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May 19, 2015

Americans try Dutch sweets and survive

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 11:21 am

Honingdrop

After having Americans try sweets and foods from many other countries, the Dutch held their breath to find out what happens in the recently released ‘Americans Try Dutch Sweets’ video.

Sometimes you know the panel is going to hate it, but it’s tough to find anyone that hates ‘stroopwafels’ (‘syrup waffles’). When I travel abroad and need to bring a small gift, stroopwafels are my best bet. You should warm them up on a mug of coffee or tea and then eat them or buy mini-stroopwafels and eat the whole bag.

Haribo is a German company and Germans as well as other nationalities also enjoy drop, so even if drop is more of a Dutch favourite, it’s always fun to see people’s reaction to trying it for the first time, like babies biting into a lemon and wincing their cute little faces.

‘Boterkoek’ (‘butter cake’) is easy to like, so no weirdness there, just a buttery taste. ‘Autodrop cadillacs’ (‘gummy pink cadillacs’) are nice because the strawberry flavour is not artificial and you can do wonders with the caddies on cupcakes. And yes, gummy products are originally German. The rum beans are bean-shaped chocolates filled with rum, although you need to pop them into your mouth in one go or else. I have no idea who came up with the brilliant idea for this type of sweet, but chocolate and rum is an international combo of deliciousness.

I say we need at least a second video with many more types of cakes and cookies (hey look, a Dutch word that made into English, from ‘koekjes’) and possibly a few other regional delicacies.

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May 10, 2015

Restaurant for ‘nearly possible’ meat

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 11:32 am

in-vitro-bistro

Bistro in Vitro is a fictional restaurant with an online presence.

The site shows you what can be done with lab grown meat. Why would anybody create a restaurant for food you cannot eat yet? “Before we can decide if we ever want to eat lab grown meat, we need to explore its impact on our food culture”, the FAQ says.

Some of the dishes on the menu are cubes of celebrity, in vitro ice cream (made from polar bear DNA), undead fish teppanyaki and “the grey area between a sea anemone and a sex toy”. The project clearly tries to explore what it is exactly when we say ‘meat’.

The site appears to be a continuation of the crowdfunded The In Vitro Meat Cookbook which was published in 2014 and which won a Dutch Design Award that same year.

(Illustration: screenshot of the website)

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May 3, 2015

Homemade lollipop kit with your own ingredients

Filed under: Design,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 9:59 pm

Something-Sweet-by-Tessa-Geuze_dezeen_468_6

Dutch designer Tessa Geuze presented a lollipop-making kit during Milan Design Week 2015 a few weeks ago as a member of the The Tomorrow Collective, a group of students who showcased a range of products and tools ‘inspired by past knowledge of how to grow, make and be’.

Geuze’s ‘Something Sweet’ kit features the components required for a miniature sweet factory including aluminium lollipop moulds, scoops, heat-proof mitts, and a display stand that also serves as a storage box for the utensils. She produced the kit as a way for people to make lollipops using ingredients they know without preservatives and additives like the ones listed on the wrappers of store-bought sweets.

Making your own sweets is something I picture parents doing with their kids or creative people doing for a theme party, but I wonder if most people would go through the trouble of making their own sweets instead of buying the lollipops with preservatives and additives. However, it does look like fun.

(Link and photo: www.dezeen.com)

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April 30, 2015

Salt water crops farmed on Texel island

Filed under: Food & Drink,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 1:44 pm

A team of farmers on the island of Texel are successfully farming salt water potatoes and other crops, as a sustainable solution for the increasing lack of viable farming land around the world.

Project ‘Salty Potato Farm’ was started some 10 years ago by team leader and farmer Mark van Rijsselberghe. Supported by the University of Amsterdam, the team has apparently planted 30 types of potatoes. Van Rijsselberghe says that, “anything that dies in the saline environment is abandoned, and anything that lives we try to follow up on.”

Experimental crops of carrots, strawberries, onions and lettuce are also being planted. Neither genetically modified organisms (GMOs), nor laboratories have been used for growing their crops in salt water environments. However, the price of the potatoes is still too high, with one kilo selling for five euro, compared to less than a euro for the same amount of regular potatoes, but one thing at a time.

(Link phys.org, Photo of Texel island by Searocket, some rights reserved)

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April 26, 2015

Marzipan LV bags in chocolate shop deemed illegal

Filed under: Design,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 8:00 am

According to Het Parool, French fashion brand Louis Vuitton got wind of the well-known and beautifully crafted marzipan handbags from chocolate maker Jordino in Amsterdam and sent them a nasty letter all in French that had to be translated. The message was clear: Jordino was never ever to sell anymore LV bags otherwise they would be fined 40,000 euro for trademark infringement. Although surely an unpleasant surprise, the law is on the side of the Parisians this time around.

However, back in 2011 an art student did battle with Louis Vuitton over an LV handbag depicted in an artwork about Darfur and won.

(Link: www.parool.nl, Photo of fake Louis Vuitton bags on Queen’s Day 2011)

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April 25, 2015

Dutch master made with coffee cups

Filed under: Art,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 12:15 pm

Vermeer-cups

Students from the American University in Dubai have made a replica of Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ using plastic coffee cups or pods, as they are sometimes known. The original can be admired at the Mauritshuis in The Hague.

“After pixellating the image to basic color units, it was split into four equal quarters. the sections were then divided amongst four groups in his class along with heaping piles of the recycled coffee pods. hundreds of units later, and the image was compiled into the reinterpretation of the 17th-century classic.”

(Link and photo: www.designboom.com)

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April 13, 2015

Drone with asparagus crashes and burns

Filed under: Food & Drink,Gadgets by Orangemaster @ 10:12 am

Having a drone deliver asparagus to your restaurant to ring in the new season on 1 April was a novel idea and a great publicity stunt for restaurant De Zwaan in Etten-Leur, Noord-Brabant, but it didn’t go exactly as planned.

Plan B was landing the drone nearby in case of wind and then taking a walk to pick up the asparagus, but that didn’t pan out either, as the drone went with Plan C, which resulting in a crash-and-burn scenario.

The drone made a stop along the way to change batteries, which went well, but the takeoff afterwards eventually turned into a nose dive and a pile of flambé white asparagus.

I’m already curious as to what delivery method they are going to try next year.

(Link: www.omroepbrabant.nl, Photo of asparagus by Stephan Mosel, some rights reserved)

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March 30, 2015

Drone to deliver asparagus, ringing in the season

Filed under: Food & Drink,Gadgets,Technology by Orangemaster @ 12:55 pm

One-Michelin-star restaurant De Zwaan in Etten-Leur, Noord-Brabant likes to make a splash in spring once white asparagus season kicks off and what better way to do that than having a drone deliver the white gold to your door.

On 1st April (no joke), a drone with a 15-minute battery that needs to fly 12 minutes avoiding all kinds of buildings and bridges according to many rules will drop off a crate of asparagus at the kitchen door of the restaurant. There’s a backup battery and a Plan B to land nearby if the wind is too much.

It’s not the first time De Zwaan and its owner Roland Peijnenburg have marked the start of asparagus season by creating a buzz. They’ve also used a hot air balloon carrying the town mayor and once had an asparagus relay race.

When you mention asparagus in the Netherlands, people think white asparagus and not green asparagus first. Here’s a white asparagus cocktail appetizer recipe for you as well.

(Link: www.deondernemer.nl, Photo of asparagus by Stephan Mosel, some rights reserved)

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March 25, 2015

Are women afraid to use the self-scanner?

Filed under: Food & Drink,General,Technology by Orangemaster @ 1:26 pm

Rosie

It is a tendentious question, but what on earth is Rosie the Riveter being used to encourage women folk, who are the main food shoppers, that they too have enough brains to use the relatively new self-scanners at the supermarket? It says ‘We scan ourselves!’. If they had a picture of a tough guy saying ‘I can use a scanner, too!’ it would be condescending. The scanners also work in other languages, so the insult isn’t lost on the non-Dutch crowd.

Hang on: the message with a woman is condescending towards women! Retro is cute, but not like this. Rosie deserves a hell of a lot better.

This lame message is quite typical of corporate Dutch passive-agressiveness: use the fokkin scanners ladies, as we’d rather have our cheap students (mostly female by the way) lose their jobs to a self-scanner over time. Yes, it’s mainly boys that stock shelves because, well, boys. I bet Rosie could kick all of their asses.

As a representative of women folk, I don’t always use the scanner because when I buy alcohol, an employee needs to come over, verify my age and swipe their magic card through the scanner so I can get on with it.

If you don’t agree that the poster is insulting to women, fine. But you should agree that it’s fokkin unoriginal.

(Photo: Mariëlle Verbeek)

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March 11, 2015

Unwanted animals turned into fancy snack food

Filed under: Animals,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 10:20 am

parakeets-amsterdam-branko-collin

In 2011 Amsterdam artist Rob Hagenouw contacted some hunters and scored geese to create his own croquette recipe. It was a big deal because by law geese cannot be killed unless they are deemed a nuisance, like the geese at Schiphol airport.

Hagenouw’s project The Kitchen of the Unwanted Animal (‘Keuken van het ongewest dier’) is a food truck in Amsterdam that sells snack food made from unwanted animals like muskrat, horse, pigeon, crawfish and parakeet. Unwanted means that these animals are not indigenous to the Netherlands (crawfish), are no longer being cared for as pets (horse) or are a nuisance (geese). Instead of killing these animals and throwing them out, Hagenouw and his partner Nicolle Schatborn decided to build a whole cuisine around them that’s getting international attention.

Although rabbit was not on the list yet, they are considered a plague, although a hugely cute one.

(Link: www.npr.org, Tip: Fred, thanks!)

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