Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Locative eating in Overijssel at the end of the Hungry Gap

April 19, 2006

Image of a shopping centre under contruction in Enschede, NL. Soon to be a banquet location

Speaking of starving oneself, although it seems like it’s spring, crop-wise we’re right in the middle of the Hungry Gap, the period before the spring crops have come in, and when foodstocks stored from fall and winter are beginning to wain and look rather cruddy. Way back in January I wrote about how surprised I was that even though I had let my garden go to pot, there was still more than I could eat growing in the frozen ground. Now that it’s no longer necessary to wear two pairs of woolen pants, there’s not a lot of calories in my Occitanian kitchen garden.

Back up here in the Polar Circle, the cold weather lingers on and on and I’m in the throes of organising a banquet for ca. 70 people in May, right in the middle of the Hungry Gap (plus 2 cocktail parties, a breakfast and 2 lunches). The occasion is that the Dutch Art Institute where I teach, is hosting a 2 day international symposium titled, Here as the centre of the world (May 23-24, 2006 in Enschede, NL). The subject of the symposium is the position of artists, art initiatives and all their entourage operating at what is considered to be the ‘periphery’. The reason that I have been saddled with what I prefer to call the ‘art direction’ of these feedings, is that I have a big mouth. And a heightened sensitivity for good aesthetics and sustainable practices. And I think that an art institute should set a good example for its students. And I happened to express these sentiments at an organisational meeting.

Often at cultural events in the NL, folks just throw a bunch of fluffy sandwiches smeared with margarine and factory made young cheese on an aluminium platter and call it a day. Although there are clear exceptions to the rule, I just couldn’t bear the thought of the bad food jokes from our illustrious guests travelling all the way from Damascus, Beirut, Khartoum and Taipei. Also, as a member of the teaching staff and moderator of at least one of the talks, the thought of 2 days of bad food catapulted me into a state of action. In fact this is the perfect opportunity to investigate the wealth of organic (and organic-enough) produce in and around the easternmost bulge of the Netherlands. I’ll be posting about it here.

Image of the Los Hoes historical farm building in Enschede, NL. Soon to be breakfast location

This is what I’ve gleaned so far in terms of promising producers of delicious regional food, beer and wine:

I’m still looking for producers of honey, cheese and a bread if you know of anything.

Image of the hearth in the Los Hoes a historical farm building in Enschede, NL. Soon to be a breakfast location.

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debra at 20:57 | | post to


  1. Hey Debra,
    I grew up in Enschede so maybe I can help you. Have you tried ‘de zuivelhoeve’ for cheese? ‘de lammerinkswonner’ where I recognise the above picture from used to have bees on their grounds. I am sure they can help you to find honey. the goat cheese production of the ‘wolverlei’ already started again (the hungry gap for them is over!) this goat cheese is sublime!
    if you need more information, call me and I’ll ask my dad. he’s a twente-specialist.
    Marije Vogelzang

    Comment by marije vogelzang — April 19, 2006 @ 22:05

  2. Marije, thanks for the tips. I’m going to call you today about this and anyway I’ll look up these producers. This is a great help.

    Comment by debra — April 20, 2006 @ 8:20

  3. i dont know how far you want to stretch the regional line but hannekes machedoux is always a good choice….also a banon or other soft goatcheese by herman is worth checking are you going to hunt for hop scheuten ?

    Comment by ati — April 20, 2006 @ 8:53

  4. Hi Ati,
    You’re the 2 out of 2 recommending So I’ll go there right now. Machedoux geiterij is up in the top of Drenthe, and I’m trying to keep it to Twente if I can. It’s not completely consistent because we’ll be serving coffee and tea… But I’m trying. Thanks a lot for the tips.

    I’m on the answering machine (and inbox) of Bouwer Ruiter from Stimuland - an organisation that is supposed to make it easy to find the farmers and producers of regional products. Stimland or some organisation should really have a website with all the farmers and producers on it. The most ‘bundled’ info, I found on ‘fietsroute’ websites. That’s a pity.

    HOPPE SCHEUTEN. Delicious. Will they be in season at that time? If so, that’s a nice thing to have on the menu. Just hoppescheuten fried in butter. MMM.

    Comment by Debra — April 20, 2006 @ 10:51

  5. Dear Debra,

    I wanted to recommend the great goatcheese from the wolverlei, but I see Marije already gave you some nice information. I also like the dried Twentse sausages, they’re slightly softer then the regular Dutch dried sausage and they are spiced with kruidnagel (cloves?). There’s a good butcher close to Hengelo station that sells really nice ones. If I can help you with making a menu/dishes or preparation just email me. I can also get you some nice bread from the Vlaamsch Broodhuys through Proef.

    Good luck,


    Comment by Ànastasia de Ruyter — April 21, 2006 @ 13:53

  6. Hi Anastasia, this all sounds fab! (Vlaamsche bakker, Twentse worst.) Tuesday I’m going to mail you and Marije and talk about the menu a bit. I have to say that I’m really touched by all the great vibe and help from Proef.

    Comment by Debra — April 21, 2006 @ 20:53

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