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Mr. Bijma's heavenly beetroot

Mr. Bijma's heavenly beetroot

13-03-2012 | 10.56

An onion is just an onion. And what can one say about beetroot, for Gods’s sake?  Vincent Honselaar is a preferred supplier of fruit and vegetables at restaurant TrouwAmsterdam. Once asked about the quality of his onions and beetroot, the guy doesn’t stop talking. “And believe me, your chefs really know how to treat veggies!”

At the age of three Vincent Honselaar already played among crates filled with potatoes and Brussels sprouts. As a son of a greengrocer he litterally grew up between veggies of all kind. Now he’s a greengrocer himself, actually one of the best in Amsterdam.
“If you’re able to lay your hands on strawberries or asparagus four seasons a year, that doesn’t make you an expert on fruit and vegetables. I consider myself an old fashioned greengrocer, just like my father used to be. It means being in touch with Mother Earth and her seasons. You know, it’s simply not cool to fill an airplane with raspberries and fly them all the way from Chile to Holland. I prefer the products of local suppliers such as Wim Bijma from a little village near Amsterdam called Sloten. His beets taste as if they were grown in heaven!”   
 
You’ll find these heavenly beets on the menu of restaurant TrouwAmsterdam. Vincent Honselaar delivers his top quality fruit and vegetables several times a week and he is happy to do so. “The guys in your kitchen really know how to prepare vegetables, even the most unknown varieties. If I’m standing on the doorstep with a crate of Italian kale or Choggia’s, your chef Lucas immediately knows what to do with it. Now that’s what I call creative cooking!”
 
Beetroot, parsley root, parsnip: vegetables are the core of TrouwAmsterdam’s menu. Top quality vegetables that is, since many of Vincent Honselaar’s customers are upscale restaurants. “Pearl radish, horse radish, winter radish: every season has it’s own variety with it’s specific taste. There is so much to discover! Tomatoes, for example. I offer seventeen different varieties. Seventeen! Isn’t that great?”
 
So which veggies are ‘hot’ this coming season? Vincent is suggesting fresh peas and beans. Spinach is lovely too. His advice is to follow the season whatever choice you make. Only then you’ll get the real taste of fruit and vegetables. “I can tell that the guys in TrouwAmsterdam’s kitchen are really into veggies. Their enthusiasm combined with high quality products will ensure you the best vegetable dishes in town!”
 
Words: Bonita van Lier, freelance culinary journalist with articles in e.g. Wining & Dining, The Taste of Life and Bouillon Magazine. Always in search of true flavours and the stories behind the ingredients.