Saturday, April 9, 2011

In Search of the Elusive Bitterballen

I was down in Portland for three days earlier this week.  Before heading down, I did a little homework...I googled 'Dutch Store in Portland' and found the Dutch American Market and Import - only about 15 minutes from Betty Keira's house. On their website I found bitterballen!!! Yes! I won't actually have to make another attempt at making these, I'll just go to the store and buy some, then Betty Keira and I can give them a try.

We had no trouble finding the store, it was just down the street from Uwijamaya (an Asian specialty supermarket). The woman who ran the store was delightful - she taught Betty Keira and I a little bit about Dutch pronunciation (when you see a double 'o' it sounds like o as in rode, not oo as in spook). Unfortunately, she couldn't help us out with buying any bitterballen - but she did have a story about it.

Their bitterballen supplier was an older man who used to run a restaurant in Holland before moving to Portland. He would make about 300 bitterballen a month for the store. He passed away, and now there are no more bitterballen to be had. Dang.

I told the lovely Dutch woman that I was going to have to attempt to make them...she gave me a warning. "It's all about the roux.  If you don't get it thick enough the bitterballen fall apart when you attempt to fry them."

Great. Now I'm even more worried.

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