'Special flavors come together in Maasheggens syrup'

Flavorist Maarten Pillen

In Oeffelt, where the Maas meanders its way through the landscape and the Maasheggen bloom in full glory, a unique regional product was born. Maarten Pillen, the owner of Het Veerhuis in Oeffelt, has brought Maasheggensiroop to life.

The desire to create his own (regional) product had been lurking in Maarten Pillen's mind for some time. As owner of Het Veerhuis and two cafes in Nijmegen, Maarten had long had the dream of making his own product. Not only the sales, but also the preparation process interested him. It was in his café in Nijmegen where this dream began, but it turned out to be a challenge to find the right interpretation. He started brewing beer, but even then there were so many breweries that he wanted to introduce a different product.

Maarten: 'When I arrived at Het Veerhuis in the Unesco-recognized De Maasheggen, I knew I had found my inspiration. The unique landscape and special flavors present here provided the perfect breeding ground for my own regional product.'

Maasheggens Syrup
The idea to create a refreshing syrup inspired by the abundant Maasheggen, was born. It was no easy task to find the right combination of flavors that was not only unique, but also deliciously refreshing.

'It did take some tasting sessions before we found the perfect balance, but in the end we managed to create a lemonade that captures the essence of this beautiful area.
It includes elderberries, elderflower, blackberries, rose hip, hawthorn berries and blackthorn berries from Maasheggen.'

Passion for cooperation
Maarten is not only a passionate entrepreneur, but also a proud partner of the 'Taste of Maasheggen' club. In my opinion we have a really nice group together with unique products that complement and reinforce each other. You can regularly find these products on the menu in The Veerhuis and we are also a point of sale for the nice Taste of the Maasheggen packages.'

The idea for yet another regional product does keep playing through his mind, but his main focus is to explore new ways to spread the Maasheggens syrup and thereby put Maasheggen on the map. 'Because if the demand for the syrup grows then we will have to plant more and more hawthorn berries and blackberries to run production. That seems great that for the syrup we have to plant more hedges and bushes and thus the Maasheggen keeps growing!

Maasheggens syrup is a beautiful product where passion, creativity, regional love and the power of cooperation come together. And you can taste that!


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