Unique regional delicacies from the Dutch provinces
Since the local delicacy Brabants worstenbroodje (Brabant’s sausage roll) was recently added to the Unesco World Heritage List, it’s a good time to find out which other provincial Dutch delicacies exist in the Netherlands. Here are some of our favourite ones:
The sausage roll from Brabant came into being as a cheap way to prolong the freshness of meat by rolling it in dough and baking it. It’s unknown exactly how old it is, but traditionally it was consumed around Christmas and during carnival.
It typically consists of spiced pork surrounded by white bread. The Dutch eat an average of 25 million worstenbroodjes per year.
The eierbal, or the egg ball, is a very popular snack in the northern and eastern provinces in the Netherlands, but is fairly unknown outside the region. A typical deep-fried snack in Groningen, it consists of hard-boiled egg surrounded by ragout and coated in bread crumbs.
It first appeared in the 1950s and remains a local favourite to this day. It’s based on the almost identical and much older Scotch Egg from the UK.
Fryske dúmkes are a regional delicacy from Friesland. They’re sweet cookies with various spices that are baked in the oven. Ingredients include hazel nuts (or almonds), ginger, aniseed and cinnamon.
If you’re in a snackbar in Utrecht and you order a sandwich you will typically be asked if you want a "broodje ham, kaas of Vocking?"
Non-Utrechters will wonder what they were just told, but Vocking is a type of liverwurst or liver sausage without additives such as artificial colouring or preservatives. Real Vocking liverwurst is therefore greyish instead of pink, and the original recipe is from 1891.
Zwolse balletjes, or little Zwolse balls, is typical Dutch hard candy from the city of Zwolle. They first appeared in 1845 and, originally, you would put one behind a molar so it sweetened the coffee in your mouth each time you took a sip.
In the beginning they were made with brown sugar, but once granulated sugar was used new flavours were added such as cinnamon, vanilla and mocha.
Baked uierboord is also called koeietiet, volksfricandeau or arbeidersbiefstuk in Rotterdam where it comes from.
It’s thinly sliced cow’s udder (uier) that is used as a topping for sandwiches or eaten warm, with a little salt and pepper added for flavour. Once eaten only by the lower classes, in the last 25 years it gained popularity as being something typically from Rotterdam.
The vlaai is a flan or cobbler which is traditionally associated with the Dutch province of Limburg, but actually has German origins. It has a soft bottom with a crust around it, and typically the filling consist of apple, cherries or even rice.
Van Dobben kroket
Who doesn’t know the Dutch kroket. The croquette producer Van Dobben in Amsterdam launched the popular Van Dobben kroket 65 years ago, and the deep-fried delicacy usually has either ground beef or pork filling.
There are also vegetarian varieties available, and the kind with mashed potatoes is often used as a side dish in the Netherlands and Belgium.
The Zeeuwse bolus or jikkemine comes from the Dutch province of Zeeland and is a sweet pastry with Jewish origins. The dough is baked in a spiral shape and covered with treacle and cinnamon, and usually eaten together with a cup of coffee.
A more recent addition to the list of local delicacies comes from Lelystad. Lelystads Lekkerding is an apple pie made with local ingredients from Flevoland and has lots of cinnamon.
Kosterworst is a hard sausage from the province of Drenthe and is typically consumed as borrelhapje or as a snack. It hardens due to being dried while hanging, and has a fairly dry texture. While it has regional origins, these days you can find it at most Dutch supermarkets.
While this "bread" is named after a Middle Age play, the recipe is actually only 30 years old. It was created by a baker in Nijmegen, and the pie consists of raisin bread dough, almond paste, cream, mandarins and cinnamon sugar.
Have you tasted any of these local Dutch dishes? What did you think?