Flessenlikker – A Typical Dutch Item & A Perfect Gift!

Typical Dutch Things

Often during the holiday season, I hear Internationals asking what are some “Typical Dutch Things” which they could bring/send home to their families as gifts. Of course shipping is very expensive and suitcase space is limited so items tend to me small and light weight. So I’m not talking things like bicycles!  Usual replies include drop licorices, bathroom birthday calendars, stroopwaffels, hagelslag, clog slippers, speculaas, Wilhelmina Peppermints and cheese are the most popular items but another one that gets a LOT of suggestions is the “Flessenlikker”

The flessenlikker also called flessenschraper (roughly translated to “bottle- licker“) is an ingenious, yet very simple, kitchen tool that I only just bought after living here in the Netherlands for nearly 3 years!   I knew about it but never actually got around to getting one until last week to be put into the Sint grab game.  

How does it work?  

Just as its name implies, it is used to scrape foods from insides of jars and pots – think peanut butter, Nutella, apple sauce, jams, mustard and of course MAYONNAISE – remember the Dutch LOVE their mayonnaise! 🙂 Without it, bits of mayonnaise or other sauces or condiments stuck to their jars or bottles inevitably end up being rinsed down the drain or thrown into the recycling bin – WASTED!  The flessenlikker’s design allows it to get at food that a flat knife or spoon cannot remove.  

Here is a funny video of Internationals being shown one – and they have to try and guess what the item is.

With this much thrift and cleanliness, it can only be a Dutch invention!

Actually – the tool was created in Norway, it never quite took off there.   It is cited as a quintessentially Dutch tool, as well as, an example of “Dutch thrift”.   In the Netherlands, it was first primarily for vla, a thin, custard-like dessert. Back in the early 1900s, it was sold in glass bottles. And when you got to the bottom of the bottle, you wanted every last drop. 

Is the flessenlikker still so popular?

Yes and no.  Nowadays not every Dutch person owns one. But it used to be in every household. Most people would still recognise it, but you won’t find it everywhere.  I actually had one Dutch person say to me they didn’t know what it was….and two say they didn’t have one at home. Wonder if they’ll get one now?

So when you’re looking for a “Typical Dutch Thing” to give as a gift – consider adding a flessenlikker to it.  I’m sure your family & friends would get a kick out of this invention.  HEMA has them for only €2!   On my next trip back home, I’m bringing some with me! 🙂

So far, I’ve used my flessenslikker only once for peanut butter – but I am certain my €2 was well-spent. Next time, I’ll enlist the kids to help me scrape. And of course, if I end up with something else unique and typically Dutch, I’ll share it. For the record, we don’t own a bathroom calendar – only because I’ve yet to find one that I really like, but I do want one.

Tell me, have you heard of the flessenlikker? Have one or want one now that you’ve seen this post?

Product Review: Stainless Insulated Bottles – Chilly Bottle & Dopper Insulated Blazing Black

Thankfully there has been a huge shift away from single-use plastic but we still need help.    Today San Francisco airport banned single-use water bottles!  The city of San Francisco banned the sale of plastic water bottles on city-owned property back in 2014, but allowed delays and granted certain exemptions.  The new rule comes into effect on 20 August, and is part of a five-year plan to lower landfill waste, net carbon emissions and net energy use to zero.  Filtered water is provided for free at 100 “hydration stations,” where flyers can top up reusable bottles.

The bottled water market globally is rapidly growing with approximate 600 million households consuming bottled water in 2018. That’s more than 100 billion gallons (391 Billion litres) of water per year or 1 million bottles per minute

This statistic displays the annual consumption of plastic bottles in the Netherlands as of 2017, by type of bottle. Combined, around 1.4 billion plastic bottles per year are consumed in the Netherlands, with 53 percent being small bottles. On average, 80 plastic bottles are consumed per person per year in the Netherlands.

 In the Netherlands and in our community, there are about six pubic water refill stations right here in the city centre.  There is also a larger push for some shops and restaurants to allow the public to use their taps to refill their water bottles if they have this openbare drinkwatertappunten sticker on their window.



In Den Bosch Center I know of six main free public tabs at the Train station, Stads Park, Arena, Markt, Parade and Hinthamereinde and then at these private locations:

  • SwapFiets
  • The Green Bar
  • Art Den Bosch
  • Proeflokaal ‘T Paultje
  • Ricky’s Barber & Shop
  • Bossche Brouwers


I just found another website which shows even more FREE WATER TAPS all over the Netherlands.   So as long as you bring your bottle in your bag, you have no reason to need to buy a plastic bottle of water.

On the flip side it’s often difficult to get a restaurant to give you kranwater (water from the tap) in a pitcher or by the glass at the table.  In my recent experience, I learned that many American’s living here in the Netherlands find this absurd and complain about it, but the restaurants don’t want to give up the revenue they are making on you buying the expensive bottled water.    I will add that we hardly ever ask for tap water – only if it’s the end of our meal and the kids are thirsty and we ask for a single glass of water for the kids – the waitresses tend to offer it.



I personally prefer to drink of out a glass – so when I was back in the US last year I bought myself a Lifefactory Glass Bottle with the plastic outside.   It was heavy, it had loads of condensation on the outside, but I liked the glass part. Glass doesn’t keep water quite as cool for quite as long as stainless steel either.  Sadly, I dropped it on the sidewalk and the entire bottle SHATTERED!!   Gutted as I spent $25 on it and loved it.  And here I was warning the kids about being careful with my bottle – and the adult dropped the bottle.


Last year, our kids had the BPA free, plastic Dopper water bottles for school – but by the time lunch rolled around their previously cold drinks were lukewarm and condensation was all over the outside of their bottles so that meant their papers and anything in their school bags became damp too.   So over the summer, we talked about getting them both new bottles for back to school.  But most importantly – not just stainless bottles – but insulated bottles.

I had done some research online so I knew I wanted to see the Chilly Bottles and the new insulated Dopper – in a larger size.  Both are just around the €30 mark and both are BPA free and insulated.  We wanted to see them in person vs just buy them from the internet and hope for the best.    There are few stores in our area which sell different bottles – Waar and WO! Concept Store.   Both stores are lovely and are my go-to stores for gifts.  In fact, yesterday I bought my SIL a Kletspot for her birthday at WO!  I have to get in and out quickly as I love to buy everything for myself 🙂 



Our 11 year old son was eyeing a Bamboo bottle which had a tea infuser inside, which to me was more suitable for a middle aged office worker,  but I know that would not work so well over time for my boy as it would most likely crack.  So he ended up getting the large, 580 ml (20 oz) Dopper Insulated Blazing Black – perfect for him.



Our 9 year old daughter picked the Chilly’s Bottle 500 ml with AVOCADO’s on the outside – perfect for her.   All things avocado print are all the rage for 9 & 10 year old girls.  We didn’t buy a brush to clean it out but we might do so eventually but for now as we only use water, we’ll be fine.


Dopper Glass and it looks great and insulated!! – I just don’t trust myself but if I see it in the store going to have a close inspection.  If the Chilly bottle turns out to not work for Miss M should it taste to metallic and she wants my Dopper (I offered it to her) I might have to get a replacement.


Any type of reusable water bottle should be washed after each use to avoid bacteria growing and spreading,.  Use washing up liquid and hot water ensuring you get into all the nooks and crannies, such as the threaded neck and cap. Alternatively, use your dishwasher if it is dishwasher-safe.

Bacteria and germs thrive in moist environments so not washing your water bottle enough provides the perfect conditions for germs to grow.  So the next time you are thinking of just giving your bottle a quick rinse, reach for the washing up liquid as well.


N just returned from a meeting in Kiev, where he was a speaker and as a thank you, they gave him a gift of a KINTO Travel Tumbler mug.  Of course, he handed it to me.  I love it, a new insulated travel bottle for me to use for my coffee on the way to early morning football games 🙂

UPDATE: Soren accidentally knocked over his bottle and the top of the cap broke so he can no longer use it. Good news is that Dopper is sending me a replacement – bad news it’s on backorder so for now he’s without an insulated bottle.   We received it yesterday and it’s perfect again – back in business! 

Disclosure:   I have purchased these items myself and were not given them for free for my review.  This review is my opinion and has been written in my own words.

New Dutch Sprint Train

The kids and I took one of the NEW Sprinters from Boxtel to Eindhoven. It’s only three stops – Best, Strijp-S and then Central Station but it was fun for the kids. These new Dutch trains are amazing! Not only was it on time, but it was wicked clean and modern! While not cheap, at a total price of €17 round trip for all 3 of us, it was super modern. N has a train card which gives major reductions but he needs to be with us. (I think)

In our 2nd class carriage, there were CCTV cameras, electricity plugs and USB plugs, wifi and toilets (super clean) ones too! Both kids suddenly had to go, just to use it while moving – obviously this made me happy.

I think many countries can learn from these guys!  The MBTA in Boston ha ha 🙂

Visit to Oma Cora

We had a cozy visit with Oma Cora and Luc in Vlissening on Friday.  First yummy cake, drawing under a projector (really want one) and a game of Wildlife Quartette (it was Cora who taught them it first). 

After we took a small ride to visit a small beach area called Zouterlande.  Naturally Sorer ran down to the beach with a football.  I have a video when I better wifi, I can upload. Cora, Maebh and I visited a couple shops.  I let the kids pick out a small present and she chose a cryptic glow invisible pen which writes invisible and shows up under intra violet light.  Soren already has one, so  he chose the Dinosaur Quartette game.

We all met up on the terrace for a drink. While not too cold, the wind was chilly so under a heat lamp with blankets.

When we popped out to Lidl for a quick few things we came back to the kids and Cora playing Rubicup.  I am now on the look out for that game for the kids at a Kringloopwinklel.

Oh and we viewed some old photo albums and I just gave to share photos of Nils’ similarities​ to Soren.

Very nice day for all.  Hopefully we can repeat in August.

Quinny Strollers – We LOVE them!!

Over 5 years ago, my in-laws (and family) threw us a really great big baby shower when they were living in Marblehead, MA.   At that time, we received so many great gifts for our soon-to-be-baby and an amazing Quinny Buzz – which I loved and used daily for 5 years (between the two kids)!   It went everywhere with us, Spain, Belgium, Holland and USA and was really a great buggy, but over time wore down and needed some parts, etc and it didn’t have much life left unless we invested at least $100  in it.   Keep in mind at this time – most American’s didn’t spend so much money on strollers so this was HUGE deal!

Then I needed wanted a more compact, lighter weight stroller and preferred to stick with the brand Quinny – so I got a Quinny Zapp.  It folds down to be the smallest, most compact stroller out there and rides nicely.  When we moved to the UK we decided not to take both strollers and only the Zapp. We gave the Buzz to a friend to fix up and use for their expecting baby.

Now, as I’m here in the UK and while we don’t use the buggy daily, some days Maebh and I walk 20 minutes or so to the town center (cobblestone streets) and around on rough terrain, my Zapp just isn’t cutting it.  A new friend I met here has the Quinny Freestyle and likes it a lot.  I don’t want to spend much money on a big buggy, especially where Maebh is going to school in September daily from 9-12 pm, so I looked on Gumtree.com {UK version of Craigslist.com} but didn’t find anything, I liked.  I then looked at Marktplaats.nl, the Dutch site, and as Quinny is Dutch, there are TONS of used Quinny Freestyles out there.  I even found one that is from the town that my sister-in-law & family lives and it is listed for sale at only 20!! Trouble is that we’re in UK, but they are planning to come here next week so I am trying to see if the owner and my brother-in-law can work out a viewing and purchase if it fits in their car.  I really really hope it works as I know we can’t find this quality buggy for that price here and I really want a bigger, more off-road buggy.

Just heard from my brother-in-law that the he viewed it and purchased it for only €10! Great!!  He said the fabric needs a good wash and some rust on the wheels due to keeping it outside.  But I’m felling pretty confident that I can fix it up with some steel wool & armor all type cleaner.   This blog post talked about taking your stroller from shabby-to-chic again, so I’m hopeful I can do the same with this buggy!