Groningen’s yearly summer food truck festival, Smaak Festival, is set to take place from the 7th to the 9th of July. Food is far from the only thing on the menu with DJ sets, live music, and performers from all around the world sharing their talents at the Noorderplantsoen.
De Culinaire Verleiding
The festival began back in 2016 under the name De Culinaire Verleiding, only changing their name for their newest edition of the event. Other than 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Smaak Festival has been a staple of Groningen’s summer, with an array of staples coming to the festival.
These include an Indonesian soul food truck, Mammie Jammie, a street tacos vendor, Taqueria Caramba, and a grill truck called Meat at the Bar. With a total of 10 food trucks, and some potential late additions, there will be plenty of options to satisfy everyone’s palates.
One of the trucks making their debut this year is Gastronomade Wijn & Spijs, a high-end bao and gyoza food truck created by Matthijs Datema. Datema is a 4th year student at NHL Stenden in Leeuwarden who opened Gastronomade during his final year of hospitality management as part of his internship.
“My old boss had a firetruck that I now own, he had it stored somewhere. So I thought, ‘ah, I want to do something with that.’ So I gave him the business plan and from there, the whole concept started.”
Datema has already been “cutting vegetables and making pickles” for around 2,500 baos he expects to sell during the festivities that will be packed full of visitors. “If I believe the other food trucks, it is going to be the biggest [food festival],” Datema said.
Despite being a relative newcomer in the food truck scene, Datema has received high praise for his creative take on the Asian classics.
“It’s nice. Every time I get reactions and they are positive, it’s a very good feeling,” he said. “It’s something nice when something you create, people enjoy it. It’s always a good feeling”
If you can’t manage to make it down to the Smaak Festival this weekend, Groningen, Friesland, and Drenthe still have many opportunities when food and socializing come together. IWCN has recently posted an extensive list of all the other food festivals taking place between July until the end of September.
|Noorderplantsoon, Groningen||Smaak Festival||7-9 July|
|Pavilijoen Prikmar, Grou, Friesland||Prikmar Grou||30 July|
|Noorderplantsoon, Groningen||Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival||17-27 August|
|Gouveneurstuin and de Brink, Assen, Drenthe||Preuvenement Assen||26-27 August|
|Ossenmarkt, Groningen||Rrrollend Groningen||8-10 September|
|Lycklamapark, Beetsterzwaag, Friesland||Bourgondisch Beetsterzwaag||15-17 September|
|De Wijk, Drenthe||Smaakmakers Drenthe||16-17 September|
|Akerhof 2, Groningen||Wijnfestival Groningen||22-25 September|
Photo courtesy of Matthijs Datema