I knew that La Trappe was the only Trappist beer brewed in the Netherlands, as I used to annoyingly point this out to shopkeepers who placed the beer under Belgium simply because it had a French name. La Trappe is brewed by De Koningshoeven brewery in Berkel-Enschot near Tilburg, Noord-Brabant. There’s also my story about drinking all kinds of ‘Trippel’ (triple) beers on Queen’s Day (now King’s Day) and when it was my turn to buy a round, I showed up with La Trappe’s Quadruppel (quadruple) to kick it up a notch.
But now for the first time in 125 years there’s a new Trappist called ‘Zundert’, brewed by the Kievit brewery from the monks of the Maria Toevlucht Abbey in Zundert, Noord-Brabant. The beer will be available as of 4 pm on 30 November until 1 December at 25 participating Zundert cafes and restaurants.
In the entire world there are only eight other Trappist beers: six in Belgium, one in Austria and now two in the Netherlands.
Tags: beer, La Trappe, Noord-Brabant, Trappist
Tacky or serious craftsmanship? The hyperrealistic paintings of Tjalf Sparnaay have to be seen to be believed.
A friend of a friend bought a lithographic print of the painting shown above and hung it over her dinner table. According to the friend, Guuz Hoogaerts of the Filles Sourires blog, “you have to see it for real. The print is even on the small side. You keep looking — at least I did.”
To get an idea of the scale of the original paintings, check Mr Sparnaay’s website (linked above) where he has several photos of him next to a work in progress. Sparnaay paints still lifes containing fast food, marbles, trinkets for tourists, flowers, and so on.
Personally I’d go for something like the portion of fries shown below even though the subject may not provide the Hilversum-based artist as much of an opportunity to go wild with textures and reflections. Ketchup, though? What kind of abomination is that?
Tags: Hilversum, paintings, still lifes, Tjalf Sparnaay
An advertising campaign featuring comedian Steven Brunswijk from Tilburg, Noord Brabant aimed at young people working in the hospitality sector (hotels, restaurants and cafes, aka ‘horeca’) has raised red flags with anti-discrimination groups as being offensive.
Brunswijk has been known for a few years as the ‘Braboneger’ (‘Brabant negro’ or ‘Brabant n*****’), which is his shtick. It is his stage name and his Twitter handle. What started off as a joke with Brunswijk and his friends making funny videos from a Black guy’s perspective on Noord Brabant (accent, culture, etc.) turned into a character that is on its way to becoming famous.
If anyone thinks that the ad agency came up with the character, then yes, that would be cause for alarm, even though the campaign is about young people getting proper working conditions and nothing to do with discrimination. The problem here is that people are now offended by Brunswijk’s own use of the N-word and therefore the ad campaign is considered to be offensive.
Brunswijk does use the abbreviation ‘BN’, which is also the Dutch abbreviation for celebrity (‘Bekende Nederlander’), again a nice coincidence. Maybe they could have used that instead, but others would see that as censorship.
Noord Brabant television station Omproep Brabant seems nothing but pleased that their guy is head of this campaign.
(Link: www.nieuws.nl, www.braboneger.com, YouTube screenshot)
Tags: comedy, Noord-Brabant, Tilburg
An elementary school in the Achterhoek, a region to the East that extends into Germany, has decided to teach kids in grades 5 and 6 (the oldest kids) the evils of boozing it up in an illegal booze shack (in Dutch, ‘zuipkeet’), which usually attracts underaged drinkers.
However, the school’s plan is to do this by letting the kids set up a drink shack to find out what it is like in order to tell them about group drinking and fire safety. The school claims that the goal is not to show kids how to set up shop, but to teach them how bad drinking is if ever they do set up shop because then they’ll do it safely.
According to the media and public opinion, rural areas apparently have booze shacks, which are at least partially responsible for teenagers learning the fine art of binge drinking. I’ve never seen one, but I’m sure they are more real than unicorns.
Yes, we get that kids should learn about responsible drinking or the effects alcohol has on their growing bodies and all that, but I wonder whether parents will be thrilled about this method.
(Links: www.nieuws.nl, www.omroepgelderland.nl)
Tags: Achterhoek, alcohol, children, drinking
Who better to judge which cookie is the tastiest than the inventors of the word ‘cookie’, the Dutch. But taking a competitor to court and asking a proper judge to come up with an answer is perhaps taking things a bit too far.
Global cookie monster Mondelez, the producer of Liga cookies, took Verkade to court over the latter’s claim that its Sultana cookies are the tastiest according to a test. “What test?”, Mondelez wanted to know and Verkade came up blank. If you cannot show test results, you cannot claim you are the tastiest, the judge said.
Verkade’s lawyers put in a counterclaim saying that Mondelez shouldn’t state that its Liga cookies were ‘chosen for fruity flavour and crispiness’, but Mondelez could show the court the results of an actual study that apparently proved its flavours are fruity and its textures crispy. The company gets to keep its slogan.
(Story via De Gelderlander, photo by Maëka Alexis, some rights reserved)
Tags: cookies, courts, Liga, Sultana, Verkade
Thieves are not necessarily the sharpest pencils in the pencil case, but this thief, caught on camera, is slow and a bit daft.
He apparently stole a big television, but came back an hour later and put it back properly, plugging in the cables and all, which took him an hour, according to the restaurant manager.
He also stole two laptops and three bottles of whiskey, which he kept, you know, like a proper thief should.
Nobody knows yet why he brought the telly back. My guesses are:
1. He couldn’t get the drugs or other illegal things for it.
2. He couldn’t sell it.
3. He watched the match and was done with it afterwards.
(Link: www.waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of Whiskey bottles by rickerbh, some rights reserved)
Tags: North Brabant, Oudenbosch, robbery
The lab-produced meat we told you about earlier this year that made headlines in 2012 is now finally ready to be grilled. Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University is behind this project, which was first reported to cost about 250,000 euro, but has now been beefed up to 290,000.
A selected few will get to taste the test-tube meat made up of 3,000 layers at an event to be held in West London. Originally there was talk of letting English chef Heston Blumenthal, owner of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant The Fat Duck cook it up, which could still be the case.
The entire point of making fake meat is of course to feed more people by slaughtering less animals. Boffins believe that the stem cells from one cow can produce a million times more meat that just killing it and grilling it. Then again, you need to kill some more cows to get the stem cells, but that’s par for the course.
Getting the planet to change their eating habits while incessantly pushing junk food made of barely fit for human consumption pink slime is an epic fail. Using guilt, shame or other negative emotions to reach a positive outcome is the recipe for epic fails, and if I hear another bunch of moralistic ecological crazies come up with eating worms and insects outside of the context of peoples in the world who traditionally do such things, I might think violent thoughts. Therefore, it seems logical but not ideal to make fake meat to mirror what so many people eat in this day and age and that’s unfortunately meat-related junk food.
Tags: Maastricht University, meat
In the 1960 Dutch beer brewer Heineken came up with the idea of using rectangular, stackable beer bottles thinking that they could be re-used as building materials.
Cabinet Magazine writes how Freddy Heineken got the idea when visiting Curaçao in 1960:
[Heineken] noted with dismay the acres of trash underfoot—a good part of it produced by his own company. Heineken Breweries had an efficient bottle-return system in Holland, where the average bottle was used 30 times before being discarded. But without modern distribution, bottles in Curaçao were used once and thrown out. There was no lack of resulting trash: what the island did lack, however, was affordable housing. Heineken had a flash of brilliance: make beer bottles that you can build houses out of.
An initial bottle design by architect John Habraken—a long slender bottle to be stacked vertically—was vetoed by Heineken’s marketing department for being too ‘effeminate’. The second design was the squat bottle you see in the photo. Of this 100,000 bottles were produced and even a prototype shed near Freddy Heineken’s villa in Noordwijk.
(Photo by greezer.ch, some rights reserved)
Tags: beer, beer bottles, bottles, empty bottles, Freddy Heineken, Heineken
Perfect for singles and anyone who wants to dine alone without getting looks from the staff when they take away the extra set of utensils from the table, Dutch social-design agency Marina van Goor and branding agency Vandejong have launched pop-up restaurant ‘Eenmaal’ (in Dutch meaning both ‘one meal’ and ‘once’), the first one-person restaurant in the world (so they claim), located in Amsterdam West.
I do expect anybody who will want to try out the place with a friend or date will get frowned upon if they try and move the table and chairs together. The point of the designers is, “to demonstrate that eating in solitude can be a good thing”. The restaurant will only be open to the public for two days on Friday 28 June and Saturday 29 June, and you can reserve using the link below.
No one has any idea about the food or prices, as it’s mostly about the concept.
(Link: www.amsterdamadblog.com, Photo by FotoosVanRobin, some rights reserved)
Tags: Amsterdam, restaurant
Last week Holland.com published a video advert in which a cocky narrator explains why ‘Holland’ is the original cool. He contrasts posh English phrases with the down-to-earth words the Dutch supposedly use, such as ‘food’ instead of ‘artisanal cooking’.
The video above is a parody that appeared shortly after — I wouldn’t be surprised if it had been made by the same ad agency — in which the original visuals are replaced. ‘Artisanal cooking’ is suddenly contrasted with pulling a croquette from a street-side vending machine and ’boutique shopping’ becomes the Saturday morning Albert Heijn (Dutch supermarket) run. Added in for good measure is the world famous Dutch ‘service’, a concept so alien that the language doesn’t even has its own word for it and defaults to the French word (although we generally pronounce it the English way).
The original advert caused a minor uproar in the Netherlands, with pundits reacting strongly to the fact that most of the footage is shot in either Amsterdam or greater Amsterdam. Elsevier lists the complaints.
Personally, I think it is a great advert. It highlights the open manner in which the Dutch speak to the point of being abrasive and presents this as charming and desirable. The heavy Dutch accent spoken by everybody in the video underlines the exaggerated, almost cartoonish tone of the video. Our English really isn’t that good, but the message the viewer takes away is that it’s good enough to get by when visiting the country. This entire presentation helps smuggle in a lot of fact-free content, stressing great food for example even though our culinary tradition is mostly one of Calvinistic soberness (as long as you stay north of the great rivers), and pointing out our traditional use of wind energy even though nowadays our record for renewable energy is one of the worst in Europe.
(Video: YouTube / DoLeaveItOutMate. Photo: crop from the video)
Tags: Albert Heijn, croquette, Dutch cooking, FEBO, kroket, marketing, shopping, vending machines