Oliebollen, Typical Dutch Food: New Years Eve edition food blog

Typical Dutch Food: New Years Eve edition

Every country has its own traditions and Holland is no exception. This time, the Dutch food traditions around New Years Eve are discussed. January first marks the start of the New Year and the Dutch often see this turn of the year as a perfect opportunity for a fresh start in the New Year. The often make lists of new years resolutions. It may seem like quite the conventional western traditions, but make no mistake; the Dutch have some remarkable traditions that are unique to them. Read them below.


It might be the case that you have no clue what an oliebol is, so let’s start with that. An oliebol, or literally translated an oil ball, is a Dutch food that consist out of deep fried dough balls. The Dutch usually eat them with powdered sugar on them. If you like raisins, you can try the version with raisins in them. The Dutch eat these oil balls around the time of Christmas and New Years, but traditionally people eat them on New Years Eve. You can get one at the traditional stands in around local shopping areas.

There are several theories about why the Dutch eat oliebollen around Christmas and on New Year’s Eve. Some Dutch folks believe that the practice originated at the end of the Middle Ages to celebrate the end of the Catholic period of Lent.

In the Middle Ages, people fasted between St. Martin (November 11) and Christmas. After this period of fasting was over, they feasted, drank and ate. “Oil cakes” were an important part of this celebration, because they were filling and rich in nutrients, and thus were perfect for the winter period.

Another reason why people eat oliebollen around the Christmas and New Years period can also be attributed to the same Middle Ages when the rich lords of the land handed them out to the poor and beggars in the hopes of being rewarded with goodwill for the new year.

Check out this airfryer to bake your own Oliebollen this year!

With this airfryer you can bake your own Oliebollen by using only one tablespoon of sunflower oil! 

  • Preparation
    Place the oliebollen mix, water, yeast and raisins in a bowl and mix well. If you have a food processor, you can let it do the work using the dough hook. Let the dough rise for 1 hour under a damp cloth.
    Place the flour and icing sugar on a plate. Squeeze balls of the dough with an ice cream scoop and roll them in the flour and icing sugar mixture. Spray the bulbs with some oil to give them color.
    Preheat the Airfryer and bake the bulbs per 4 pieces at 200 degrees in 10 minutes. Turn the Airbollen over after 5 minutes.
    Serve with powdered sugar. Enjoy your meal!

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