Monday, December 9, 2013

A Dutch love story with fried snacks

Dutch people absolutely looove fried snacks. Fried snacks are everywhere.

The canteen at my company smells like fried food 365 days a year. Which is also the frequency with which they use the deep frier.

In Italy fried food is popular as well, but it's mostly about "healthy" ingredients - vegetables, meat or fish. And it's generally a Sunday treat or a little snack for the happy hour. In the Netherlands, fried food is a daily appointment and the ingredients are definitely not a healthy choice. The list of fried snacks is endless, although most of them look and taste very similarThey can be paired with beer, enjoyed on their own as a snack, or stuffed inside some bread for a quick meal.

I must confess I am not a big fan of fried food. So I am always amazed at the quantity of fried things my Dutch colleagues put in their plates. Below is a whole gallery of snapshots I took with my phone at lunchtime. It has become a sort of tradition that my colleagues also enjoy :)

Patat Speciaal (french fries with mayo, curry sauce and raw onion)
In the back is a frikandel (a sort of fried sausage made with meat sub-products).

Of all these fried food, I recommend that you try bitterballen: a typical pub snack, they are a mix of béchamel and mushrooms that is then deep-fried and served boiling hot with a side of thick mustard. Delicious and 100% Dutch!

Bitterballen spotted on the right side of the pic!

A sign of the Dutch love for fried food is the diffusion of shops called "Febo". It's like a huge vending machine for fried foods, where you don't need to order at the counter, but you just insert some change, open a little flap, and take your hot snack. You can spot a Febo by the knot of people standing and eating fried food in front of it. It's a typical Dutch experience that you cannot miss!

Fonte foto: web

Speaking about food, I take the chance to post some pics of other dishes we are being served at the canteen. They make an excellent job at illustrating what I meant when I said that Dutch people don't really care about food, since eating is regarded as a necessity and not a pleasure. Of course there are also some very nice, hearty and delicious Dutch dishes that I recommend that you try:  maatjesharing (brine raw herrings), rookworst (smocked wurstel), stamppot (mashed potatoes with vegetables), gehaktballen (meatballs the size of a tennis ball) and the amazing traditional appeltaart with cinnamon...

Tomato soup and a sandwich
Sandwich with omelette, ham and ketchup

Rookworst and mustard bun
Something sweet...


  1. I'm always amazed by their love of fried foods! When my Dutch fiancée moved to England he wanted to bring his deep-fryer, I refused, point blank! (Although I do make an exception which is to treat myself when we go to Holland... Bitterballen are too good!!)

    1. Oooh the deep frier! We have one in the house as well! It is probably as basic an equipment as the moka for Italians and the kettle for the British.. XD
      But I do agree, bitterballen de gekste! :)