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”.
The Mayor of Haarlem, Bernt Schneiders, who came up with this brilliant idea is the same man who got his silver livery collar stolen from his office in 2011 (maybe a freezer bag was involved) and who in 2008 ‘corrected’ the Mayor of Beijing Wang Qisham telling him the Dutch had invented the printing press even though he was dead wrong.
(Link: www.haarlemsdagblad.nl, Photo of Paris Louvre facepalm by Phelan Riessen, some rights reserved)
Tags: Bernt Schneiders
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.
(Links: www.gelderlander.nl, sportclubneede.nl, Photo of fries in Brussels with Andalouse sauce)
Tags: Enschede, Gelderland, Jamballa sauce, Joppie sauce
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.
(Link and image: www.dezeen.com)
Tags: MVRDV, Rotterdam, Vienna
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.
Tags: app, chattable
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:
(Link: roomed.nl, Photo of White powder by Nomadic Lass, some rights reserved)
Tags: advertising, creamer, plagiarism
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.
(Link: www.fastcoexist.com, via www.dutchnews.nl)
Tags: algae, burger, vegan, Zeeland
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.
(Links: www.z24.nl, www.ft.com, Photo of Chick peas by abrunvoll, some rights reserved)
Tags: mayonnaise, Unilever, vegan
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.
(Link: munchies.vice.com, Photo of shiitake mushrooms by pjah73, some rights reserved)
Tags: Amsterdam, mushroom, prawn, shiitake, shrimp, waste
Two Amsterdam film directors, Finbarr Wilbrink and Roelof Jan Minneboo, are brewing beer as a tribute to British filmmaker David Lean and his major work, Doctor Zhivago. The beer will be presented locally on 19 December after which it will be sold in stores, and we’ll try it out for you. These creations are known as the Cinema Brewers.
The Zhivago beer will brewed from ginger and English hops for that bittersweet taste that goes with the story of Doctor Zhivago. I wonder if the beer will have a long, drawn-out finish like the movie as well.
Earlier this year Wilbrink and Minneboo also made an ‘À bout de souffle’ (‘Breathless’) beer made from French and American hops and lavender, as that seemed like a nice fit, and a Big Lebowski beer made from American hops, lemongrass and coriander, symbolising the friendship between The Dude and Walter Sobchak.
(Links: www.nieuws.nl, www.parool.nl, www.pzc.nl)
Tags: À bout de souffle, beer, Big Lebowski, Doctor Zhivago
As of today Jumbo supermarkets in the cities of Groningen and Haren will start selling edible insects products. ‘Buggy balls’, ‘buggy burgers’ and even ‘buggy crisps’ (great, more junk food) will be available. Many parts of the world apparently eat insects either as a delicacy or because they’re poor. The Western world hasn’t joined in yet except for special events.
I can’t listen to the health arguments for selling these protein-rich products because supermarkets sell us tons of junk food and have forfeited their say in people’s health ages ago. I can’t listen to the lame argument of eating bugs as an alternative to eating meat because there are vegetarians and vegans out there doing just fine without it.
Eating bugs is expensive (one portion of ‘buggy balls’ costs between 5,95 and 6,79 euro), which doesn’t make them an alternative to anything. The price won’t go down if more people buy because if that were true, the price of veggie burgers would have gone down. And if you eat peanut coated chocolates that contain red E120 colouring, you’re already eating bugs.
Bonus argument: Belgium is one of Europe’s top suppliers of insects, but its production is illegal yet tolerated. Sound familiar?
(Links: www.z24.nl, nos.nl, Photo of Grasshoppers by ad454, some rights reserved)