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Bonus Blog

So you signed up for the email notification list. That's great! It probably means you are interested in maps and history.

The bonus map I wanted to share with you is a pictorial map of the Netherlands from the 1950s. Holland, mixing Business with Pleasure. 


It is intended to show the productivity of the early postwar Netherlands. In a future post I will show the highlights, which include the light bulb industry of Philips in Eindhoven, the oysters of Zeeland and the smugglers at the borders with Germany and Belgium. But this post is special: I'll show the region where I grew up: The upper part of the Province of North-Holland. 


It looks a bit more depressing than the region is in reality, but is is flat. Completely. And there are cows, and cabbage, and turnips.  And cheese. Here the famous city of Edam is shown, home of Edammer cheese. And the cheese market of Alkmaar, where they still show tourists from Asia the original way cheese was sold in the old days.  But the item I would like to point out is the basket in the middle of the image. It is filled with potatoes, and represents the village of Opperdoes.

These potatoes, Opperdoezer Rondes (round ones from Opperdoes), are a special variety, grown in the sandy clay soil which is typical for the village. They have to be planted and harvested by hand. And they are the only potatoe I know of with a 'appellation original protegée' (AOP, in English Protection Designated Origin, PDO). It was granted by the European Union in 1996, together with the AOP of cheese from Gouda and cheese from Edam. Potatoes have to be grown within a 1 kilometer radius of the church of Opperdoes.

On  the website of the Fondazione Slow Food you can find more information on this gourmet potatoe.

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