Expert to whip up bitterballen for Dutch fans at winter Olympics

Dutch bitterballen served in a bar
Photo: Franklin Heijnen via Flickr

Snack food group Van Dobben flew out its bitterballen expert Piet Brink to South Korea on Tuesday so that Dutch fans at the winter Olympics will not be deprived of the specialty appetiser at the games.

Van Dobben said it was too difficult to export bitterballen to Korea, so it decided to send Brink to make them on the spot, the Parool has reported.

Brink will make the crunchy deep-fried meatballs from scratch using Korean ingredients. He and a Korean assistant will have two days to perfect the recipe before the games open on Friday. He brought a single piece of equipment: an ice-cream scoop to shape the bitterballen.

His shopping list in Korea includes 120 kilos of beef, 100 kilos of flour, 60 kilos of butter, 60 kilos of mixed vegetables, 40 kilos of onions, 60 kilos of eggs and 250 kilos of fine breadcrumbs.

‘I hope I’ll be able to find a good yeast extract to give the bouillon more flavour,’ Brink explained. ‘It will be easy to obtain carrots, leaks and onions.’

Brink’s snacks will be available all 17 days of the games at the Holland Heineken House – the hang-out for Dutch fans and medal winners. He will turn out about 22,000 bitterballen in total or 1,300 a day. ‘I’ll be working about 10 hours a day,’ he told the paper.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation