Ever wanted to eat a 3-course dinner for just 9 euros? One that supports local farmers and helps you move towards a more sustainable lifestyle? And one where the potatoes are prepared so they keep all the nutrients? Us too! The Northern Times discovered answers to all these questions at the Local Farmers’ Dinner organised by students in Groningen.
Yesterday, November 21, the TODAY Organisation prepared a full-course dinner for more than 70 guests: beetroot salad and potato soup for starter, ratatouille and stewed cabbage for main dish and cinnamon rolls for dessert. All of this for 9 euros and all made with exclusively local seasonal vegetables. With 12 tables in the Mennonite church at Oude Boteringestraat filled with smiling students and professionals: it seems the vegan dishes were a finger-licking success.
Small steps, big changes
‘Even if the event wasn’t very successful, we would have still organised it again,’ reflects psychology student Alisa Todorov. This was the 3rd monthly dinner organised by the TODAY Organisation. Last year, Todorov (from Romania) and Jule Rief (from Germany) joined hands to show how to help the environment with small steps, be it shopping, cleaning or eating habits. ‘We want to promote sustainable lifestyle, and make a statement that you can cook with seasonal local products.’
Based on the produce from the Bosma family farm, the Local Farmers’ Dinner is their most recognisable project so far. All vegan treats are prepared by 6 members of the cooking committee and their volunteer helpers, 15 people in total. ‘We are not professional chiefs, but we offer experience.’
Knowledge is power
Indeed, the event is more than a great dinner for 9 euros: it is also about sharing a table with new people, supporting the environment and even winning a quiz (if you mange to sit next to the right people). The Northern Times was lucky to take a chair next to Maciej from Poland, who studied biotechnology and, almost effortlessly, answered most of the health-benefits questions and brought the victory to our team. Did you know that cinnamon has more antioxidants than garlic? And potatoes are better eaten baked (rather than fried or – oh! – raw), while tomatoes will loose most of their nutrients if boiled? Maciej did!
Even though the cinnamon rolls were even more appreciated after realising the might of the spice, we couldn’t leave our readers without finding out which dish was most delicious, according to the dinner guests.
After collecting voices from 21 randomly chosen visitors, the poll results are as follows:
Beetroot salad = 5
Potato soup = 3
Main dish (ratatouille + stewed cabbage) = 3
Ratatouille = 4
Stewed cabbage = 3
Cinnamon rolls = 3
Even though every dish was well received, the beetroot salad with apple and mint was chosen as the most special recipe. Richard from the UK liked the fresh taste of the beetroot salad; Vera from Austria agreed: ‘The mint gave it a nice fresh taste. Also, I have never had such a salad before and that’s why I even rated it over cinnamon roll.’ The dinner can be rightfully summed up by Samy from Germany: ‘Honestly, everything was so good!’
The next edition of the Local Farmers’ Dinner will be held in mid-December, follow this page to stay updated.