De Zure Stad

A biography of pickles in Amsterdam

Rattling wheels of carts on the cobblestones, barges full of acid merchandise in the canals: Amsterdam around 1900, a lively melting pot of smells and cultures, of all classes and positions, rich and poor, emigrants and immigrants. Sour is what connects the peddlers from Amsterdam’s Jewish Corner, that culinary mixture of salt and/or vinegar and herbs in which vegetables are pickled.

Layer by layer, the authors of this book, Paul van Ravestein and Monique Mulder from Mattmo, map out the story of Amsterdam’s pickles in ‘De Zure Stad’ (The Pickled City); from pickling shops, canneries and auctions to the hawkers. ‘De Zure Stad’ shows with more than four hundred striking images how pickles have determined the cultural identity of Amsterdam. The pickles, onions and herrings paint the history and development of the city.

Paul van Ravestein and Monique Mulder are the creative brains behind the communications and design agency Mattmo Creative, he as creative director and she as founder. For ‘De Zure Stad‘, they spent more than three years going through countless documents, interviews and photos in the archives. Buy the book here.

Preserving our culinary past

Radio documentary about “De Zure Stad”

Christianne Alvarado from the VPRO history radio program OVT made a beautiful audio document based on our book, listen to the 31-minute documentary (in Dutch) here: https://www.vpro.nl/programmas/ovt/speel~PREPR_RA1_17059886~het-spoor-terug-zuur-amsterdam~.html

a beautiful
audio document

contact

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