It’s one of the most unhealthy foods you can think of. Large wads of dough, mixed with raisins, and cooked in boiling oil and grease. It’s a winter favourite of the Dutch and every year they make a big song and dance about the “quality” of the nations Oliebollen. Literally translated as Oil Balls, it’s not hard to find out why. The oil and grease slithers down your fingers as you bite into them, and the dough usually sits in your stomach until next winter.
Whilst the rest of the country has gone to pot, the government slashing everything here there and everywhere so that the cost of living will sky-rocket in 2012, it’s reassuring to know that according to the Algemeen Dagblad, a Dutch daily broadsheet, the standard of these lumps of lard, has improved this year. They tested 113 samples, of which 79 received a passing grade. At least SOMETHING good in the news then, ‘ay?
However, what I laughed at most, and what seems so profoundly and typically “Dutch”, was the fact that they take this crap food so seriously to the point that “suppliers of the raw materials organised meetings where the technical details of the trade are extensively discussed”. If you’ve had the (dis)pleasure of living in the Netherlands, you’ll know immediately that this translates into a bunch of loud mouthed, know-it-all cloggies all arguing about the best recipe, whilst at the same time trying to follow the usual Dutch political discourse of everyone meeting a general consensus so that everyone “agrees” on what the overall recipe and consistency should be.
However, the usual result of the so-called “poldermodel” is that Jan Dutchman will feck off and do his own thing anyway, and screw the rest of them. Why so much time should be devoted to lumps of lard is beyond me, but then, I never could understand Cloggy “logic”.
Honey, are there any mince pies left?
UPDATE – A Friend took this photo at Almere today where a huge queue built up for their much loved Oil Balls!! Madness!!