The Brero judges all – Bitterballen

After taking the Netherlands by storm, we at Flokken headquarters decided the time was right to expand our business across the borders of our glorious nation. And because our ancestors weren’t harsh enough on the native people in the colonies, we were forced to look for another language than Dutch.

French, Spanish and Chinese were all taken by other websites, so English was the logical choice. Luckily we found someone quite good at this language, since he was born and raised in the UK. Turned out he is pretty funny too and he has some interesting views on the Dutch society and its curiosities, so we offered him a ‘snuffelstage’. Now, our international fate is in his hands… Introducing our new Flokken blogger: The Brero!

The Brero judges all – Bitterballen: I like bitterballs

First post has to be about the deep fried snack you see all around you in “de kroegen“ (the pubs). That is of course bitterballen or in English – bitterballs! Now before trying these The Brero already thought they were awesome just because of the name – bitterballs. Picture the scene: a few friends are sitting on a terrace in the summer, enjoying one of the five days of sunshine in the year, each drinking one white beer which turns into ten, ordering a snack to help cushion the sweet sweet sweet alcoholic beverage they’ve been drinking all afternoon and then someone makes THE crucial error and declares “I like bitterballs”, quickly followed by a smart arse who says “Oh reeeeeeally?!” and then everyone laughs – Rahaharaha with the associated thigh slapping and all that. Stupid fool!

Especially if you hang around with the too cool for school kids, DO NOT make this statement, YOU WILL crash and burn! Needless to say, The Brero has enjoyed this situation thoroughly for at least 5 minutes of his life. Also, because your friend The Brero cares about you, don’t say how you like how they feel in your mouth, how they give you a warm feeling inside or that they taste salty.

We love bitterballs


Providing you can navigate yourself through this hazardous obstacle, you can get to the eating of this popular ‘borrelhapje’. How would The Brero describe the look? Testicles covered with breadcrumbs would probably be the most accurate description. The Brero knows, combined with the name, this could put you off, but don’t let it do so! Apparently the official description of the stuff inside is a ‘ragout’. If, like The Brero, you’re a barbarian when it comes to this sort of poo, a ragout is a bit of minced meat, flour, butter and a few herbs lobbed in for good measure. Fancy posh people will say it’s a balanced fusion of herbs and spices used in combination with meat from the finest dead animals across the Lowlands. But they’re inbred. Totally. Everyone else will say it’s mushy meaty stuff.

Although drinking lard might be healthier, this snack is AWESOME. Tasty and best complemented by not really beer or wine but by alcohol in general, you won’t regret ordering these for the first time – your life in Holland could change forever. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, the flavour provides instant satisfaction! If you don’t like the taste then drink 4-5 more beers and try again.

Have to mention a note of caution here, when you order them, DON’T eat them straight away!!!! It doesn’t matter where you order them, they always come served straight out of the deep fryer. This means if you do bite into them for the first five minutes they’re on your table and, The Brero is speaking from no medical experience or knowledge whatsoever, the likelihood that you will have 3rd degree burns on the inside of your mouth is almost certain! One Eyed Jan at the market told The Brero the other day that his brother’s wife’s cousin’s neighbour, who’s a doctor, said 90% of all A&E patients in Holland are involved in bitterball related incidents. It’s a scary statistic. Do yourself a favour – WAIT! That is of course unless you like the feeling of pouring burning oil as hot as the sun in your mouth and seeing what happens. But if you’re into that sh*t then go ahead!

Verdict: 7.5/10
Verdict after drinking: 10/10

Have to say, nice one Holland, great way to start! First blog post and you’ve already provided The Brero with a new deep fried snack that he loves and stupid jokes to use in the pub. The Brero is an enormous fan! The Brero thinks he’s going to like this place! Brero Out!

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