Being Dutch – Part 4: Deep-fried snacks

Considering that the Dutch are on the whole, a rather healthy bunch… it’s really quite surprising that they LOVE deep-fried food. You name it – they’ll deep fry it 😉 And while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – hell, I’m the world’s biggest bitterbal fan – it’s just surprising that they are so fond of unhealthy snacks. But hey, who am I to judge? Let’s check it out:

Bitterballen – THE best borrelhapje (bar snack) imaginable. I won’t waffle on about how much I love them because I’ve done it here already.

Bitterballen in Culemborg

Bitterballen in Culemborg

Krokets – similar to bitterballen but cylindrical in shape. Come in a variety of fillings: beef, pork, vegetables, potatoes, shrimp… make sure you know what you’re getting as they all look the same! Sold almost anywhere. Supermarkets, restaurants, snack bars and even in McDonald’s.

Kroket

© Takeaway / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Frikandel – a long, thin, skinless, dark-coloured meat sausage. Usually eaten warm. Personally, I hate them. But each to their own and all that! 🙂 Often served with curry ketchup or mayonnaise, though some eat it with tomato ketchup, mustard or even apple sauce (!)

Frikandel

© Siebrand / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

FEBO – Wondering where you can buy all these wonderful deep fried products? Look no further than FEBO! A wall of fast-food snacks at your finger tips. As well as krokets and frikandel they also sell burgers – just put your money in the slot and pull your chosen snack out of the wall! An amazing concept and so handy to grab a snack, day or night! Tourists will stand in amazement at this wall of snacks and I can’t blame them. It’s a cool idea, I wonder why we don’t have them in the UK!

Febo, Utrecht

Febo, Utrecht

Loempia  the Dutch version of fried spring rolls. This Southeast Asian dish is commonly referred to as  lumpia  but in the Netherlands, Belgium and France, it is spelled loempia – the old Indonesian spelling. As in the UK, these are available from Asian restaurants and takeaways. 

© Kguirnela / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

© Kguirnela / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Patat the Dutch word for chips or french fries… but what the Dutch do differently is the toppings! Remember the infamous Pulp Fiction quote?

VINCENT: …you know what they put on french fries in Holland instead of ketchup?

JULES: What?

VINCENT: Mayonnaise.

JULES: Goddamn!

VINCENT: I seen ’em do it man, they fuckin’ drown ’em in it.

Patat

© Takeaway / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

It’s 100% true. They do drown them in it. If you’re not a mayonnaise kinda person… alternatives include:

  • friet met satésaus: chips with peanut sauce (friet is another word commonly used for fries or chips)
  • patatje oorlog: chips with a combination of peanut saté sauce, mayo and onions
  • patat speciaal: comprises of curry ketchup, mayonnaise and onion on your chips

This leads nicely onto kapsalon: chips with kebab or shawarma (more on that in a sec) and cheese – normally Gouda. It is often served with a dressed salad, garlic sauce and a hot sauce or sambal. (More on that later too!) In my opinion… the yummiest kebab possible.

Kapsalon

Kapsalon

Shawarma – (known as Shoarma in the Netherlands.) This isn’t deep-fried, but you’ll probably have some patatjes on the side, so it belongs in this list. Although it is often compared to gyros / doner kebabs because it is cooked on a vertical spit, shawarma is chunks of meat rather than slices giving it a different texture. This is the Dutchie’s favourite 🙂

Shawarma

Shoarma

Sambal  a spicy Southeast Asian condiment made from chillies,  with secondary ingredients including shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, shallots, sugar and vinegar. THE perfect accompaniment to kapsalon or shoarma. You can buy it from supermarkets but it’s waaaay better to make your own. The Dutchie makes huge batches of it and then distributes jars to our very grateful friends and family! He even has his own special labels! 🙂 Maybe one day I’ll share the recipe if he lets me…

Homemade sambal

Homemade sambal

Back to the deep-fried stuff… this list wouldn’t be complete without Oliebollen! (Literally: oil balls) I say they’re doughnuts, the Dutchie doesn’t agree. (I’m right.) The dough is made from flour, eggs, yeast, salt, milk, baking powder and usually sultanas or raisins. They’re then sprinkled with icing sugar. They are traditionally eaten at New Year but there are oliebollen stands around for the whole festive period.

Oliebollen

© Takeaway / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Which is your favourite?!

Hayley x

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38 comments

  1. Another great post. I love to see how people who weren’t born and raised here observe our country. I do believe you must add the “berehap” to this list. A sliced meatball that is put on a stick with onion rings between the slices and then deep-fried.
    Cheers,
    Micky

    Liked by 1 person

  2. But, the dough of a donut and an ‘oliebol’ are a different though. Tastes very different too. And, most you’ll find aren’t too great, especially if bought in supermarkets and all that. Also, they should be quite fresh for a good taste 😀

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  3. I must say the McDonald’s kroket isn’t in my opinion a real kroket and I don’t like the taste of the McDonald’s one either.
    You also forgot another snack the Kip Corn. It’s like a long chicken nugget.

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  4. Another one to add to the list: the Kaassouflé. Same outer layer as the kroket, however usually yellow instead of brown-ish, flat and with cheese (not per se ‘Gouda’, but Dutch cheese nonetheless) inside. The perfect alternative for vegetarians. Also available as ham-kaassouflé which has apart from cheese also ham inside.

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  5. And what about the ‘viandel’? It’s like a frikadel, but with a crispy skin around it. Or the ‘mexicano’, a flat, spicy frikadel.

    This one is also nice: frietje met, but add some sambal to your mayo, you’ll figure out the right quantities 😉

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  6. Dear writer,

    your comment on Sambal is incorrect! Its commonly produced by Indonesian,Surinam and Moluk inhabbitants of the Netherlands but rarely by Dutch blonde haired white people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You forget the dutch people who have relatives (parents, grandpatents etc) which worked and lived in Nederlands-Indië and brought back their recipes. Also Navy sailors, Rijsttafel (‘blauwe hap’) op woensdag.So a lot of Dutch peolpe have their own (family) recipes of Indische/Indonesian dishes.
      Also, she mentions “The Dutchie” not “the Duchies” with the 1. being -if I’m correct- a nickname for her husband and the 2nd meaning: the Dutch people.
      In both ways, I’ve to say, she’s right. :p

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry, but you are wrong about the oliebol being a donut 😉 It’s the other way around.. A donut is an oliebol 😀 http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donut
    Find you’re blogs about living here hilarious! Had similar experiences when I went to live in Glasgow for a year.. Talking about deep frying anything and everything.. The Scots rule in that area! Ever heard of fried Mars bar or pizza for that matter? Rest my case.. lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Appel Flappen zijn ook ECHT Nederlands vooral bij oud en nieuw! Apple Flaps, they are a Dutch style donut, deep fried Apples Slices in an Oliebollen like dressing. Much like the French Beignet! LEKKER with Powdered sugar on top, a tradition for New Years Eve!

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    1. In that case the correct name would be Appel Beignet. that’s donut shaped. Appelflap is triangle shaped and made with an other dough

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      1. I have always referred to the beignets as appelflappen. I believe referring to the triangular ones as such is a relatively modern invention.

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  9. Some people call the bitterballen ‘bruin fruit’ (brown fruits) as if it were some healthy snack that just has a different colour. That’s by far the most disgusting (and perhaps hilarious) description of this tasteful national dish. But hey, I am a vegetarian, so I am biased 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The word “Patat” only means fries above the great rivers.
    In Belgium, and the South of the Netherlands (Limburg and North-Brabant) the word for fries is “friet”/”frieten”/”fritten”. If you use the word “patat”, you’ll be most likely to get a potatoe (at leas t in Belgium) 🙂

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  11. I showed your blog to my future wife (she’s English and I’m Dutch). See def wants to try the bitterballen next time we’re in Holland. She’s tried the Oliebollen already. She likes them, but can’t eat 5 off them in a row 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Being Dutch, I never got the concept of the ‘bamibal’ and ‘nasibal’. Chinese dishes put in a large bitterbal. No favorite of mine.

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  13. You need to add the ‘Blauwe Hap’ (actually, it’s up to you…). The ‘Dutch’ Indonesian Rijsttafel. It’s a dish of a plethora of Idonesian side dishes that make a traditional Soto and Nassi Goreng (the basis) the best dish everybody at the table ever had. Side dishes range from greens beans with sambal to veal with ginger. And everything in between, including rempejeh (peanuts in spicy batter), sour cabbage and tempurah shrimps. Try it at your peril, you’ll be sold for life…

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  14. Bittergarnituur is to be found in almost every pub. And I don’t think you live in the North, otherwise you would have mentioned the ‘eierbal’. It’s a boiled egg, with some sort of mash around and with the same skin as a bitterbal

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  15. Being an expat living in Central America, I had to learn to make my bitterballen and frikandellen myself. It is possible and they are a big hit in my family!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Olibollen sound YUMMY! (Of course, I’m also a fan of the very-Polish packzi, so…)

    When I was an exchange student in Ireland, we ate chip and mayo and I didn’t know why. Thanks for clearing that up!

    Like

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