Get these grapes while you can! The biodynamic grapes at Nieuw Tuinzight in the Westland, the ‘backyard of The Hague’, are juicy, tasty, and super natural. Unlike most supermarket grapes they are full of flavor and can be eaten straight from the cluster (no pesticides!).
From the end of August till mid-November these superb grapes are harvested by Arnold and Hilde Jansen, the owners of Nieuw Tuinzight. It’s all about grapes at New Tuinzight. Both Arnold and Hilde come from a long lineage of grape growers. They grow several varieties that each have their own distinct characteristics. In the past, they cultivated ‘Westland’s Glory’, as the grapes from Westland are also called, in the conventional way. Several years ago, when the practice of using pesticides and chemical fertilizers bothered them more and more, they decided to change course.
Biodynamic cultivation goes further than organic cultivation. It is a holistic approach to farming, food, and nutrition, whereby soil, plants, animals and human beings are fully respected. It’s very labor-intensive, but all the hard work is rewarded with flavor and aroma. And yes, since these grapes are so close to nature they contain seeds. This might seem scary for those who grew up with seedless grapes, but trust me, you’ll get used to it quickly. And if you are using these grapes in a salad or any other dish, simply cut the grapes in half and scoop the seeds out.
Despite all the hard work, Hilde also finds the time to develop her own grape recipes. She makes juices, jams, and together with a pastry chef developed the ‘grape bomb’, a mouthwatering pastry made with crème patisserie, moscato wine, and the grapes of Nieuw Tuinzight. When I passed by last week, Hilde offered me one of these beauties. They are light, not too sweet, and gooood. Just like the grapes, the grape bombs are seasonal. No grapes, no grape desserts.
If you are living in the region, you can buy the grapes at the little shop of Nieuw Tuinzight, where Arnold and Hilde are more than happy to let you try the different grape varieties. You’ll be surprised by the flavor and texture! Nieuw Tuinzight grapes are also available at organic stores like Ekoplaza and some farmers’ markets, like the Noordermarkt and Zuidermarkt in Amsterdam.
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