Five ways to enjoy foody Zeeland!
1. Go gather oysters and mussels yourself.
The Zeeuwse oysters and mussels are a real delight – at least if you love that delicacy. You can order them just about anywhere on our terraces and in restaurants but you can take it to the next level by picking some up yourself. Smashing to take home or cook for yourself in your holiday home. Here are some pointers to the best spots.
Anyone who regularly drives down the N59 near the Grevelingendam will see the fans madly collecting shellfish from the drained shore at low tide. Cockles and mussels, winkles and even oysters – you can gather them all up for a delicious evening meal. Another savvy place for picking up oysters is the Oesterdam. In Bergsediepsluis, just south-west of Tholen town, and next to De Pluimpot near Sint Maartensdijk you’ll find sites where you can harvest oysters and mussels, winkles (small marine snails), razor clams and cockles.
There are plenty of other places to harvest along the banks of the Oosterschelde. And other popular ‘spots’ are near Wilhelminadorp and Yerseke. As well as in Scheldeoord, just on the side of the Westerschelde, where you can gather oysters to your heart’s content.
A word of advice: please respect the rules. Within a maximum of 10 kilo per person, just take what you will eat the same day, and no lobsters or crabs. The best time for gathering is two hours before or after low-tide. Check out all the rules here.
2. Discover the Oosterschelde (by foot or by boat)
If gathering is not your thing, or do you want to see the splendid natural areas where all these salty delicacies come from? Go on an excursion and enjoy the ‘Proef de Oosterschelde’ walk to ‘taste’ the estuary. This includes Yerseke, the apex oyster village of Zeeland.
Or you could take a special boat trip. Then you can explore the wonderful water of the Oosterschelde and you’ll be taken on a culinary tour. Take a look at options with an excursion to the Oesterproeverij or the Oesterbaron.
3. Visit Mussel and Fishery days
You’ll soon see signs everywhere of our pride on our fishery. Just think of all the statues to be seen on Zeeuwse streets, such as the mussel monument in Bruinisse or the fisherperson sculpture in Yerseke. But the greatest ode is sung at the time of our annual fishery events.
Take the Havendagen harbour days in Zierikzee, the Mosseldag in Yerseke and Visserijdagen in Bruinisse and Breskens. Other such festivities are held in many more places in Zeeland. When you come here in the summertime, you just can’t miss them!
4. Drink Zeeuwse delights
It’s not just in the multitude of lovely dishes that you’ll find proof that Zeeuwse people are absolute gourmands. In terms of drinks there are many pearls of Zeeland on offer. For example, the De Kleine Schorre vineyard. This vintner on Schouwen-Duiveland has served its top wine for years in KLM Business Class! Well worth a visit and a sip or two. And then there the Zeeuwse beers, with countless breweries in Zeeland. Such as Dutch Bargain in Groede or Emelisse/Slot Oostende in Goes.
Something stronger? Head for The Holy Spiritus brewery and distillery in Sint Janssteen. Their products range from cider to liqueurs and mead. These men enjoy their brewing!
And there’s a good choice of locally brewed organic syrups and cordials, made from Zeeuwse herbs and berries. Very nice as a refresher, perfect for an invigorating cocktail. Take a tasty trip of discovery to Searoop in their shop in Middelburg.
5. Taste the plants of the salty sea
Glasswort, ‘sea banana’ and sea aster. No idea what they are? This is a missed chance because these lovely salty plants are grown on Zeeuwse shores and much used in tasty (fish) dishes. You can visit several nurseries and, of course, taste some. We would recommend De Mariahoeve in Nieuw-Namen (Zeeuws-Vlaanderen) and Zeeuws Zilt in Wolphaartsdijk.
Want to taste more of Zeeland?
There are indeed many more ways to discover the foodie side of Zeeland. One is to take a seat on a delightful terrace or in one of our many top restaurants. Try the chef’s surprise menu. Give your taste buds a run. Taste the sea and the pure savours. Welcome to culinary Zeeland!