It is OLIEBOLLEN time!
If you do not what it is … Oliebol (singular) is the quintessential Dutch December treat. It is very popular and traditionally eaten around New Year period. Also known as Dutch Doughnuts, ‘olie-bollen’ means oily-balls!
Special street vendors in huge trailers start popping up around the country selling these from October month onwards. You can smell the hot frying oil from a mile away. These oily-balls are dough (generally) made from flour, eggs, yeast, salt, milk and baking powder, deep fried in hot oil to golden perfection.
There are 2 types of oliebollen; filled with or without raisins. Whatever your preference, sprinkle them with lots of icing sugar and gorge them down. Oliebollen are calorie bombs that I definitely avoid.
Price range from €0.80 – €1.20 per piece at supermarkets, bakeries and street vendors. Cheaper when you buy them in bulk of 10s. You may buy ready-mix box at supermarkets and make them yourself at home.
Every year, the AD (Algemeen Dagblad, a Dutch newspaper) tests oliebollen from bakeries and mobile vendors throughout the Netherlands. The last on the list at 160th place happened to be 8 minutes walk away from my house. The review was ‘not edible’. I must surely try!
My thoughts? Try it once! Get your oliebollen from a good reputable vendor. Just follow the crowd queuing for these balls. Oliebollen should be soft, fluffy with crispy crust. The bad ones are usually chewy, soggy and greasy.
Last night, I tried the oliebollen from the above-mentioned street vendor. I had a bad oil taste lingering in mouth for hours. Yikes!!
Dutch New Year tradition … conquered!