Wednesday, 31 December 2014

A Year of Oliebollen

One of the advantages of living in a new country is experiencing new foods. While I've had most traditional Dutch dishes (except herring because I can't stand the thought of it), there was one I had never had before: oliebollen. This treat is hugely popular during the Christmas and new year period. I had one for the first time just before Christmas last year and absolutely LOVED it.

Groningen's Oliebollen stall
Oliebollen are basically round balls of dough with raisins or cranberries fried in oil then covered with powdered sugar. In Groningen, on the Grote Markt, a wonderful oliebollen stall was set up at the end of November. Which meant, of course, that each time I went past on my way home from work or the shops that I indulged in one or two. Still warm from the oil and covered with powdered good!

To make at home!
Unfortunately, I caught a rather horrible 'flu and missed out on oliebollen for most of the month of December. I couldn't believe it - of all times to catch an illness...right when oliebollen are readily available at the end of my street! I've recently regained my appetite, thank goodness, and went immediately to the baker's and stocked up on oliebollen, appelflappen (apple turnovers), and appelbeignets (like apple filled donuts). Some people make these at home, but you can also buy them from the shops. The baker on Terschelling has a special stall open on New Year's Eve, and the queue forms quickly as they are particularly yummy with the island's speciality of cranberries.  

Stocking up on oliebollen
Last year I was lamenting the fact that oliebollen were only available at this time of year. How could something so tasty only come round once a year!? However, I luckily discovered that whenever the kermis (carnival/fair) came to Groningen, there was also a stall with oliebollen. I was so overjoyed! So, throughout the year of 2014 I've been able to enjoy this tasty Dutch treat.

Oliebollen w/ powdered sugar
I suppose that because they aren't readily available whenever the fancy strikes makes them that more special. I've got an entire bag full to enjoy as we bring in the new year and I'm very much looking forward to it!

Happy New Year, everyone - I hope you enjoy your own tasty treats this evening!