Succulent marinated meats wrapped in a shell of crunchy homemade batter – we sure do know how to make some great snacks here in the Netherlands. We're talking about the one and only bitterballen. 

And although it may not constitute a 'meal' in some people's opinion, we can't get enough of them. Whether you're practically starving or just slightly peckish, bitterballen always hit the spot, especially how they do them at Frietwinkel, Parck and Pomms'.

What's the deal?

Bitterballen are deep-fried balls of mixed meat, traditionally served up with a tub of mustard for dipping. Usually you'll find beef as the star of the show, but chefs have been putting on their thinking caps and whipping up some awesomely creative variations. The meat is marinated in broth to make it super flavourful. A lump of butter and a pinch of salt is added. Then the balls are coated in egg mixture and breadcrumbs before being plunged into a fryer. Simple as that.

Proper bitterballen will crumble in your mouth as you bite down, leaving the gooey, soft insides to ooze flavour everywhere, all ready for the next dip.

Where did they come from?

It's thought that bitterballen were originally rustled up over 2,000 years ago as a way to use up leftovers. The grandfather of our beloved bitterballen was thought up by a landlord – who got the idea from Spanish soldiers. He made his name serving up the little balls with jugs of beer to hungry customers, and the word soon spread.

Fast forward to the present day, and bitterballen are still one of the nation's most iconic orders. You'll find them paired with a dip rather than that jug of beer, but a cold pint is always a welcome addition to these parcels. 

On the ball

At Frietwinkel, they keep things traditional – so if you're after bitterballen in all their original glory, this is the place for you. It's as simple as choosing between 6, 12 and 24 pieces – depending on how hungry you are or how many buds you have over. At Pomms', they push the flavour boat out a bit more. Here, choose from beef, shrimp and goat cheese for your bitterballen feast. Can't decide? Opt for the mixed box where you'll get 10 surprise goodies.

And we love heading to Parck when we've got the munchies. You've got all sorts to choose from here, from your classic beef and mature cheese, to one packed with lobster and another flavoured with 'special beer'. For us though, it's the Thai Cocoscurry every time – packed with coconut and Thai flavours for something special indeed.

Get ready to be bowled over by bitterballen. Check out your options here on Deliveroo.

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