Photo credits: Marco van der Meulen

The Wadden: a source of food, employment and recreation

The coastline of the Netherlands is 400 kilometres long and results from a long history of land reclamation, various waterworks and flood disasters whereby the sea won back the land.

But it's the coastline in the North (the Wadden region) with its specific currents and tides that makes this region an actual Unesco World Heritage area. In addition to its intrinsic value, this has driven sustainable development and local job creation for entrepreneurs since day one.

Photo credits: Marco van der Meulen (beeldbank Visit Wadden)

The Wadden Sea recognized as a World Heritage Site

Only suitable for the survivors among the plants and animals, the Wadden is known for its unspoilt nature, unique landscape and wide variety of flora and fauna. Besides the fact that it provides stunning nature, the land, the mudflats, and the water produce pure products.

Many people need to know that the Wadden region also has a rich gastronomic tradition dating back to the time of the Vikings. That is also what culinary author Annette van Ruitenburg thought when she initiated the Wadden Gastronomy program. Together with her team within the Wadden Group and programme partners NHL Stenden and Visit Wadden, she is working hard to highlight Wadden food with a minimal footprint (from the Wadden coast, sea and islands) to tourists and residents.

To take local food and drinks from the Wadden area to a higher level, the programme develops inspiration maps and food routes, an online Wadden marketplace, recipes, and training programs for entrepreneurs. Knowledge development, dissemination, and research are also part of this program.

Uniting 300 green entrepreneurs

Involved is a network of 300 green entrepreneurs from Friesland, Groningen and North Holland. Producers of Wadden sea crops, fishermen, grain and catering entrepreneurs work together on this initiative, leading to exclusive food routes (from authentic bakeries to beach strolls) so tourists can discover what products and flavours the Wadden region offers. Their motto: food doesn't come from far but from close by. The goal is to stimulate sustainable quality tourism, especially in the peripheral coastal areas.

Discover the taste of the Wadden yourself with unique recipes that focus on local ingredients and age-old cooking techniques. Our recommendation? Start with the beach crab soup, taste the delicious Texel lamb, and finish with Dutch coffee and Wadden bonbons.

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