Dutch food with EU protection

Dutch food which has officially protected status within the EU You thought the Netherlands was all mashed potato dishes, cheese and herring when it comes to traditional food? But there are a fair few Dutch items on the EU's official lists - even if rather a lot are cheese. And just so you know what we are talking about,the EU logos PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) and PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) indicate region while TSG (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed) means the production process is as old as the hills. Hanneke Sannou has the the Dutch score. 1 Boeren-Leidse met sleutels (PDO). The sleutels, in case you are wondering are imprinted on the reddish rind of the cheese and refer to the keys of Saint Peter who is the patron saint of Leiden. The cheese, from the Leiden region and from the Leiden region only, is made from skimmed cow’s milk and therefore only has a 30% fat content. Available with or without cumin and said to go down very well with stewed rhubarb. 2 The Westlandse druif (PGI). This Dutch grape actually...  More >

'I'm baffled by being below sea level'

‘It baffles me that parts of the Netherlands are 6 metres below sea level’ British national Lucy Borne is celebrating her third year in Amsterdam this summer and says she has fallen completely in love with the city. A plant buff, Lucy currently works as global publicity and marketing manager at the post-production studio Smoke & Mirrors. How did you end up in the Netherlands? I ended up here completely by chance. I came on holiday with my boyfriend during the sun-soaked summer of 2014 and never looked back. I'd just finished a contract so I had no ties to the UK. Having very little knowledge of the city before visiting, Amsterdam completely stole my heart. I still to this day feel Amsterdam has a unique spirit. I luckily get to walk via the canals to work every day. Each day, still, this chocolate-box town stuns me. How do you describe yourself – an expat, lovepat, immigrant, international? When asked where I’m from, my response is always the same: ‘I live in the Netherlands’. I'm very proud to live here but I was born in Britain. I don't think...  More >

11 things about Dutch women’s footie

Eleven things you need to know about Dutch women’s football With the Dutch women's team having won the European title for the first time in their history, here's a few key facts about female football in the Netherlands. 1 The first female team The first female team, the Oostzaanse Vrouwenvoetbal Vereeniging, emerged in 1924 but was soon side-lined by the Nederlandse Voetbalbond, the precursor of the KNVB, which was of the opinion that the role of women should be restricted to  that of ‘wife, mother or fiancée of football players’. 2 The national association In 1955 football-crazy women started their own league of 14 clubs while the KNVB pretended nothing was happening. More clubs joined who happily played each other in regional competitions. The number of female players had reached 5,500 by this time. It was not until 1971 that the KNVB finally admitted women’s football to the fold and 1973 before they played their first official international, losing 1-0 to England. 3 Over 150,000 players Last season the KNVB had 153,001...  More >

How to go Dutch: the final report

How to go Dutch: the final installment, as those crucial envelopes arrive Six years ago Molly Quell moved to the Netherlands with her husband, an academic, for a short-term project. Now she’s a divorcee, has fallen in love with a Dutch guy and finds herself in the unexpected position of having to integrate. Read the first, second, third and fourth parts of her series. I was working from home on the day the letter arrived. I heard the familiar ka-chink as the post was pushed through the mailbox. I got up from my desk and peered down the hallway. I had been checking the mail with increasing anxiety over the past few weeks. There was a letter, lying on top of the Makro coupons and health insurance bills. And it appeared as though that letter was from IND. I crept down the hall, as if otherwise I might startle the envelope and cause it to turn into a negative response. It took me some time to open it. Ironically, as I’m writing this now, I just met, for the first time, my reason for applying for permanent residency, face to face. Getting sick I...  More >

Why not ditch Dutch?

Dozens of languages disappear, so why not ditch Dutch as well? Dozens of languages disappear every year, and English is taking over, so why not bite the bullet and wave bye bye to Dutch? suggests Leiden University professor of Chinese Linguistics Rint Sybesma. The English language takeover of Dutch higher education is creating all sorts of problems. We only need to look at the latest report on the subject. It’s doing the quality of our education no favours at all. The linguistic abilities of both teachers and students are failing to come up to the mark while the highly educated who find themselves a job in the Netherlands (losers) are making a hash of their Dutch. What it boils down to is that Dutch is becoming a bit of a nuisance. It is more trouble than it’s worth. So why not solve all our problems and simply abolish it. Job It won’t happen from one day to the next but with a bit of effort we could manage the job in two to three generations. And with the numbers of people willing to take up the cause who’s going to stop us? It...  More >

Eleven great things to do in August

From pride to paper miracles: 11 great things to do in August Spending your summer at home and looking for some tips for great days out? Here's some suggestions. Be proud The main event in August is Gay Pride or Pride Amsterdam, as it now inclusively styles itself. There are activities galore, such as the Drag queen Olympics and Bear Necessity (for extremely hairy men) with the Canal Parade on August 5 as an exuberant highlight. Until August 6, Amsterdam. Website Find love in Sloterpark On August 12 Amsterdam's Sloterpark becomes Loveland. The line-up includes Tale of Us, Ferro, Sad Girl and many, many others. Website Party on the beach The Northsea Summer Festival in coastal resort Katwijk aan Zee is a great family day out which combines music, activities like golf and fitness clinics, a Lego building competition and much more. Free. From August 4 to 12, Katwijk. Website   Check out some paper miracles The CODA Paper Art 2017 exhibition demonstrates the wondrous things artists can do with paper. Take Kumi Yamashita from Japan,...  More >

Amsterdam Noord: a bridge too far?

As Amsterdam rediscovers its north, should it be a tunnel or a bridge? Amsterdam wants to build two bridges over the IJ to link the district of Noord to the rest of the city. But business interests and central government say a tunnel would be better for everyone, including cyclists. Amsterdam is separated from its northern flank by the river IJ and for those without a car, the only way to reach Amsterdam-Noord from the rest of the city is by passenger and bicycle ferry - unless you take a bus. But Amsterdam-Noord is suddenly in: the Eye film museum, the multi-purpose 'skyscraper' A'dam Toren (formerly Shell Research), restaurants, hotels, meeting facilities, clubs and new residential complexes add to its appeal. Access is a big problem and the ferries are jam-packed as larger numbers of people head to the newly trendy north or into the city. The new metro line will run between the north of the city and Amsterdam Zuid from 2018 and that should ease some of the burden for pedestrians. But what about cyclists? Two bridges A bridge or a tunnel...  More >

An uhealthy obsession with statistics

The Netherlands has an unhealthy obsession with statistics Rankings praising the Dutch health system abound in the media but what do the results really say about the Netherlands?, asks DutchNews.nl editor Robin Pascoe. If you read the Dutch press, it cannot have escaped your attention that not so long ago the Dutch health service was again ranked one of the best in the world. We foreigners may moan about over-inquisitive receptionists when visiting our family doctor and the fondness for paracetamol, but in terms of our health we are actually lucky to be living here. Yes, in May, the Netherlands came in ninth place in a ranking of almost 200 countries by The Lancet magazine. The ranking was compiled by looking at how likely you are to survive various nasty diseases, including tuberculosis, whooping cough and measles – 32 different ailments in total. Contrast this then, with a survey published in early 2015 by Sweden’s Health Consumer Powerhouse. It put the Dutch health service at the top of a ranking of 36 different European countries...  More >

Best Netherlands-based bloggers

Top blogs: From cartoon Englishmen to the best food in Amsterdam When you move to a new country, there’s nothing like getting some good information from people who have done it before. In the past, you’d have to venture out of your house and actually meet people to get that sort of knowledge. But now, anyone can share their insider tips on the internet for all to read. Molly Quell compiled a list of her favourite Netherlands-based bloggers Invader Stu Invader Stu is one of the most famous of all of the Netherlands-based bloggers. Nearly every international here has seen his iconic red-headed cartoons. You might even own an ‘I survived a Dutch Circle Party' tee shirt. Intending to apply for a job within bus distance of London, Stuart Billinghurst accidently found himself in Amsterdam nearly twenty years ago. Now the Englishman has a Dutch wife, two children and has moved to Friesland. His most famous post might be the Dutch Circle Party Guide, but I rather like the Hair Dye Incident. Amsterdam Foodie Don’t venture out for food in...  More >

Podcast: The We Apologise Edition

DutchNews podcast – The We Apologise for Everything Edition – Week 28 The final podcast before we take a well-earned summer break features sporting triumph and tragedy, why Bono held up the coalition talks and the school photo that sparked a nationwide debate. It was also the week when Tijn, the six-year-old boy who raised €2.5 million for charity by selling nail polish, and the mother of Eurovision trio OG3NE sadly lost their battles with cancer. Top story Coalition talks go nowhere slowly News School ordered to compensate Muslim pupils who missed class photo Senate passes law giving security service wider powers to trawl internet Cat missing for seven years adopted by parents of former owner Mother of Eurovision trio OG3NE dies of cancer Six-year-old boy who raised millions with nail polish campaign dies Sport Van der Breggen wins Giro Rosa for second time Dutch women's team change logo to lioness (Never Offside, Dutch) Ajax player suffers permanent brain damage after collapsing on pitch Discussion: We're...  More >

Dutch scientists who changed the world

Eight Dutch scientists who changed the world We'd suggest calling the following Dutch scientists 'clever clogs' if it wasn't so disrespectful. So we won't. But these eight theorists and inventors from the Netherlands made breakthroughs that shaped our modern world. Christiaan Huygens Christiaan Huygens (1629 -1695) was a mathematician, astronomer and physicist. Huygens formulated the wave theory of light, determined the shape of the rings of Saturn and contributed to the science of dynamics. Late in life he speculated about life on other planets, niftily sailing around the religious implications by saying that god, underestimating mankind’s scientific progress, had put the planets at such a distance from each other as to preclude any possibility of contact. Cornelis Drebbel Inventor Cornelis Drebbel (1572 – 1633) is credited with building the first working submarine. Drebbel was born in Alkmaar but moved to England in 1904. Some 20 years later he was asked by the English navy to design a boat which could move...  More >

Blogwatching: a good old language struggle

Blogwatching: Amsterdive – The good old language struggle Ana V. Martins is a Portuguese actress and a writer who lives in Amsterdam. Her blog, AmsterDive, is about her relationship with Amsterdam with a focus on arts and culture. In this post, she writes about a common problem among many internationals - losing her native language. Yesterday I was thinking of the downs of living 'abroad'. I must say I very rarely ask myself this question, but I know that this is a very relatable topic to most expats. If you are one, you might immediately have a whole spectrum of ideas on it. Things like the absence of friends and family might automatically pop into your mind, or the missing of certain foods, your hometown, the weather, or a type of human warmth very specific to where you come from. Personally, the following sentence immediately banged in my head: Will I ever get used to making mistakes in almost every single sentence, or group of sentences I articulate? The biggest challenge I face as an expat is the fact that I am not able to...  More >

Desire for economic reform is petering out

Reform hurts, says economist Mathijs Bouman, but calling a halt to the reforms will hurt more. In the middle of the euro crisis reforming the economy seemed an important and unavoidable priority. But once the ECB saved the euro and started buying bonds European capitals began to feel much less convinced. The principle is still valid; it is a truth universally acknowledged that only structural reform – principally in the labour market but also the pension and tax systems – will lead to a sustainable economic recovery. But the pressure’s off and European politicians seem to be going for the old postponement reflex. The French need to reform but don’t want to. The Belgians want to but can’t. The Germans can but don’t want to try. The Greeks try but never seem to last more than a day. And the Dutch? They have shown themselves to be veritable champions of structural reform in the last couple of years. Two cabinets led by Mark Rutte have produced an impressive list...  More >

Podcast: The Bitterball Twist Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Bitterball Twist Edition – Week 27 In this week's podcast we have the latest news on the MH17 prosecution, a bus that runs on insect venom, a lemur that went walkabout and a bitter row about vegetarian snacks in Utrecht. Our discussion looks at the latest study into discrimination against ethnic minority job applicants. Top story MH17 suspects will be prosecuted in Netherlands News Customs officer who let drugs into Rotterdam jailed for 14 years Bitterballen row heats up in Utrecht TU Eindhoven unveils bus that runs on formic acid Lemur goes on the run in Amsterdam Discussion: workplace discrimination Violent criminals more likely to get a job than ethnic minorities - report The Hague city council to introduce anonymous job applications Minister says no to anonymous job application trial for civil servants If you're applying for jobs, you're better off with a criminal record than a foreign surname (Volkskrant, Dutch) What do the party leaders want to do about discrimination...  More >

Bus stop, wet day? Share a green ride

Going Dutch: Bus stop, wet day? Please share my green taxi Electric charging stations may be a more common sight in Dutch cities and car parks, but smart shared transport services are helping the Netherlands reduce empty buses and polluted skies, reports Senay Boztas On his weekend trip to see his parents, and their washing machine, Jason David no longer has to wait for a bus if there’s no chance of a lift. The 21-year-old, who is studying in Breda but whose folks live in Arnhem, can simply use the Breng Flex app to order an eco-friendly minibus from the train station. He is one of a growing group of people in Arnhem and Nijmegen, young and old, to enjoy the 'flexibility, comfort and personal service' of a new type of public transport. Public transport company Connexxion has had such success with a four-month trial of Breng Flex replacement buses that they are going to be a permanent fixture of this region and beyond. With a fleet of 10 minibuses running on green gas, made from biomass, and eight Hyundai IONIQ Electric cars, around...  More >

'Locals are extra nice when I speak Dutch'

‘Locals are extra friendly to me when I try to speak their language’ “I moved here for love!” Graphic designer Yihmay Yap (40), hails from Malaysia and moved to Rotterdam for love. Two and a half years later, she’s still learning the language and discovering her favourite places in the country. How did you end up in the Netherlands? It’s a long story, but in short, I moved here for love! My husband is from Rotterdam and we met when he was traveling around Asia and I was living in Singapore. We initially met in Singapore but we decided to meet up in Vietnam. That’s where we found out that we clicked really well. So he decided to move to Singapore to be with me and he ended up living there for seven years. But then he moved back to the Netherlands and when I came to visit after a year, he proposed! So that’s when I packed up and moved to Rotterdam to start a new life! How do you describe yourself - an expat, lovepat, immigrant, international etc? I am from Malaysia, but I’ve been living outside of my home country for more than half...  More >

Podcast: The Fishy Edition

DutchNews podcast – The Fishy Edition – Week 26 Gordon, Molly and Paul discuss why assisted dying is back at the top of the political agenda 15 years after the Netherlands legalised euthanasia. There's also news of the broadcasters taken hostage in Colombia,the ongoing legal fall-out from Srebrenica, a rush of big cat births and how Schiphol is planning to cut the summer queues at security. Top story Coalition talks pass 100-day mark News Primary school teachers go on strike Schiphol unveils plan for fast-track security queues TV film crew freed in Colombia Dutch state partly responsible for Srebrenica deaths Older generation takes to social media Discussion: euthanasia and 'right to die' controversy Number of euthanasia cases rises in the Netherlands D66 introduces right-to-die bill for over-75s Rise in euthanasia requests sparks concern (2015) My alcoholic brother chose euthanasia (BBC) The story of Martin Kock (NOS, Dutch) Boudewijn Chabot: I wouldn't agree to assisted dying now...  More >

A chiropractor keeps a dancer on his toes

The art of thriving: how an Amsterdam chiropractor kept a dancer on his toes Early this spring, a Belgian dancer walked into an American chiropractor’s new office in Amsterdam—no, this isn’t the set-up to a joke. It’s the set-up to the dancer’s journey towards improved mind-body wellness, with the help of Kate Cox at Thrive Chiropractic on the Prinsengracht. ‘Dancing has always made sense’, says Birger van Severen, 41, of Amsterdam. ‘My earliest memories are of dancing to The Village People and Michael Jackson.’ These days, he dances and performs in Tineke Schouten’s touring show, performing for Dutch audiences in the tens-of-thousands each year. To still be dancing professionally at his age is extremely rare Van Severen started late as a dancer. At 18, he had his first ballet class—there, he says, he was surrounded by people who’d been at it for close to ten years already. They possessed a natural flexibility which he could not match. Instead, it was his passion and work ethic which propelled him, bringing him to Amsterdam to study...  More >

No English: Spreek Nederlands met mij

Spreek Nederlands met mij: A week of eschewing English The Netherlands’ enthusiasm for speaking English leaves many newcomers struggling to learn the language. Could wearing a badge insisting on Dutch shake things up? Deborah Nicholls-Lee tries it out. 'Ah, it's you, David!' I sigh with relief as one of the two British hairdressers in the team of four picks up the phone at my local salon. No need to speak Dutch then. I have been in the Netherlands eight years and this wimpy attitude to speaking Dutch is hard to defend. My Dutch isn't too bad and it's time I got the bitterbal rolling. When I heard about the Spreek Nederlands initiative, I ordered the Spreek Nederlands met Mij! (Speak Dutch with me!) badge and committed myself to a week-long challenge. Founded in 2013, and billed as a chance to ‘fight for our right to speak Dutch’, the initiative is a response to the frustration felt by newcomers whose attempts to speak Dutch are thwarted by locals who insist on replying in English. Phone conversations aside - where the absence...  More >

Peace of mind a Brexit priority: minister

Offering Brexit-affected citizens peace of mind is a priority, says UK minister The rights of British people in the Netherlands and Dutch nationals in Britain are central to the Brexit negotiations, says David Davis, Britain's secretary of state for exiting the European Union. Last week Michel Barnier and I sat down for the first time last week, to begin negotiating the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. The UK has been clear that our first priority is to provide certainty to EU citizens living in Britain – indeed, we had hoped to be able to do so last autumn – and to UK citizens living in the EU. I'm pleased that the EU has agreed this is one of the first issues we will address — and yesterday, the UK published a detailed policy document explaining our offer - Roughly 80,000 of our citizens live in each other’s country, highly integrated into their local community, reflecting the long-standing and close bonds between the UK and the Netherlands. Three million EU citizens have made the UK their home. They have contributed to the very...  More >