Artikelen van Denise Villerius en Margot Krijnen

Your cooking team is absolutely thrilled that spring has arrived. We had almost given up all our hopes for a normal spring. Global warming? Not in Maastricht! We were more than fed up with the cold, gloomy weather and wintery food such as cabbage, carrots, old potatoes and so on. But at last, this week there was day when temperatures rose to above 15 degrees Celsius.  And what a fine day it w...

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Recently, your cooking team went on a business trip to Brussels. A great city with excellent food, welcoming cafés and exquisite beers. But not only that. The town inspired both the Anglo-Saxons and the Dutch to name a vegetable after it. The Dutch speak of ‘Brussels lof’: chicory. And in English everyone knows and (dis)likes ‘Brussels sprouts’. As it happens, both these vegetables are very popula...

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There are a few things all Dutch people miss dearly when they live abroad. And non-Dutch people find most of these things disgusting. What are they? ‘ Drop’ you will of course find on top of the list. This black salty type of candy is usually called liquorice abroad, but that doesn’t exactly mean the same thing. You have to taste various types of ‘drop’ to understand the concept. Another serious...

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Margot’s grandfather used to go hunting. He lived in a small village close to Maastricht, and after work he would simply pick up his gun and go into the nearby woods. He resented all the Maastricht hunting parties, who made too much noise and were only there to show off their fancy hunting outfits. Even when he was eighty years old, he would still hunt rabbits and hares. In fact, it was more of a ...

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Sinterklaas is the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus, with a slight difference: his birthday (that is the day Dutch children receive their presents) is on the 5th December, or in some parts of the country on the morning of the 6th. He is known by the name of Sinterklaas but also as Sint-Nicolaas or De Goedheiligman. The traditions for celebration differ from region to region even in a small cou...

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Denise remembers: “When my mother married my father back in 1953, she moved from dynamic Brussels to the scanty area near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. This area had been immensely affected by the war, and in the fifties life was still very sober there. According to my mother, Belgium suffered less in World War II and Belgian people somehow managed to continue their tradition of cooking ...

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This is not just a Dutch recipe; it is a typical dish from the Limburg region. You won’t find it in other parts of the Netherlands and if you do, it will definitely not be called ‘reubesop’. Reubesop is a thick soup that you eat in the winter. It is quite heavy, so you can have it as a full meal with a few slices of freshly baked bread. For this soup, you will need ‘reuben’, the Limburg name for...

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While you live in Maastricht, you must visit our local market. You can go there on Wednesdays and Fridays, but we prefer the Friday market. For early birds: you can go there as early as 7 o’clock, because then the merchants start building the stalls. One of my favourite market stalls is that of the vegetable merchant, who calls himself ‘the Bananenboxer’. His merchants shout at the top of th...

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The word ‘stamppot’ is difficult to translate, but the words ‘stew’ or ‘hotchpotch’ come closest to what we mean. ‘Stamppot’ is probably the best known Dutch meal and we guess the average Dutch family eats a ‘stamppot’ once a week, mostly in the winter. What is it? It is a mash of potatoes and (raw) vegetables, usually combined with meat. For the meat you best choose cubes of ‘ontbijtspek’, w...

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Not a typical Dutch or Maastricht product, you would say. You’re absolutely right. But now, September, is the best time to make a tasty tomato soup since our Dutch tomatoes are now at their best: ripe and juicy. And since there is such abundance, prices are low. Therefore: our recipe for an exquisite tomato soup. Which tomatoes can you buy in Dutch supermarkets? ‘Tasty toms’: we honestly ca...

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Denise Villerius en Margot Krijnen

Denise Villerius en Margot Krijnen

Denise Villerius (coordinator masters admissions at Maastricht University) and Margot Krijnen (a freelance editor) have been keen on food all their lives. They love to eat, but they also take great pleasure in preparing nice meals for their families and friends. Denise Villerius worked with foreign students for several years. They often asked her about local products and recipes and expressed their lack of knowledge about Dutch food. Margot Krijnen lived abroad and personally experienced the need for good information about finding and preparing local products.

One of the first things Denise and Margot do when they are abroad is visit the local market or supermarket to explore what is available. That inspired them to start a weekly blog on Observant online, where they will present a typically Dutch recipe, explain local customs and products, and describe the Dutch way of cooking.

Smakelijk eten!