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What is an Oliebol and Why Don’t More People Know About Them?

Image via Koopmans YouTube
Image via Koopmans YouTube

My friend Rick Knobe and I did a radio talk show together for several years, several years ago. And while the majority of the shows dealt with the news and events of the day’, occasionally we would veer off into…well, no man’s land.

One afternoon we were on-the-air and somehow I brought up the word ‘oliebol’. It was a tasty treat that I grew up with back there in the Leota/Edgerton Minnesota area. Now, in case you don’t know, that area is Dutch. I mean real Dutch. In my growing up years almost everyone’s Grand Parents had immigrated from the Netherlands, or more commonly called Holland. (I can still remember my dear departed Grandma saying, in jest, ‘If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much’..at least I think it was in jest).

But back to the radio station: Rick had no idea what Oliebol was, so between the two of us we thought it would be a great idea to make a batch the next week during the show on the air.

Now rather than getting into the particulars of how to make Oliebol’s you can get the recipe right here. Suffice to say we got what we needed to proceed: All the ingredients and a deep fat fryer. The experiment was about to begin!

We started before we went on the air and after about 2 hours of toil and trouble we had our Oliebol’s, ready for consumption on the show! And we immediately discovered two things…

1) They were absolutely delicious, every bit as good as I remembered as a kid. And

2) The building which housed the radio station wasn’t ventilated quite as well as we needed for deep fat frying Oliebol’s.

As it turns out, the smell of Oliebol’s deep fat frying is fantastic! However, the lingering odor of Oliebol’s deep fat frying is a whole ‘nother matter.

One by one from the various office’s in the building we heard a variation of ‘What the heck is that smell’? (Variations being another ‘H’ word instead of heck, and ‘stink’ instead of ‘smell’).

So the bad news was the boss told us in no uncertain terms that our Oliebollin’ days were done. The good news was we both got to take home a bunch of delicious Oliebol’s!

Oh…and Rick retired in good stead with the company, and they still let me stick around the station..

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