The One and Only Dutch Food Delight: ‘Bitterballen’

Hey expats! While you are here, why not learn more about Dutch and Dutch culture!

When you’re invited to partake in the beloved Dutch tradition of the ‘VrijMiBo’ (Vrijdag Middag Borrel / Friday Afternoon Drink) or any other social gathering in the Netherlands, you can count on a spread of delectable snacks known as ‘bitter garniture’ to accompany your drinks. But here’s a twist for the modern palate, including a vegan alternative to the classic bitterballen.

Bitter Dutch?

Gone are the days when ‘bitter’ referred solely to the strong alcoholic drinks they accompanied; nowadays, they’re more commonly enjoyed alongside a crisp glass of beer. Picture this: a wooden platter adorned with an assortment of small treats like cheese blocks (‘kaasblokjes’) and sausages (‘worstjes’), with the pièce de résistance—the iconic Dutch ‘bitterbal’—nestled in the center.

Traditionally, the ‘bitterbal’ boasts a meat-based filling, a rich ragout or thick stew, enveloped in a crunchy bread crust and fried to golden perfection. They provide the perfect savory companion for sipping on your beverage of choice, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, after a long day at the office.

Better bitter updates!

Now, let’s introduce a modern twist. As more people embrace plant-based lifestyles, the demand for vegan alternatives to traditional dishes has surged. Fear not, for there exists a vegan rendition of the beloved ‘bitterballen’, offering a cruelty-free indulgence without compromising on flavor or texture.

These vegan ‘bitterballen’ are crafted with a savory plant-based filling, lovingly encased in a crispy coating and fried to crispy perfection. Whether you’re a seasoned vegan or simply looking to explore new culinary horizons, these delectable bites offer a guilt-free indulgence for all palates.

When ordering, don’t forget to brush up on your Dutch phrases: “Mag ik alstublieft een portie bitterballen?” And a final word of caution, whether traditional or vegan—approach with care. The contents can be as hot as molten lava, so take a dip in mustard and start with caution. Let the steamy interior cool before indulging to avoid any unfortunate mishaps.

Mag ik er nog een, alsjeblieft?

So go ahead, dive into the vibrant world of Dutch snacking with a modern twist. Before you know it, you’ll be confidently ordering “een nieuwe portie bitterballen alstublieft!”—whether traditional or vegan—embracing the rich tapestry of flavors that the Netherlands has to offer. Cheers to that!

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Published by: Flowently

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