Oliebollen New Years Tradition = What to Drink with Dutch “Doughnuts”

Feeling nostalgic about New Years Day and a food tradition that I really liked – eating Oliebollen makes me happy. In the Netherlands (or Holland) on News Years Eve day, I would walk into town to buy some oliebollen and some appelflappen. [Photo from Haagse Post 2007]

Oliebollenkraam or Baker Wagon

Here are two You Tube videos. First a professional bakery making oliebollen:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJIv1l4dlYY&feature=related Nostalgically retrieved December 30, 2010.

Let me add here that growing up in New England we ate them with maple syrup for a meal.  They were known as fritters that when made with apples became Apple Fritters. (Did anyone else have these?) The ingredients are flour, eggs, yeast, some salt, milk and baking powder to make this ball of fried dough with raisins or apples. Much like doughnuts as their name oliebol implies they are fried in oil. (Translation is oil ball) The Dutch version is dusted with powdered sugar. I would buy a few freshly baked from the street vendor, who would appear for the day, then trot back home with them. (I’d buy a fresh appleflappen to eat on the way home – translation – Apple turnovers.  That’s the best way to eat one fresh baked, that is, while walking.)  I preferred the appelflappen, they were so light and the warm apple was perfect on a nippy day by the North Sea.  The oliebollen (Pronunciation Oh’-lee-bowlen – close enough) were pretty heavy going.  There is the tradition that you eat more than one.  Wikipedia reports that the average Dutch person eats eight of them on New Years Eve day. (Oof! Lots more walking needed.)


There’s a reference to the Germanic Goddess Perchta as part of this tradition of eating oliebollen. The goddess expected a tribute of eating fish and gruel. If the people did not eat this, their stomachs were slit open and stuffed with straw. The idea was that oliebollen protected the stomach. They were too full of dough to be slit open. (Okay. That’s gruesome.)

On another note, this following link to a video from “Nancy Today” on You Tube shows a homemade version of making oliebollen. I mean the slow food version. Note: Nancy thinks that appelflappen and oliebollen are the same thing. (A little mistake.) It’s fun to watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4VjJGAOpfA Retrieved December 30, 2010.

I think I’ll go buy some apple turnovers! Butter Bakery Café here I come! It’s always fun to try out a new to me bakery.  It’s cold today.  Need my carbs.  Notes: The weather was terrible – sleet and snow mixed and the parking was, well, let me describe it – ridiculous when competing with four foot piles of snow on both sides of the street.  Neither rain, nor wind, nor bad parking conditions kept me from Butter Bakery at 35th and Grand in south Minneapolis.  They had two apple turnovers left, which I bought hastily and then I saw this delicious piece of sour cream coffee cake that I just had to try. The apple turnovers looked dark. I delivered myself and the turnovers to Alan’s house. Whereupon Alan opened the bakery bag and took the turnovers to the kitchen to “only slightly warm them”, then we scarfed them down.  The dark color was because they were made with whole wheat flour!  They were still light and tasty although I would have liked a little more apple in them.  The coffee cake was superb!  The bakery was full of people despite the bad weather and the atmosphere was warm and convivial. (This is the Minnesota spirit.)

I’ll go back again. (More walking needed.)

For making the oliebollen go down easier, the wines to drink here are recommended by a Dutch wine writer, Nicolaas Klei, are Moscato d’asti, hard Cider from Normandy, France and Calvados. (Hmm. That might make the dough go down better.) Info and Photo from http://www.bythegrape.com.

Whether or not you are making a resolution or eating oliebollen today, I wish you the very best for 2011.

Enjoy a New Years Tradition!

About kunstkitchen

Visual artist and writer hunting words, languages, visions, and insight in my kitchen - connecting Art (Kunst) and culture and slow food cooking. Credits: Do not own a microwave oven and never have. Do not own a food processor. Chopped veggies in a Zen monastery for a weekend. (Seriously) Classically trained artist. Paint and draw with traditional materials. Live in the Northland where it's six months of winter. Appreciate the little things in life. Sharing food and art experiences and the lessons that my talented and generous friends have given me.
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One Response to Oliebollen New Years Tradition = What to Drink with Dutch “Doughnuts”

  1. Pingback: Street vendors of Vietnam | blog4skool

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