By Mick Jensen
There are two sweet treats to try at a Dutch food stand at this year’s Multi Cultural Bite.
The February 6 celebration will include a food choice of poffertjes, or mini pancakes, and oliebollen, a Dutch equivalent of a doughnut.
Manning the very first Dutch stall at the event is Ashburton district councillor Leen Braam, who will be supported by family and friends, all of whom will be dressed in eye-catching orange.
Mr Braam has been experimenting with poffertjes recipes in recent days and has received two new poffertjes pans from The Netherlands.
He and team “oranje” will cook up dozens of batches of mini pancakes and heaps of oliebollen in the tight 3m x 3m tent space.
“In Holland they eat poffertjes year round. They are cooked in a heavy cast iron pan, with 19 mini pancakes per batch. We put butter and icing sugar on them and they are delicious.”
Oliebollen had a history going back to the 17th century and literally translated as “oil balls”, he said.
“It is a simple recipe of flour, yeast, milk and dried fruit and has always been considered a cheap, and filling sweet treat.
“We traditionally make and eat them around new year.”
Oliebollen were also sprinkled with icing sugar and were best eaten hot or warm.
Mr Braam said he had attended a number of Bite events over the years and this year he was making time to share his own culture.
Ironically, the handlebar moustached Dutchman gave up his Dutch citizenship in 2016 in order to become a New Zealand citizen, which in turn enabled him to stand for council.
Leen Braam has lived in New Zealand with wife Leanne for over 35 years.
Multi Cultural Bite will be held near the Ashburton Clocktower on Baring Square East and includes international food stalls and an entertainment stage. It runs from 10am until 2pm.