Old Jo Flens had a farm. On that farm he grew some onions. Too many, as it turned out. So he unloaded 35,000 kg of them in Amsterdam.
The Netherlands has an onion glut according to Mediamatic, an institution for new technology, culture and art, which organised the Onion Festival from March 30 to April 1. Instead of throwing the onions away or leaving them to rot, farmer Jo Flens from the island of Texel dumped a 1/4 million of them in front of the Mediamatic Fabriek on Oosterburgereilanden (next to Roest and Rosa & Rita).
For three days, Amsterdammers could help themselves to an unlimited number of free onions. By Sunday, the top layer of the golden pile had been trampled and bruised but a little digging uncovered onions in perfect condition.
I brought home a rucksack full and spent most of Sunday afternoon slicing the pungent bulbs. The result was two litres of slow-cooked onion soup and several kilos of spiced onion marmalade.
Mediamatic is known for its innovative approach to highlighting current topics, such as sustainability, and specifically food waste.
Mar 30-Apr 1 13.00-20.00
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