The Popcorn Monsoon by Dutch designer Jolene Carlier consists of a pair of small yellow bowls placed on a wooden base: one heats to pop the corn while the other collects it, a design inspired by the 1971 film ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’. A curving glass tube fixed to the larger of the two receptacles delivers the popped corn into the small serving bowl.
Popcorn is a blast to listen to when it’s being made, or maybe that’s just because I still make it on the oven and the sound is the only thing to guide you. I had a twentysomething person over once who had never seen popcorn made on the oven before, as he thought it could only be made in a microwave.
I like this design a lot, with the exception of the popcorn flying out of the bowl.
Dutch robotics expert Professor Edvert van Henten from Wageningen University is developing a robot that will help egg producers help put a stop to wasted eggs. “The hens have to lay their eggs in nests, but 30% are laid on the floor. They cannot be sold as quality eggs and encourage other chickens to lay there as well so the farmers have to collect them by walking through twice a day, which is challenging.”
The technology is not yet available, and much like milking machines in the dairy industry, much needs to be done to make them commercially available,” says Van Henten.
Why is there a feather on the eggs in this picture some North Americans readers may wonder. Because the rest of the world believes in the natural protective coating placed on eggs by hens and that washing them straight out the chicken forces North Americans to wash and then refrigerate their eggs, which has been proven to be more susceptible to bacteria.
The city of Haarlem has changed its local city ordinance to include a ban on reusable supermarket freezer bags, used to carry home frozen food. The bags have an inner layer of aluminium that foils supermarket alarm systems, making them popular with thieves. What if a thief put the freezer bag in a regular bag?
The ordinance was modified to be easier and less odd for the police to stop and question people carrying freezer bags, a bit like monitoring people buying screwdrivers and crowbars at the DIY store. Or else it looks like the cops are trying to score pizza and ice cream.
Municipal council justified their decision by saying that now the police “will be less racist and won’t just stop people based on their appearance”.
After going national and beyond with Joppiesaus (‘Joppie sauce’), a sauce containing onion and curry powder named after Joppie, a snack bar owner in Glanerbrug near Enschede, food company Elite of Neede, Gelderland is introducing ‘Jamballa sauce’, although few people seem to know what it. Yes, it sounds like ‘Jambalaya’ to me too. The container features garlic and peppers on it, if that helps.
“Sweet and spicy” is the only available description, and it’s something Elite says the Dutch have never had before, but that’s very vague. The recipe comes from the South (Limburg?) and was introduced yesterday at food fair Horecava in Amsterdam. If we try some, we’ll tell you about it, and if you do, we want to know.
Rotterdam architectural firm MVRDV has won a contest to design a new skyscraper in Vienna by proposing a 110-metre tower with an “elegant, hourglass figure” that will reduce the impact of its shadow. The contorted form is said to prevent any of the surrounding blocks being in shadow for longer than two hours a day.
The initial comments on this building is ‘maybe it is possible to use too much glass’. The heat that will generate in summer would required specially treated glass, and ‘the bit about being concerned about shadow is creating a problem where there isn’t one’, although in some Asian countries like Japan it’s a huge deal.
MVRDV are well-known for other much talked about projects, including Rotterdam’s horseshoe-shaped market hall that will be getting a Jamie Olivier Italian restaurant soon, even though there are already two pasta places.
At first glance new Dutch app Chattable looks like a smart combination of many other apps. The idea of who is eating where seems interesting if ever you’re somewhere and you don’t want to dine alone. You can also see where someone is from because not being able to communicate would make for some pretty awkward dining. This app does set people up for awkward dining though, so brace yourselves.
According to the video, Chattable tables at restaurants have a special stand on them, which probably makes it easier for people to find each other, but does tell the world you couldn’t find someone to dine with. Again, that’s uncomfortable, but maybe it will turn out to be cool like sitting at the Stammtisch table in a German-speaking country, where the meeting table is marked with a decorative sign.
The developer claims it’s not a dating app because Chattable doesn’t know the age and gender of your dining partners. “You only need a common language,” which is true in an ideal world, but humans don’t function that way. Straight men will try and find pretty young women and straight women will try and find decent available men. And I imagine the LBGT crowd will be weary and probably should be. All of that in principle is not Chattable’s problem, but will always be an issue.
The Internet and all kinds of apps have been used for sex and dating from the get go. Nobody saw the recent introduction of Uber as a great app for raping women, so I think developers should be way more careful telling people what they think their app should be used for.
I enjoy eating alone abroad because it’s my moment to enjoy new surroundings without having to deal with someone else taking away from the experience. When I dine with someone else, it’s the opposite: I want to enjoy my company and tune out the background. If you need an app to never eat alone again and aren’t worried about a possible creepy encounter then by all means, it could be fun and only time will tell if it’s a good idea.
An advert for creamers from Dutch dairy company Friesland Campina produced by Amsterdam agency Norvell Jefferson with photos by Belgian photographer Jeffrey Vanhoutte last summer has an angelic feel to it that is pleasant to watch.
However, it looks extremely similar to ‘Poussières d’étoiles’ (‘Stardust’) by French photographer Ludovic Florent, shot in early 2014. Some commenters on YouTube even said it was plagiarised and it’s easy to see why.
See for yourselves. Look at the above link and then watch the making of the advert:
Founded in 2012 the Dutch Weed Burger company makes seaweed burgers, demonstrating an innovative and sustainable use of food without using animal products.
The company explains that the patty is made from kombu seaweed and chunks of roasted soy shreds. Their buns contain the microalgae chlorella, which is packed with proteins and other essential nutrients. The weed sauce is a vegan cream sauce enriched with Dutch sea lettuce from Zeeland.
The Japanese and other cultures have been eating seaweed for ages, so why not the Dutch? If we ever have one of these burgers, we will report back. I’m already thinking the burger will have enough salt in it for my taste.
For anyone thinking of yet another boring pot joke: a ‘weed’ burger would be the worst thing you could eat to calm the munchies.
Dutch-British food giant Unilever has decided to stop its attack on American company Hampton Creek for its eggless mayonnaise Just Mayo this week. Unilever claimed that Just Mayo was not actually mayonnaise as the real deal has eggs in it and that their logo with an egg on it was misleading.
Hampton Creek retorted that its product is called ‘mayo’ and not mayonnaise, while fans of vegan food and healthier eating responded badly to the food giant’s attack on an alternative quality product. Just Mayo uses yellow chick peas as a replacement and also makes eggless cookies that have not upset any big company so far. Hampton Creek was financially back by BIll Gates to the tune of 30 million USD, a man who probably knows a thing or two about rubbish lawsuits.
Unilever’s world brand mayonnaise Hellman’s has just started being sold in the Netherlands this year and ironically, it doesn’t meet the requirements to be called mayonnaise in this country, as it has less oil than the definition formulated by the Dutch Food Authorities.
Three scientists of the Meat the Mushroom company are developing a meat replacement food product using prawn waste at their container venue in the up and coming Amsterdam North district.
They explain that prawn waste is normally processed into animal feed or spread on fields. “Ninety percent of all Dutch shrimp is peeled in Morocco. If you buy fresh prawns, you can assume that they are about two months old. They are caught in the North Sea, cooked on the boat, shipped to Morocco, peeled and placed in preservative, and shipped back to the Netherlands again. [...] Some 70 percent of the weight of a shrimp is not even edible. A kilo of prawns leaves 700 grams of waste.
Working together with a shrimp processor in the small Groningen village of Leens that peels the prawns using a machine, Meat the Mushroom have come up with this basic recipe: prawn waste + grain + king oyster mushroom = ‘cheese’. The result apparently looks just like the French Mont d’Or or Camembert cheese.
The product is obviously not suited for vegetarians or vegans, but it is made from discarded bits, making it a decent alternative to meat and very creative. The picture depicts shiitake mushrooms, which the scientists also grow.