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The history of the Dutch kroket

One of the most enduringly popular Dutch treats that’s particularly missed by Dutch emigrants, is the ‘Hollandse vleeskroket’ – a deep-fried croquette crammed with tasty meat ragout. This typical Dutch delicacy, which is traditionally enjoyed as a delicious snack between meals, boasts a long and colourful history.

The Dutch kroket through the ages

Dutch kroketAlthough often dismissed as just an everyday snack, the Dutch kroket has a rich history that dates back to the early eighteenth century. The recipe for ‘vleeskroket’ is believed to have originated in France – indeed, a cookbook written in 1705 by French cook, François Massialot (chef to none other than Louis XIV), described how to prepare a ‘croquet’ using a tempting meat filling. These very first French croquettes were, however, somewhat smaller in size and their filling made from slightly different ingredients than their modern Dutch counterparts.

The oldest recipe for Dutch croquettes is thought to date back to 1830. From that time onwards the recipe for Dutch kroket increasingly appeared in Dutch cookbooks, including the famous, “Moderne Kookkunst” (Modern Cookery) by Maria Haezebroeck in 1851. In those days Dutch kroketten were made ​​from leftover cooked meat, which was coated in fresh breadcrumbs and then fried in lard or butter. Up until the end of the Second World War it was served as a filling side dish, after which it rapidly became a popular snack.

The contemporary Dutch kroket

The modern Dutch croquette is typically sold in Dutch snack bars and made from meat ragout (horse meat, beef or veal) that’s been rolled in breadcrumbs and deep-fried in cooking oil for an irresistibly crisp coating. Kroketten are usually enjoyed on their own, but can be served in a ‘broodje kroket’ (croquette sandwich) or as ‘kroket met frites’ (croquette with French fries). And nowadays Dutch kroketten are available in several varieties, such as ‘goulashkroket’ (croquettes filled with goulash), ‘garnalenkroket’ (prawn croquettes) and ‘vegetarische kroket’ (vegetarian croquette).

Facts

  • The kroket was the top-selling snack in the Netherlands up until 1996 (today it is frikandel).
  • Each year some 300 million kroketten are consumed in the Netherlands – approximately 25 per person.
  • The largest Dutch kroket was more than 1.3 metres long and weighed 250 kilograms. It was made by famous Dutch kroket manufacturer, Van Dobben, and presented at Rembrand Square in Amsterdam in October 2007.
  • In 1993 Dutch Prime Minister, Jan Peter Balkenende, submitted government legislation known as the “Krokettenmotie” (Croquette Motion), which stipulated that, as Dutch council meetings often went on until well after 11.00pm, attending council members were each entitled to one kroket. The legislation was approved and is still in force today.
  • Although most Dutch people buy their kroketten from a local snack bar, they can easily be prepared at home. Simply refer to our recipe for vegetarian kroketten and replace the vegetarian ragout for meat ragout or veal ragout instead.

Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?

 

3 comments on “The history of the Dutch kroket

  1. Pingback: The origin of famous Dutch brands and product names | Dutch Community

  2. Erica Freeze
    25/07/2014

    How about the recipe for kroketten?

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