“Pomona”, the first vegetarian restaurant in the Netherlands

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Vegetarian restaurant 'Pomona' in The Hague was the first vegetarian restaurant of the Netherlands. Opened in 1899 the restaurant was named after Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruits. At the time the ‘Dutch Vegetarian Association’, founded in 1894, was spreading its views mainly through lectures, writings and conferences. To make its ideas more public, plans were made to open a chain of vegetarian restaurants.

The opening of the restaurant Pomona restaurant took place on February 11, 1899.

The menu served to the press consisted of:

  • Piet Hein bean soup (Pomona soup)
  • Mushroom pasties
  • Sleeping asparagus
  • Stewed lettuce
  • Schijngehakt (vegetarian patties)
  • Potatoes with butter
  • Italian lettuce
  • Crêpes with rhubarb * Strawberries with cream

Hereby the recipe for the Pomona soup, the first of the first:

- 1.5l of water (or vegetarian stock)
- 300g of flageolets beans
- 40g of chopped onions,
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- A splash of soy sauce
- Salt

1. Cook the flageolets in water until tender.
2. Rub them through a sieve while keeping the cooking water aside.
3. Fry the onion in butter until transparent.
4. Add the onions to the soup.
5. Cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
6. Season with soy and salt.

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