Here is the story behind the Leidse Koffie!

In the Dutch city of Leiden, coffee comes in an alternative way: it begins with a base of black brew and then it gets a dash of cinnamon liqueur, usually topped off with a nice dollop of whipped cream. Now quite popular in the city, the spiced drink was born from a happenstance discovery and a very creative restaurant owner. Leidse koffie originated in Restaurant de Gaanderij in the early 1980s. Before Peter van de Hoorn bought it in 1982, the monumental building from 1558 was home to the distillery…

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The Golden Boy: world’s most expensive burger that costs 5.000€

The Golden Boy, a delicacy made with 100 percent Wagyu A5, Beluga caviar, king crab, white truffle, among other premium ingredients, has broken the record for world’s most expensive burger, with a price of about 5,000 euros ($6,000). The burger was created by Robbert Jan de Veen, owner of Dutch restaurant De Daltons, who came up with the idea while sitting in his restaurant pretending to get some work done. It seems that, as he browsed the internet to pass the time, he stumbled over the previous record for the…

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Waterbuurt – Amsterdam’s Floating Neighborhood

Waterbuurt, Dutch for “water quarter”, is a state of the art residential development in Amsterdam, which consists of nearly 100 individual floating homes moored on Lake Eimer, in Ijburg district. The floating homes are no ordinary houseboats, but real floating houses, that float adjacent to jetties and are moored to steel pilons and they only move vertically with the changing tide. Designed by Dutch architect Marlies Rohmer, the houses have a “no-nonsense, basic design” but are comfortable at the same time. They were built at a shipyard about 65 km…

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17# The curious story of Zwarte Piet

Before elves and reindeer, St. Nicholas had a much more eerie assistant, such a Black Peter and, interestingly, the physical opposite of St. Nicholas himself! Tall and gaunt with a dark beard and hair, Black Peter was associated with the punitive side of Christmas. Traditionally St. Nicholas would hand out presents to good children, while it fell to Black Peter to dole out coal, and sometimes knocks on the head, to children who misbehaved. The story of Black Peter (or Zwarte Piet in Dutch), began in Holland in the 15th…

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Moscowa Cemetery & Crematorium – Arnhem, Netherlands

This monumental cemetery was opened in 1876. It is located in north of Arnhem, Netherlands, and over the centuries it has grown into a park of more than thirty hectares. Its name, Moscowa, derives from the manor farm of the same name, which is just outside the cemetery. The farm was built in 1847 by Jacob Carel Jan baron van Heeckeren van Enghuizen, a military man in heart and soul who liked to name his farms after the military campaigns he undertook while serving in the French army – in…

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5# Sinterklaas Pepernoten – Netherlands

Pepernoten (literally pepper nuts) are little, brown spice cookies very popular before and during the Dutch holiday Sinterklaasavond, or Saint Nicholas’s Eve. Sinterklaasavond occurs on the night of December 5 when the patron saint of children, Sinterklaas (de Sint, or formally: Sint Nicolaas, from whom the modern Santa Claus evolved), distributes presents and sweet treats across the country. Sinterklaas is an elderly, stately and serious man with white hair and a long, full beard, supposed to live in Spain. He wears a long red cape with golden fringes over a…

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Huis te Vraag Cemetery: a jewel hidden within the outskirts of Amsterdam

When you wander among the ivy-clad graves that speckle this Victorian-era graveyard hidden within the outskirts of Amsterdam, thoughts of long coats, elegant dresses, post-mortem photographies and unrequited love easily come to mind. Walking around at Huis te Vraag is like walking through the garden of an ancient fairy tale, and the beauty of the overgrown plants is simply stunning. Anyway the land has a long history. Huis te Vraag, which means “House for Inquiry” in Dutch, probably got its name because in 1489, Austrian emperor Maximilian I asked for…

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A walk through the picturesque Windmills of Kinderdijk, the Netherlands

If tyou think “Holland”, you’ve probably already conjured the iconic images of tulips and windmills. And it’s very likely that the windmills you’re envisioning right now are that of Kinderdijk! Even if it may sound odd the name Kinderdijk translates in Dutch to mean “children’s dike.” According to a local legend, after a particularly terrible flood in the 15th century, known as Saint Elizabeth flood of 1421, the farming region of Grote Hollandse Waard flooded, but the Alblasserwaard polder stayed unflooded. As story goes, when the storm had subsided, a…

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Cougnou, a Christmas bread shaped like the baby Jesus

Here we are: We are in Belgium or in northern France, where bakers create a Christmas pastry that’s reminiscent of the shape of the baby Jesus himself! In the Southern Low Countries, is know also “bread of Jesus”. This pastry, often called cougnou, cougnolle, coquille de Noël, or with other different regional names, seems to have originated in ancient Hainaut, and it is a sweet brioche, sometimes studded or decorated with raisins, chocolate chips, or sugar crystals. Most often, it’s made of one large, elongated ball of dough in the…

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In Leiden, Netherlans, there is One of the few Floating Christmas Market in Europe.

We are in Leiden, Netherlands, where a market built atop boats is one of the few floating Christmas markets in Europe! As we know, Christmas markets are a very popular pastime in Europe and we can usually be found in every city. The differences between cities and countries is the size, the variety of products exposed, and location of the markets. For example, do you remember the ohbej ohbej Christmas market in Milan, Italy? However, the Christmas market in Leiden is unique in many ways because it floats on top…

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Raw Herring Ice Cream: a dutch speciality.

Here we are: It’s unusual that someone speak about an ice cream parlor into the Netherlands’ national news, but that’s exactly what happened when Robin Alting started selling raw herring ice cream in his shop in Rotterdam. Even if the Dutch are known for their love of herring, the usage of the favourite fishy into sweet ice cream was probably too excessive! The flavor is a frozen blend of raw herring, onion, sugar, and cream. It’s been described as having the texture of traditional ice cream but the strong taste…

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