Tulip bulb soup Second helpings from Eat This Podcast 2015


amsterdamAs ever, I’m taking a little break and bringing you some repeats from 2015. This one is prompted by an episode of NPR’s Planet Money that I’ve just listened to. They decided to cook a peacock for reasons that I think had something to do with the role of spices in global trade and the birth of capitalism in the 17th century. And who should they call on as their expert guide but Christianne Muusers.

Long time listeners may remember that it was almost a year ago that I met Christianne at the 2nd annual Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food. We talked about the very antithesis of conspicuous consumption represented by a heavily-spiced peacock pie: tulip bulb soup, which kept some Dutch people alive through the hunger winter of 1943–44.

The Amsterdam Food Symposium takes place again next week, on 15 and 16 January 2016. Unfortunately I really don’t think I can afford to go this year, which is a great shame.


  1. Details of the Symposium here.
  2. Christianne Muusers’ site is called Coquinaria and there’s some more information on tulip bulbs as food from Green Deane.
  3. The tulip in the photo is China Pink, and I took it. The banner photo shows some Dutch ration coupons, from Wikimedia.
  4. Thanks for the inspiration to Planet Money’s We cooked a peacock, especially if it brings in a few listeners.

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