Flower market on the "Amstelveld"

Flower market on the "Amstelveld"

Every Monday morning there is a small but pretty market on the Amstelveld.

You will find not only flowers, plants and bulbs, but also cheese, chocolates, honey, french sausages etc.

We often go there for the eatable flowers, we use in our kitchen.

Mama Bakery

Mama Bakery produces organic artisan bread and pastries. A small team of dedicated bakers and patissiers work with love and passion.

We have an old colleague who manages their kitchen, so when we heard they have a stall at the Zuidermarkt every Saturday, we decided to go and see for ourselves. We didn't require much convincing because all their products are made using the best quality ingredients, such as flour from Dutch mills. All their goods are baked to perfection.

You can either go and visit them at their stall at the Zuidermarkt each Saturday, just as we did, or if you're willing to travel a little further, you can visit their bakery and store in Zwanenburg.


Fresh Herbs and Spices and the Noordemarkt

Saturday's are one of our favourite days of the week. After a slow start, there is nothing better than to wonder the small streets of the Jordaan and head over to the bustling Noordemarkt.

We've spoken before about the array of ingredients on offer. But, with the cold wintery weather, we are going to get some fresh herbs to make a big batch of soul-warming chicken soup and the best harissa you will ever taste!

There are beautiful bundels of soup herbs that you can buy to add to your pan of steaming goodness. They also make the most amazing table decorations if you're hosting a dinner. Another thing we're also going to be getting, which you don't see too often and will be the prefect addition to our soup is lovage (maggi in Dutch). It comes in herb and root form and is similar in flavour to celery. We'll put some of the leaves and the peeled root into the soup, but the root is also perfect grated into salads.

So if you're going to do groceries today, maybe add a few of these items to your list. Wishing you all a delicious weekend. Happy eating!


Het Weekend van de Rollende Keukens

This year, as in previous years, sees a new edition of Het Weekend van de Rollende Keukens - a 5 day festival of food trucks, music and fun.

Taking place at The Westergasfabriek, this festival brings together a myriad of food trucks serving an eclectic mix of different styles of food from around the world. There has been an worldwide explosion in the popularity of food trucks and street food and Holland has been no exception.

The festival has however been a victim of it's own success, drawing huge crowds and making it at times difficult to see what's happening and get some food. But, that shouldn't put you off. As long as the weather's good, there's no better way to spend a day or evening out with friends.

The festival runs from Wednesday 13th May until Sunday 17th May 2015. We hope to see you there!

Amsterdam Chocolate Festival

This past weekend we paid a visit to The Amsterdam Chocolate Festival.  The festival documented an array of chocolates made using cocoa from around the world.

Products, for example soaps, made using cocoa butter, were also on show. There are so many different chocolates available at the moment and this gives one the opportunity to be able taste and understand the differences and nuances that can be found in chocolates from different countries.

What is chocolate and how is it made? 

Chocolate is a typically sweet, usually brown, food preparation of Theobroma cacao seeds, roasted and ground, often flavored, as with vanilla. It is made in the form of a liquid, paste or in a block or used as a flavouring ingredient in other sweet foods. Cacao has been cultivated by many cultures for at least three millennia in Mesoamerica. The earliest evidence of use traces to the Mokaya (Mexico and Guatemala), with evidence of chocolate beverages dating back to 1900 BC. In fact, the majority of Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Maya and Aztecs, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl, a Nahuatl word meaning "bitter water". The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the flavour.

After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted. The shell is removed to produce cacao nibs, which are then ground to cocoa mass, pure chocolate in rough form. Because the cocoa mass is usually liquefied before being molded with or without other ingredients, it is called chocolate liquor. The liquor also may be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Unsweetened baking chocolate (bitter chocolate) contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, a combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids.

For more information on the festival visit Amsterdam Chocolate Festival.

A great magazine available for the coffee and chocolate industry is Koffietcoao.

Pure Wagyu

Farmer Chris Boomsma rears Japanese Wagyu cattle, which are known for the tender, exclusive and flavourful meat. ' Wa ' means Japan and ' Gyu ' means beef. Until the 19th century, the Wagyu in Japan where only be used as draft animals in forestry and agriculture. Through the centuries of selection on muscular strength and endurance, the modern, high-quality and very tender meat came to be.

A portion of Chris's livestock were the first Wagyu's to ever be maintained and graze the dunes of Schoorl.  The animals have a good life and help take care of the natural landscape.

Wagyu beef is a tasty delicacy known for its typical fat distribution and characteristic marbling. This marbling, with his polyunsaturated fat, ensures an unprecedented taste sensation. The more marbling in the meat, the higher the quality.

A few interesting  points about Pure Wagyu Beef:
• the cattle 100% pure-bred Wagyu's are
• the cattle come from North Holland
• the calves remain for at least 8 months at their own mother
• the cattle are kept in a sustainable and humane way
• the meat contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
• the meat is free of antibiotics or growth hormones
• a Wagyu Sirloin steak contains less cholesterol than a lean chicken breast

One common myth is that the tenderness of the Wagyu meat is obtained by the cattle being massaged, listening to classical music and being fed beer.

To taste and purchase Pure Wagyu for yourself, visit their stall at The Sunday Market on 1st March at the Westergasfabriek.

Gebroeders de Wolf

How do you turn a problem into a solution? Ask Gebroeders de Wolf.

There is an overflow of wild geese in Holland, especially around Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. Their size and numbers pose a threat to departing and arriving aircraft. Once way to deal with the problem is  a mass cull, but we all need solutions that have benefits as well.

Martijn van de Reep en Tom Zinger began their charcuterie company in 2014. They hunt wild geese and turn this delicious and very underrated meat into true delicacies.

We came across their stall at the Indie Brands market in The Foodhallen. Their range consists of dried and smoked sausages, smoked goose breast, terrine, pate and the one that we love best, the rillettes, in which goose meat is slowly cooked in goose fat, picked and potted - so delicious and indulgent. Flavourwise, it's comparable to duck with a slight gamey flavour.

For more information or to see when they'll next be at a market near you, visit their Facebook page.

The 'Lachende Pinda'

We paid a visit the Sunday Market at the Westergasfabriek yesterday and were struck by a stall called The 'Lachende Pinda' (the laughing peanut). Tamara is originally an artist but found a passion for cooking and produces the most delicious home made Indonesian delicacies.

She also gives table d'hôte dinners in her studio for those looking for that home-cooked, authentic Indonesian meal. A great way for locals and visitors to the city to meet.

We tasted her peanut soup and it was absolutely delicious! Not only are her products good, but we loved her enthusiastic personality and the passion she has for what she does.

For more information, visit tamaratantico.

De Foodhallen

De Foodhallen, Amsterdam's brand new and first permanent indoor market, is open. With it's bustling and vibey atmosphere, this is definitely the place to be seen.

Housed in an old tram depot in Amsterdam West, the Hallen and Foodhallen have been stunningly renovated and preserved.

We visited on a Saturday morning and had the privilege of first visiting the Local Goods Market. We tasted and we talked. We love the passion and enthusiasm these small local producers have for their products and we discovered some really fantastic new things. We'll be giving the ones really liked more attention in coming columns.

De Foodhallen itself is a melting pot of deliciousness; a culinary journey round the world. There is something on offer for everyone - hotdogs, hamburgers, Vietnamese, Turkish, Spanish and of course, home-grown Dutch.

The idea is a simple one. Choose what you want to eat from one of the many Artisan kitchens, grab a drink and a table in the middle of the hall and enjoy. We didn't get a chance to taste everything, so we will be going back to try some more and write about them in more detail.

We do hope, however, that they add a permanent market like one sees in Southern Europe selling vegetables, meats. etc. That would really be the icing on the cake.

For more information please visit Foodhallen


Zuider Market

This past Saturday was the most gorgeous Fall morning. Crystal clear skies and a distinct chill in the air. We had a busy day ahead preparing for a catering but we couldn't resist taking a little detour on our way to work and popping by the Zuider Market.

Held every Saturday on the Jacob Obrechtstraat behind the Concertgebouw (Concert Hall) in Amsterdam South, this small market is bustling with locals and visitors alike. Besides offering a fantastic array of vegetables, meats, and ready prepared items like crepes and pies, there is a wonderful vibe around the area.

This certainly should be on your list to visit. It's the ideal place to buy local, seasonal produce and a great meeting place to catch up with friends over a cup of coffee and a bite to eat.

For more information please visit Zuidermarkt