Bitterballenbruid: Top Dutch snack foods

Bitterballenbruid: Top Dutch snack foods

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Expat Hayley soon learned how much the healthy Dutch love their fried foods, and explores the many delicious snacks that the Dutch have made their own.

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 – hey, 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 out the best Dutch deep friend snacks.

Top Dutch deep friend snacks

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.

Krokets: similar to bitterballen but cylindrical in shape. They come in a variety of fillings: beef, pork, vegetables, potatoes, shrimp and more. Make sure you know what you’re getting as they all look the same! They are sold almost anywhere: supermarkets, restaurants, snack bars and even in McDonald’s.

Dutch deep fried snacks: Kroket

Frikandel: a long, thin, skinless, dark-coloured meat sausage, usually eaten warm. Personally, I hate them but each to their own! They are often served with curry ketchup or mayonnaise, though some eat it with tomato ketchup, mustard or even apple sauce(!)

Dutch deep fried snacks: Frikandel

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 – it's 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?!

Dutch deep fried snacks: FEBO

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

Patat: the Dutch word for chips or French fries. But what the Dutch do differently is the toppings. Remember the infamous Pulp Fiction quote?
PatatVINCENT: 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.

It’s 100 percent true. They 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 next) and cheese – normally Gouda. It is often served with a dressed salad, garlic sauce and a hot sauce or sambal (see below). In my opinion, it's the yummiest kebab possible.

Dutch deep fried snacks: 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.

Deep fried Dutch snacks: Shawarma


Sambal: a spicy Southeast Asian condiment made from chillies, with secondary ingredients including shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, shallots, sugar and vinegar. This is the perfect accompaniment to kapsalon or shoarma. You can buy it from supermarkets but it’s waaaay better to make your own. My Dutch man 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.

Top Dutch snack food: Sambal

Homemade sambal

Oliebollen: literally, oil balls. Any list wouldn’t be complete without oliebollen. I say they’re doughnuts but my Dutchie doesn’t agree. The dough is made from flour, eggs, yeast, salt, milk, baking powder and usually sultanas or raisins. Then 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.

Top Dutch snack food: Oliebollen
Which is your favourite?


Reprinted with permission from Bitterballenbruid.

 Hayley (aka Bitterballenbruid) is 32 and lives in Hilversum, the Netherlands, with her Dutch husband and their cat called Paris (no, she didn’t name her – long story). Her blog Bitterballenbruid is about living in het Gooi, eating too many bitterballen, getting married in Holland, learning how to be Dutch, and dealing with the language. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter or check out her Instagram.

Photo credits: Takeaway (McDonald's krokets, patat, oliebollen) Siebrand (Frikandel), Kguirnela (Loempia).


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