Friday, December 30, 2005

New Year's Traditions: Pastries

Oliebollen and Appelbeignet:

Olieballen (literally: oil balls) are ball shaped doughnuts that are only available during the Christmas season. You can get them plain or with raisins. I prefer raisins. The texture is a little different than an American doughnuts, a little breadier. They are often made and served on big trailers (like something from a carnival). They are usually fairly warm, right out of the oil. The counterperson, usually a woman, puts them in a paper bag and asks if you want sugar. If yes (and I recommend yes) she spoons a little powdered sugar on the greasy treat and hands it to you, asking for money. I think the average price this year was 75 euro cents. Of course the sugar goes everywhere, but it's lekker and it's over pretty quickly.

Last year, I made a double oiebollen mistake. I got them without raisins. Mistake one. Then I ate three in a row. Mistake two. I had to lie down for a while. Reminded me of when my friend, Chris, and I got a dozen hot doughnuts from Krispy Kream and decided to split the box. After four, I thought I would die. Chris ate all six and went on to enjoy the day.

Appelbeigneten are Appel filled pasteries. They are really good reheated in the oven (200 c for seven minutes) and are also specific to this time of year and made on those trailors.

There are several other pasteries available - Belgian waffles and the such. Then there are all of these either covered in chocolate, split open with a thick sauce poured in, or smothered in something else.

After New Year's Day, the trailors disappear.

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