Groningen, an idea he got in France. Now it’s time for him to expand the business and place a few more vending machines in Groningen at places where there’s more night life and a need for pizza.
Hillenga is in talks with Dutch Rail to see if he can’t install some warm pizza goodness at train stations.
It took him a year to get the first pizza machine installed because he goes to school and that understandably takes up a lot of his time and needed to save a lot of money. His vending machine offers four kinds of 26 cm pizzas (margherita, salami, aloha Hawai (yes, typo) and real Italian) which takes four minutes to bake and if this video is still accurate, costs 6 euro a pie. He also gets a text message if pizzas go stale, which shuts down the vending machine and tells him to replace the pies.
The question whether it’s as tasty as at the Italian restaurant, well, most people in the video can’t tell the difference.
In the town of Ruurlo, Gelderland, pancake restaurant De Heijkamp is going to let a specialised 3D printer ‘make’ pancakes, albeit not every day. Owner Bert van Zijtvelt will be using the Pancake Bot, a successful Kickstarter project that became the world’s first 3D pancake printer that can make all kinds of cool pancakes (see video below).
Inventor Miguel Valenzuela, a Mexican-American expat living in Norway, credits one of his two daughters for the idea. He was reading an article about a guy who made a pancake stamping machine out of LEGO, when his daughter turned to her sister and yelled, “Papa’s going to build a pancake machine out of LEGO!” The prototype was actually made using LEGO, how cool is that.
Van Zijtvelt has bought two 3D printers, each costing USD 500 (450 euro). According to chef Rob Weijers, the biggest problem is getting the pancake batter just right, with not too much sugar in it, so it doesn’t jam things up.
De Heijkamp only plans on using the printers for special occasions like company events and children’s parties.
If you can get past a glaring spelling mistake and corporate dubstep with motor sounds, you can enjoy what the printer can do.
The Bible belt island town of Goeree-Overflakkee, South Holland, has started brewing the first local beer since the Middle Ages. The beer is called Solaes, and it is brewed by Jan-Willem Kramer, inspired by local Medieval artists of those times.
Following what seems to be the religious tradition of goodwill, Kramer was also inspired by a visit to an Amsterdam brewery that notoriously employs people who normally cannot easily find a job – I’m guessing it was De Prael – and decided to do the same thing.
The city sorted out a space to set up the brewery and Kramer learned how to make beer – so far so good. Local entrepreneur of a goodwill shop Cees de Knegt joined Kramer and now they organise beer tastings, but only for a few hours on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The pair have no plans more than to sell beer to locals and to “stray beer collectors”. If anyone has had some, let us know.
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.