When I heard our former prime minister of the Netherlands, Jan Peter Balkenende, speak the words. “VOC MENTALITY,  TO LOOK ACROSS BOUNDRIES”, I knew he was in trouble.

The VOC was the worlds first multinational company founded in 1602 and of Dutch origine. From Amsterdam it monopolized the sea routes to bring “the modern world” the spices we take for granted today! Shiploads full with pepper, mace, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, made their way over rough seas, battled with Spaniards and the Portuguese, to bring the precious load to Amsterdam. “The golden” 16th century  was as profitable as it was dirty. VOC definitely looked across boundaries; those of countries and ethics.


But this is 2012, Dutch elections, so a new government is in the making. And yes, with the current crisis we can use some VOC mentality. Oops! I did it again! Let me rephrase, we need people who can look across boundaries, and dare to act. Lets give him a real dutch name, ……….Mohammed. Moroccan, part Spanish, living in Amsterdam, he crosses through Holland to implement shop concepts in the multi culti food circuit. This time his target is set in Heerlen, near Maastricht. As you know behind the central train station of  every city the most interesting things are happening. Mohammed located 3 shops here, a bakery annex chocolatery and a Pizza fish store. At the bakery a cultural breadmix is born,, you can have a “Smida” which is a Moroccan Semolina Bread, a classicFrench “baguette” or a “Gözleme”, which is a Turkish pancake. Along side you will find  sweets in red, green and pink that stare at you, “EAT ME, EAT ME”!


Mohammed (right) and his intern Hamza


I ate a Gözleme in the lounge area in the back of the shop, a treat you must try yourself. So come to the city of Heerlen or try this recipe.


a sachet instant dried yeast, 8 grams

a teaspoon of caster sugar

3 cups of plain flower

1/2 cup of semolina

salt +  sugar

250 grams of feta


Mix the sachet instant dried yeast, 8 grams,  and a teaspoon of caster sugar in 300 ml of luke warm water. Let this rest for 5 minutes so the yeast can get active.

Sift the flour, add the semolina and  a good pinch of salt, add the yeast liquid and 2 table spoons of olive oil. Mix this with a spoon until it sticks together, turn onto a floured top to kneed for 5 minutes, or until elastic.

Cut the dough in 5 pieces and  place these on a greased plate,  cover with a wet cloth, let it rise at a warm place until it is twice its size. The trick is to roll the dough fairly thin into a circle, a little courage is needed.

Grease the surface with oil and then divide 1/5 of the feta over the center area of the dough, fold one side just over the center line, same thing for the other side Fold the 2 remaining sides half way to the center line, you end up with a envelope.

Turn it up side down,  and leave it to rise for half an hour.

Preheat and grease a frying pan and bake until light golden , about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and bake the other side until golden.


You can make all kind of fillings, savory and sweet.
Popular is with feta and spinage, or spicy with boiled patato/feta/salt/mint/red and black pepper.



Likely you will say in the futrue, “OOOPS I DID IT AGAIN”, that nice…





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