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The Amstel river.

The Amstel river.

I respect vegetarians when they don’t eat factory farmed meat. (But) if there is a lot of something and it had a good life, I say eat it.
— Eduard van Adrichem

Amsterdam, the world’s worst kept secret

Amsterdam, the city of sex, drugs and Heineken. The Dutch capital has always been a booming tourist destination, not in the least because of its libertarian reputation. But a foodie will not be disappointed either. Traditional Dutch food doesn’t have much of a name in the culinary world, but Dutch gastronomers and chefs do. For centuries spices and products from all over the world were traded in the ‘Venice of the north’ and you would probably have a tough time finding another city of its size (800.000 citizens) where you can eat so many different cuisines.

Amsterdam is a welcoming city for foreigners. Most of the Dutch speak English and will be happy to point you in the right direction if you get lost in the labyrinth of canals and fanned out streets and alleys. But in recent years the numbers of visitors have skyrocketed. The rise of AirBnB is partly responsible for this, but it is also a success story of city marketing. Boasting some top notch museums and an almost untouched and well maintained 17th century cityscape, Amsterdam worked hard to get rid of its infamous reputation. The result is a doubling of visitors since 2009 to a whopping 16 million a year now and that number is still growing.

Reaching the limits of what is considered liveable the city is now trying to get tourists to leave the center and explore the region around Amsterdam.

Tourism trend Amsterdam.jpg

Amsterdammers are starting to feel that their city is being hijacked, especially in the summer, and are looking for ways to stop this trend. One way to do this is to rename attractive sights in the area to suggest a link with the city. So while Amsterdam is not located near the sea there is now an Amsterdam beach (actually Zandvoort) and there is an 'Amsterdam castle' ten kilometers from the city limits (actually Muiderslot in Muiden). Bars and restaurants of Muiden and Zandvoort are happy to see new guests coming and Amsterdam is glad to see them go. If it works out it is a win win arrangement.

To see the Dam square deserted you’ll have to get up really early on a Sunday. Photo: Wijnand Boon

Hunting with Eduard van Adrichem

We are generally not conformists, but in this case we decided to go along with the city’s strategy update. Consequently, we have gone hunting ‘in Amsterdam’. In reality it was in the fields south of the city, more near Amsterdam Airport (actually Schiphol). All the better, because hunting within city limits is not without risk of collateral damage and unfortunate ricochets and unless you aim to have heron or pigeon for dinner  there isn't much to hunt for.

Eduard van Adrichem is not your average hunter. He became somewhat of a cult star after appearing in multiple episodes of the popular Dutch television program Man Bijt Hond. His energy and seemingly effortlessly produced philosophical besides that somehow always hit the mark. Hungry for self knowledge and existential resolve Eduard read everything he could lay his hand on, ranging from eastern religions to Nietzsche

Final episode: How to flame grill a duck

Hunter Eduard van Adrichem shows us how to flame grill duck on the BBQ and how to make a salad out of foraged plants. This is the final episode of our hunting session in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After this On the Road & In the Belly will travel to Maastricht for some southern Dutch cooking.

Episode 1

Episode 2

How to fillet a duck and forage a salade from a field

Warning: contains graphic images! Episode two of our hunting session with Eduard van Adrichem. He shows how to fillet a duck and forage your own salad from a field. All in his own unique manner of course.

Duck hunt in Amsterdam

In this first episode of On the Road & In the Belly we learn how to hunt duck with Eduard van Adrichem in Amsterdam. His hunting grounds are right next to the A2 highway. On the road the morning commute is in full swing when Eduard and his puppy Jack take care of dinner.