November 9, 2020

‘Replace sweets with sprouts’ on Dutch Halloween-like holiday

Filed under: Food & Drink,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:31 am

It is not real news, but we still really like the story.

On November 11 Dutch children usually celebrate Sint-Maarten by going around town door to door at night, carrying hand-made lanterns and singing songs for sweets.

The city of Amsterdam would rather this not happen at all due to the health crisis and has made a suggestion that sounds more like an April Fool’s joke: replace the sweets with Brussels sprouts to promote healthy eating.

The idea is to stay home and celebrate with the healthy yet questionable-smelling miniature cabbages. The city is bold enough to suggest parents also use ‘tomatoes, carrot and radishes’ as well.

Maybe spend a evening doing something fun with your kids that doesn’t involve you checking your mobile phone, but that’s just me.

Good news is I won’t have to hide in my own house on 11 November. A Canadian like me considers 11 November as Remembrance Day, the day we commemorate the millions of fallen during the First World War, which the Dutch don’t celebrate.

I posted a picture of Dutch white asparagus because it’s really tasty.

(Link:, Photo by Wikipedia user Janericloebe who released it into the public domain)

Tags: , , , , , ,

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 flamb├ę white asparagus.

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

(Link:, Photo of asparagus by Stephan Mosel, some rights reserved)

Tags: ,

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:, Photo of asparagus by Stephan Mosel, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , ,

April 16, 2012

Asparagus advert from Limburg is an ode to fellatio

Filed under: Food & Drink,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:04 am

As my co-blogger Branko who comes from asparagus country himself put it, “I don’t think we can abstain from writing about this Limburg promo”. And when it comes to gobbling up asparagus, why go for a soft sell, right? Enough puns from me, watch the video.

And if you thought white asparagus looked like a small Caucasian male, you’ll enjoy this banana version parody. In fact, the people who made the advert could be going for a cheap viral, as you don’t need any words to get this message across.

(Link:, Photo by Wikipedia user Janericloebe who released it into the public domain)

Tags: , ,

October 9, 2011

Asparagus most popular vegetable among the Dutch, French beans second

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 1:27 pm

Radio show Vroege Vogels (Early Birds) held a vegetable popularity contest during the Week of the Vegetarian restaurant which ran from October 3 through October 9.

Perhaps surprisingly the top four comprises, in the following order, the asparagus, the French bean, chicory and Brussels sprouts (asperge, sperzieboon, witlof and spruitje in Dutch).

In total more than 30,000 votes were cast for 62 vegetables, the show’s website reports. Asparagus and the French bean finished 42 votes apart, the former receiving 1873 votes. Traditionally asparagus is eaten white in the Netherlands. Since the plant starts turning green the moment it breaks through the surface, it is grown in long mounds and dug out as soon as it cracks the top of its bed.

See the Dutch vegetable top 40 of 2011.

(Photo by Wikipedia user Janericloebe who released it into the public domain)

Tags: , , , ,

May 19, 2009

White asparagus season is upon us

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 8:58 am

While the media is busy digging up stories about Eastern European workers who are being exploited to pick this cherished Dutch vegetable, I’d rather remain positive and present our new found audience with the delicious Willem Alexander Asparagus Cocktail (link to the step-by-step recipe).

This mouthwatering appetizer was created by chef Herman van Ham of restaurant De Hamert in Arcen, North of Venlo in the province of Limburg, where said Eastern European workers are working themselves into blisters for little money. The cocktail was named after the Dutch crown prince, William Alexander.

Here are some wine suggestions to make that cocktail count even more:

– Champagne or Cava.
– A decent Sauvignon blanc
– A decent Riesling or Gew├╝rztraminer

Eet smakkelijk! (Bon appetit!)

Tags: , , ,

May 17, 2008

White asparagus cocktail

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 9:00 am

It’s asparagus season. North Limburgers like me respond to asparagus the same way hobbits respond to mushrooms. Actually we respond the same way to mushrooms too: asparagus and mushrooms are our regional specialty.

We grow and eat asparagus stems white though. To keep the stems white, they need to be kept away from sunlight, and therefore they are grown in raised beds. Then, starting around April 15, temp workers walk between the beds from the break of dawn till noon, spying for cracks in the flattened tops of the beds that signify the tip of an asparagus plant trying to break through.

Once they spot the rebel plant, the workers dig through the side of the bed until they reach the stem and then use a long, spatula-shaped knife to cut the stem at the bottom. The stem is taken out and the hole filled up again.

The stems dry out quickly so the sooner you cook them the better. White asparagus has a delicate taste that is typically brought out with ham, egg, melted butter, but it can be combined with many other ingredients. Serve with cold, white wine.

Today I ate:

Asparagus Cocktail Willem Alexander

This apetizer was invented by chef Herman van Ham of restaurant De Hamert in Arcen, just North of Venlo. He named it in honour of the Dutch crown prince.


Tags: , , , ,