Local produce of West Zeeland-Flanders

Local produce of West Zeeland-Flanders

A tasteful culture is full of tastes. Sweet and salty, from land and sea. Pamper yourself with our local produce, taste them and admire the places whence they come. All around you, good land, good taste.

Our beans are brown

We’re so proud of our ‘Hollandse bruinen bonen’ that we eat most of them ourselves. They’re grown mainly in West Zeeland-Flanders, with our soils and our ample sunshine – bring it on! Known as ‘haricots rouges’ in French, these legumes belong to the Phaseoulus vulgaris family, akin to pinto or kidney beans. Sown in May, harvested in September, savoured year-round.

Asparagus

Asparagus

The Queen of Your Greens, aka ‘white gold’, is grown in Eede. It’s a time-consuming process, in rows of raised beds of sandy soil, and one’s long patience is rewarded in a short harvest season: it starts in April, and traditionally ends on 24 June, the Day of Saint John. Give yourself a present then: the menus are full of them.

Apple juice

A new addition to our palette of palate-pleasers is the freshly-pressed, pure pasteurised juice of apples bottled as the Appelaere brand, and of pears (Perelaere). Unfiltered, cloudy, nothing but goodness. A local fruit grower, Henk Tazelaar, in Waterlandkerkje had the brilliant idea. More information about De Appelaere.

dutch bier

Cheers, Jantje van Sluis

Now here’s a tale: in 1606 in the Eighty Years War the good town of Sluis was saved from Spanish troops through a slip-up by a certain slippery Jantje, the bell-ringer (klokkenluider). After a heavy night at the fairground, he forgot his orders to ring the church bells, a signal for the troops to attack. It lives on, on the gassy label of a special white beer in his name. Good for your Zeeuws. For Anglophones, there’s a poignant after-taste: ‘klokkenluider’ also means ‘whistle-blower’.

Groede - Paptaart

Eat your cake

Anyone fancy a gateau of gruel from Groese, a ‘paptoart’n’? Actually, our iconic tart of dough with a custardy-gruel filling, smothered in brown sugar, will have you coming back for another! Way back when, local small farmers were treated to a paptaart after paying their tithe to the landowners.

The sea aster family

A specialty with fish dishes and beyond, sea aster, aka marsh samphire, grows phenomenally well in West Zeeland-Flanders, on sea-washed river banks. Hence its briny flavour. Mind you, it does need sweet rain water to germinate. A rainy early spring augurs a great harvest – from mid-May to mid-September.