All the big European cities have them, but for some reason the Netherlands has been very late to get with the program on this one, as the country’ first vegan supermarket opens today.
The honour goes to Groningen, that ‘way up North’ city full of bike paths and students, who are most probably the target market of the store located on Nieuwe Ebbingestraat in what used to be a former post office.
In fact, it’s mostly female students who are setting the trend in vegan food shopping according to employee Benny Lobo of the Vegan Super.
According to Johan Schmit, owner of Olivier’s cafe in Utrecht, his venue has the world premiere of selling Belgium’s strong Duvel beer on tap. Duvel needs extremely high pressure carbon dioxide on a tap to be served properly, something a normal tap cannot handle. And to be able to do so, the Duvel Moortgat brewery developed a new tap that Olivier has had the honour of trying out.
It could work or it could also not work, which is why no marketing has been done so far. And maybe fans will still want to drink it out of the bottle, who knows.
The beer in the picture is probably ordinary Dutch beer.
Back in 2011 designer Martine Poot from Vlaardingen of Studio Martijntje Cornelia started producing rings made from real cotton candy, which have been shaped by the environment.
“Changing to the wearer’s daily lives, the accessory reacts to sunlight or water, enabling it to uniquely change its form and color. Hand-made, each ring is unique and the transparent base emphasizes the pop of colour.” The rings are made from candy floss (aka cotton candy) and resin.
Dutch baking show ‘Heel Holland Bakt’ (All of Holland/The Netherlands Bakes’), the Dutch version of ‘The Great British Bake Off’, is promoting the start of their new season with a tram in Amsterdam that smells of apple pie, which is a Dutch first and possibly a world first as well. And it’s my local tram, tram 7, so I may update this post soon enough.
Many viewers have wanted to know what it smells like in the tents on the show where they bake, so here’s an answer, at least for anyone in Amsterdam because despite what certain people might think Amsterdam isn’t all of the Netherlands or Holland (two provinces) for that matter.
It’s what they are going to do about how the pie tastes that could interesting. I vaguely remember tram stops with perfume spritzing out of them, which bothered a lot of people for a lot of legitimate reasons like it’s disgusting and being allergic to perfume.
And feel free to make munchies jokes as well, that’s fair game in Amsterdam.
UPDATE: It’s tram 1, which goes from the West to Amsterdam Central Station, not tram 7 that goes from West to East. The very fake smell of apple pie comes out of a few vents near the doors.
Earlier this year, having a drink at certain types of shops started as an experiment in January and February in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, after which some 40 odd smaller cities joined in. The idea is that you’re not supposed to drink somewhere that doesn’t have the proper license, but in the spirit of getting people to the shops, the rules were temporarily relaxed as a pilot project.
However, in the small city of Doetinchem, Gelderland the ‘blurring’ of the laws on alcohol has led to a questionable situation where booze is being served in a children’s clothing shop, which according to STAP, the Dutch Institute for Alcohol Policy, claims is crossing the line.
STAP is very much against this ‘blurring’ (the actual word used by the Dutch in English), even more so in a shop meant for kids. I do get the serving a drink at the hair salon and more adult clothing stores, but yeah, I don’t see any real good in serving booze to parents in a children’s clothing store other than getting them to buy more.
Then again, the local government claims that children do not go into the shop in question when alcohol is being served, as it is about evenings for special clients when nobody under 18 years of age can get it, which starts to make more sense.
Regardless, STAP is going to start writing ‘letters on legs’ to borrow a fantastic Dutch expression that means writing serious letters with threats to sue in them.
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.