I love summer berry much
2020-07-27 | By Tracey Taylor
It’s summertime and although the living may not be as easy as one might hope right now, we can still embrace all that it has to offer. And where better to start than with some fabulous fruits?
Lately, it is not uncommon to feel like all days are merging into one, but, summer has found its way to our shores–how wonderful that we can still rely on the seasons.
Long and lazy-hazy days, the sound of bumble bees, birds and lawnmowers and aroma of freshly-cut grass, lavender and barbeques… Summer is a favourite of so many.
While the Netherlands may not be known as a typical sun destination, when the country does get a bit of good and settled weather, it can be almost as beautiful as a tropical island. Almost!
Summer seems to make everything come alive–with warmth and golden hues–it enhances the landscape and makes it sparkle and full of vibrant energy.
Summer in the Netherlands is the perfect time to indulge in the fruits (and veggies) of the season. In fact, the Netherlands is a rather large producer of home-grown produce and many of these suppliers are also now going organic too. These fabulously fresh and tasty fruit and veggies are not only for us lucky folk who reside in the Netherlands, but a lot of Dutch produce is also exported globally, such is the quality.
There are some truly fantastic farmers’ markets cropping up–excuse the pun–all over the country (check local online listings for times and dates) and they offer a wonderful way to support local producers and buy the freshest items directly from the source.
Is there nothing more lovely than buying potatoes or carrots that are still covered in soil? Or apples or cherries freshly picked from the tree?
Aside from farmers’ markets, you can also often find little stands at the side of the road selling fruit and vegetables (usually for an inexpensive price) that come directly from gardens or allotments. A great way to buy fresh and support local.
Dutch supermarkets also stock a huge array of fruit and vegetables these days, from produce which is home grown to those more exotic–sometimes unusual–imports.
One of the most popular of the summer fruits in the Netherlands are strawberries. Yes indeed, the Dutch love this pretty little fruit. In fact, the Dutch often refer to strawberries as the “Kings of the Summer” or Zomerkoninkjes. These “summer kings” can be consumed plain, dipped in sugar, smothered in chocolate (though this is not necessarily the best idea in the height of summer!) or used to make jam or a tart (vlaai). The Dutch strawberry in particular is known for its deliciously sweet taste.
Strawberry Fields Forever
Strawberries are officially in season–when left to grow naturally–from June, but such is the love for this fruit that the Dutch are busy cultivating from March and it’s not unknown to get strawberries as late as November in the Netherlands.
There are a vast number of strawberry fields in Gelderland (in the east of the country), the key fruit-growing region of the entire country. A fun option–when restrictions permit–is to pick your own Dutch strawberries (where allowed) from designated farms and growing areas. Such strawberries are in plentiful supply in the summer months and it can really make for a pleasant and rewarding experience, not to mention a tasty one.
Now if a summer cocktail is more your thing, there are tonnes of options to try over the coming months and many yummy ways to utilise your favourite fruits and veggies in your tipple of choice! Why not consider a gin cocktail with strawberries? Or a Banana Daiquiri? Or a Pineapple Mojito? And let’s not forget a Cucumber Martini, or a good old Sangria or Fruit Punch. So many options, so little time…
Summer is here in all its glorious glory so let’s mix, drink and be merry!
Love exploring local Dutch dishes? Read more about the Dutch Seasonal food and try out some new recipes today!
About the author
Tracey Taylor lives in Maastricht with boyfriend Dave and cat Little Tubbs. She is Irish, a blogger, radio host and aspiring photographer.
@traceytaylor_nl | @taylormade.theblog | @littletubbs_nl | @themaastrichtedition