Markets in Groningen are a must-visit place for all those who want to taste locally produced food or to find authentic gifts to bring home from the province of Groningen. Yesterday, The Northern Times went to the Groninger Marktendag to find out what mementos can compete with cheese and stroopwafels.
Written by Yelena Kilina
One of the most well-known Gronings brands is ‘Hooghoudt,’ a family distillery that has been producing beverages since 1888. Yes, you’ve definitely heard of it already! Those huge letters next to the Martinitoren at the Grote Markt do indeed belong to the Hooghoudt company. You can use this fact as a conversation starter when making kwast, a warm lemon drink made with Hooghoudt Lemonade Syrup Lemon, which is also known as a remedy for colds.
Those who have a sweet tooth cannot miss the award-winning fudges made by Yvonne van Rooij from Oude Pekela, a village in the southeast of the province of Groningen. This year, Yvonne’s ‘Salmiak Fudge’ and ‘Whiskey Fudge’ both won 1 star at the so-called Oscars of the food and drink world: the Great Taste Awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Food in England. If you want to try Yvonne’s fudges, check her stall at the Vismarkt on Saturdays. Drop-flavoured fudges is a sweet way to introduce Dutch tastes to your family.
The next local product cannot be eaten, but those who love relaxing bath or foot spas will appreciate it. Imagine taking a bath with crystals of the purest magnesium salt in the world, which is extracted in Veendam, a municipality located in the southeast of Groningen, next to Pekela. 1,600 meters deep beneath the surface lays the Ancient Zechstein Sea, which is the source of magnesium chloride. So if you are looking for a groundbreaking souvenir from the province of Groningen, consider Veendam as a place to find ‘Zechsal’ products.
Perhaps, pumpkin is not what you would think of as a souvenir idea, but if you happen to have a day out around the municipality of Midden-Groningen, you should consider visiting the Pompoenenschuur in Kiel-Windeweer. Its owner Sarina de Jonge has over 300 types of pumpkins of various shapes and colours, so the perfect one could be waiting for you to inspire you to make pumpkin stamppot for your family and friends!
Many Dutch people appreciate that they support domestic economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions when they buy local products at the markets. So if you just have arrived in the North and don’t know yet where to buy local goods, here are the markets you can find in the city of Groningen:
What to buy: Groceries and flowers
Where: the Grote Markt and Vismarkt
When: Every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday (09:00-17:00)
What to buy: Regional food and goods
Where: Ommelander Markt at the Harmonieplein on the Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat
When: Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month (10:00-17:00)
What to buy: Vintage books and antiques
Where: Around the Zuiderdiep, Folkingestraat and Vismarkt
When: Selected Sundays between May and September (11:00-17:00)