April 1, 2020

What are we going to do with all the potatoes?

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 8:51 am

In The Netherlands many snacks bars have shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, although a lot of places do offer take away, but that means there are now a lot of leftover potatoes – not couch potatoes! – hanging around all day, doing nothing.

I say make some vodka, but that takes the right people to sort that out. It’s probably illegal and dangerous as well, so I’m just riffing here.

Since The Netherlands is one of the main producers of potatoes for making fries, some 1.5 million tons of potatoes, two thirds of which cannot be sold, are going to waste, awaiting a compensation package for the agricultural sector.

“Corona is impacting all sectors. Brussels is not going to regard this as a priority.” The stagnating market is having a knock on effect on potato processing firms, such as Aviko, which produces some 15 million potato products in a normal week. Deep fried chips are being made until the company runs out of space to store them.

Getting rid of a billion kilos of potatoes is not easy to do and only some of the potatoes are going to food banks, probably because they don’t boil very well. Other possibilities to process the potatoes include bio fermentation and use in the animal fodder and potato starch industries.

And since you have heard it already, a Van Gogh was stolen in Laren while museums have shut down due to the Corona virus.

(Link: dutchnews.nl, Photo: Vincent van Gogh potato-flavoured ice cream from Ede)

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September 1, 2017

Tilburg school imposes water, parents upset

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 2:58 pm

A school in Tilburg, Noord-Brabant, together with the parent-teach association (PTA), voted and agreed on letting children drink only water at school, but are now complaining about it. No energy drinks, no lemonade, no fizzy drinks: water. And if school staff feel children are eating sugary foods, they’ll send them home with a note about it for the parents. One kid had brought apple juice and a piece of butter cake to school and got such a note.

Parents are upset for various reasons. They feel their kids eat well at home, one kid’s parents says their kid doesn’t like water and came home crying, and there’s the parent that said “water is for dogs”. I’d say the first two comments are socially acceptable, but the last one is silly and ignorant.

The picture I used for this story is one we used a previous story entitled ‘Badly chosen picture with health article’, showing a teenager eating ontbijtkoek (gingerbread full of sugar and fat) and a vending machine full of similar sugary granola bars. And the article quoted was about ‘healthy eating’.

Some of the parents feel the ‘ban’ on juice should apply to the fat kids, not theirs – ouch. In Amsterdam’s Nieuw-West district, which has a lot of obese children, there was even talk of banning fast food places close to schools a few years back. Instead, schools encourage and teach drinking water and eating proper food, and apparently that’s working. Surprise: encouraging works better than shaming.

I understand parents should decide what their kids eat, that’s their job. But when a parent says “water is for dogs”, then something’s wrong. I was brought up on juice because in 1970s we were told that was good for you, and I also hated water. Today I drink mostly water because we all know better now.

Water is not only for dogs, it’s for a healthy human existence.

(Link: ad.nl)

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June 14, 2017

All this fast food, but no Wendy’s

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 10:21 pm

The year 2017 is a record year for opening American fast food chains in the Netherlands, as they seem to be ‘flooding the Dutch market’. On the menu is Dunkin’ Donuts (relaunch after failing in 1997), TGI Friday’s (relaunch after failing in 1997), Five Guys, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut (relaunch after failing in 1973).

While McDonald’s and Burger King are well established fast food chains in the Netherlands, the third big name in burgers, Wendy’s, is nowhere to be found. Wendy’s opened a branch in Rotterdam in 1985 for 1.5 years, having already trademarked its name several times in the late 1970s, the late 1980s and on 1 and 7 December 1995. Wendy’s opened a few places in Belgium and Luxembourg, but eventually disappeared after 1986, although in 1987 they got a 10-year extension on the name, as trademarks are valid for 10 years and can be extended for 10 years at a time.

In 1988 Raymond Warrens bought out a snack bar and a croissant shop in Goes, Zeeland and named them after his daughter, Wendy, which is also what Wendy’s International founder Dave Thomas did. When Warrens registered the name of his businesses with the Chamber of Commerce, they said the name wasn’t a problem. Sometime later Warrens decided to trademark his company name on 16 February 1995.

Wendy’s International threatened Wendy’s from the Netherlands, and Wendy’s from the Netherlands fought back. Wendy’s International felt that they were a known brand and that Warrens trademarked his company name in bad faith, while Warrens says he had never heard of Wendy’s, that Wendy’s International was no longer registered with the Chamber of Commerce and that the trademark was no longer active in the Benelux.

Wendy’s International knew about Wendy’s from the Netherlands, otherwise they wouldn’t have sent threats. And much later in 1995 they reactivated their trademark, after Warrens had registered his. This meant that Wendy’s International was acting in bad faith, not Warrens. Warrens successfully had Wendy’s International’s trademark revoked and Wendy’s International was not happy.

Wendy’s International took their grievance to the European court and lost. To quote one of Warrens’ employees in the Volkskrant newspaper, “They [Wendy’s International] certainly didn’t expect that a hick from Zeeland would be a nuisance for 20 years”. And Wendy’s International is apparently going to fight some more, so we’ll update you some day.

(Links: hln.be, charlotteslaw.nl, Photo of burger by huppypie, some rights reserved)

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March 8, 2017

Football inspired junk food in Arnhem

Filed under: Food & Drink,Sports by Orangemaster @ 7:34 pm

The end of junk food novelties is nowhere in sight: this time it’s a ‘Vitesse frikandel’, a frikandel that echoes the yellow and black colours of Arnhem’s local football club to celebrate the club’s placement in the Eredivisie cup final against Sparta from Rotterdam.

The frikandel has a slice of Dutch cheese melted over it with stripes of BBQ sauce and costs 1,75 euro at snackbar ‘t Beumertje, fans of their local football club.

(Link and a pic of the Vitesse frikandel: gelderlander.nl)

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August 12, 2016

Junk food combos keep on coming

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 10:36 am

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.

(Link: www.gelderlander.nl)

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May 31, 2016

Another food trend spearheaded by junk food

Filed under: Food & Drink,Weird by Orangemaster @ 9:01 am

There’s been a run of weird food combos lately, including pancakes with fries and the discodel. Now the frikandel sans disco has made its appearance in ‘vlaai’ (‘pie’) from Limburg turning a sweet dessert into a savoury one.

Bakers from Grubbenvorst, Limburg whipped up a ‘frikandellen vlaai’ for a friend’s birthday. It can have curry sauce, chopped onions and mayonnaise on it if you like that sort of garnish. Other frikandel fans started asking for the pie after a picture of it was placed on Facebook.

(Link: www.gelderlander.nl)

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May 5, 2016

Pancakes with fries and more in Rotterdam

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 10:27 am

Last weekend in Paris, a French woman asked me at the dinner table what food was like in the Netherlands. Examining the party of eight around me with a Dutch cook on my right (from Limburg, where they actually enjoy food), I diplomatically answered that the Netherlands have great basic ingredients, but seem to struggle to put them together nicely.

In an environment where snack food goes disco and having a romantic dinner at a junk food chain went viral, here’s a questionable junk food mashup: a pancake with ‘friet speciaal’ (fries topped with chopped onions, mayonnaise and curry ketchup), which can be had at a mini-golf course in Rotterdam.

“It’s not a joke and it’s very tasty,” claims cook Brian de Jong. They call it the ‘pannenkoek Xtra speciaal’, which goes for €7,50 and was in fact inspired by the disco snack food mentioned above. In case you got hit hard by a wayward golfball during your stay, you can also order the pancake Turkish pizza (aka ‘lahmacun’) or the pancake satay.

(Link: www.hln.be)

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March 12, 2016

Snack food goes disco in Nijmegen

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 9:14 pm

The latest junk food hit in the Netherlands comes from Nijmegen, Gelderland and it’s called a ‘discodel’ (photo), a wrinkled hotdog called ‘frikandel’ with mayonnaise on top of it and topped off with small multi-coloured sugary balls that you would normally find on ice cream or cupcakes.

Three Dutch students came up with this one after a night of drinking – what a surprise. They’ve always mixed things up at the snack bar, and one day they went for the frikandel with mayonnaise and coloured balls and the ‘discodel’ was born.

(Link: www.ad.nl)

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November 18, 2015

Romantic fast food dinner in Rotterdam going viral

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 11:37 am

A young couple recently decided to have a romantic dinner at McDonald’s in downtown Rotterdam. The manager was very relaxed about it and let the couple use the table cloth, candles, plates and utensils they brought with them. “It looked like a fancy picnic”.

Sure people stared and yes the manager snapped a picture for social media. You just know this is going to happen again somewhere soon.

Until now my idea of a Dutch dinner for two at McDonald’s looks more like this advert from 2010 where ‘going Dutch’ kills the mood even more than having to eat junk food.

(Link: www.waarmaarraar.nl, Photo of burger by huppypie, some rights reserved)

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May 15, 2014

Junk food workers on strike? Not in the Netherlands

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 2:31 pm

Today in over 30 countries around the world, from New Zealand to the United States, fast food chain employees are striking to demand better wages because their full-time jobs don’t pay the bills, which has been the case for ages. “On May 15, we will be taking action together around the world to demand that McDonald’s—the second largest private sector employer in the world — respect its employees’ work.”

However, the Netherlands cannot be bothered. Just last week the Dutch FNV union claimed that fast food workers were the worst paid in the country, two euro an hour less than cleaning personnel who strike often and have been on strike for a while as I write this. The biggest difference is probably that the cleaners, due to their age and experience, know when they are being screwed by The Man, while the youth thinks it’s normal.

For starters, mostly people under 25 work at fast food chains, many of which still live at home, which is very different than in other countries where they are trying to make ends meet. The wages the Dutch make is more pocket money or tuition money than rent money.

Second, fast food jobs in the Netherlands are deemed temporary jobs for students or young people, while in the United States and elsewhere, you’ll see people over 50 working at a chain. Since the Netherlands openly practices ageism and not same pay for same work, every age group, from 18 to 25 gets a different salary, and someone above 50 would be way too expensive.

(Links: www.nrcq.nl, www.at5)

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